Nigeria Launches $520m Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones to End Hunger

Image

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria has begun its long journey to end hunger and achieve food security by launching the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ).

The launch ceremony in Abuja on Monday kick-starts the implementation of phase one of the SAPZ program in eight states across the country. These include – Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The SAPZ program has already garnered huge momentum as an additional 19 state governments have expressed strong interest in participating in the program.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is providing funding of $210 million, with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) jointly providing $310 million, while the Nigerian government will contribute $18.05 million.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in remarks delivered by Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, praised the initiative and said, “if the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones program delivers on its objectives, and we have no doubt that it will, then we would in less than a decade have dealt a fatal blow to food insecurity, create millions of good paying agro-industrial jobs and opportunities and radically improve export earnings from agriculture.”

On his part, the AfDB President, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, said, “the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones are new economic zones, located in rural areas, to be fully supported by infrastructure (power, water, roads, digital infrastructure, and logistics) that will allow food and agribusiness companies to locate within such zones.

“This will put them close to farmers in production catchment areas, provide market offtakes for farmers, support processing and value addition, reduce food losses, and allow the emergence of highly competitive food and agricultural value chains.”

Mr Adesina, a former minister of agriculture of Nigeria, said: “Hunger in Nigeria cannot be justified. Nigeria has the land, with 34 million hectares of arable land with rich and diverse agroecology. It has water. It has the labour. It has great sunshine. Nigeria must achieve zero hunger. There is no reason for anyone to go hungry in Nigeria.”

To help Africa prevent a food crisis from the Russia-Ukraine war, the lender launched a $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility to support 20 million farmers to access climate-resilient agricultural technologies and produce 38 million metric tons of food valued at $12 billion.

“The African Emergency Food Production Facility provided $134 million to Nigeria, one of the highest levels of support across African countries. I would like to thank the Japanese International Development Agency (JICA) for co-financing this with an additional $110 million. That means we collectively made available $244 million for emergency food production in Nigeria,” the bank group head said.

Noting that the latest Global Hunger Index (2022) ranks Nigeria 103rd among 121 countries facing hunger crisis in the world, Mr Adesina called for “greater action, responsiveness, and delivery to avert a food crisis in Nigeria”.

“Nigeria must decisively tackle insecurity challenges that prevent farmers from going to the farms. Food security needs national security,” said Mr Adesina.

In a rallying call around the SAPZ program, Mr Adesina said: “The Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) will help feed Nigeria, transform rural economies, expand fiscal space, fully unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential, and create millions of jobs.”

“I am delighted that the SAPZs have finally come to pass in Nigeria and across Africa,” he said.

According to the IsDB President, Mr Muhammad Al Jasser, “with the disruption of supplies arising from the war, Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food imports from Russia and Ukraine, especially for wheat, maize, and soybeans. Urgent actions are needed to prevent a food crisis in Africa.”

He expressed confidence Nigeria will efficiently implement the SAPZ program, which will boost food production, reduce food price inflation, and transform the agriculture sector while assuring food security and creating jobs.

On her part, the Associate Vice President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Ms Katherine Meighan, said her organization is determined to contribute to the overall goal of the SAPZ programme by empowering 100,000 direct beneficiaries, including smallholders, small processors, traders, and service providers in Ogun and Kano State, with a strong focus on youth and women.

“Our empowerment strategy aims to equip farmers and smallholders to take advantage of the markets created by the SAPZ to sustainably enhance their income through income-generating activities, household food security and nutrition, and resilience to climate change,” said Ms Meighan.

The zones will develop value chains for selected strategic crops in Nigeria, including maize, cassava, rice, soybean, cocoa, poultry, and livestock products. They will also create millions of quality jobs, especially for youth and women.

Speaking on behalf of the phase one participating states and the Federal Capital Territory, the Governor of Cross River State, Mr Ben Ayade, praised the innovativeness of the program and said “the SAPZ program will help Nigeria develop an economy independent of oil. The program is a classical departure from other projects we know.”

During the event, Vice President Osinbajo launched a set of commemorative stamps for the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones. The stamps were designed by Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) in conjunction with a local NGO, FLEESD.

Share
Related Stories
Image
03-March-2024

Nigeria Pays N1trn Monthly Subsidy to Keep Petrol at N650/Litre

By Aduragbemi Omiyale Despite the federal government claiming it has stopped the payment of subsidies on premium motor spirit (PMS), well-known as petrol, more people are countering this. Recall that a few weeks ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the government had returned fuel subsidies through the backdoor and kept Nigerians in the dark about this. It then advised the government of President Bola Tinubu, which announced an end to it on May 29, 2023, to completely stop the payment as it was increasing his administration’s fiscal deficit. The global lender, in a report released last month, said the

Image
02-March-2024

NGX Indices Nosedive by 1.23% as Traders Resume Profit-Taking

By Dipo Olowookere The bears made a quick return to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited after leaving the stage for the bulls for a day as investors reassessed the impact of the hike in the benchmark interest rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday on their investments. On Friday, the key performance indicators of the bourse closed lower by 1.23 per cent as a result of renewed selling pressure, especially in the energy and industrial goods sectors. Business Post reports that at the close of transactions on the first trading session of March 2024, the industrial goods

Image
04-March-2024

Meristem Analysts Value Transcorp Power at N2.3trn

By Aduragbemi Omiyale Analysts at Meristem Research have put the value of Transcorp Power Plc at about N2.3 trillion (precisely N2.290 trillion), higher than its current value of N1.8 trillion. The power-generating firm joins the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited today, Monday, March 4, 2024, by introduction. It will be the second GenCo (Generating Company) to list its shares on the domestic stock exchange. The first was Geregu Power Plc owned by Mr Femi Otedola, which joined in October 2022. Transcorp Power, a subsidiary of Transcorp Plc, a firm controlled by Mr Tony Elumelu, listed today on the bourse about 7,500,000,000

Image
04-March-2024

Peter Obi Laments Nigeria’s Dependence on War-Torn Ukraine for Food

By Adedapo Adesanya The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 polls, Mr Peter Obi, has lamented Nigeria’s dependence on Ukraine, a country ravaged by war, for food aid. Mr Obi, in a statement on Monday, expressed dissatisfaction at the current economic realities and recounted times when the Nigerian economy was faring better than that of Ukraine in 2015. “Ukraine cultivates over 60 per cent of its arable land, whereas Nigeria has over 60 per cent uncultivated arable land. “Despite the conflict, Ukraine feeds itself, and exports agricultural products worth over $25 billion which is about the same

More Stories
Image
02-February-2024

Worsening Power Supply Caused by Low Gas, Remedy in Progress—FG

By Adedapo Adesanya The federal government has attributed the main cause of poor power supply in the country to the low supply of gas to generating companies (GenCos). Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, disclosed this in a statement posted on his X handle on Friday. “Yesterday, I had crucial discussions with power generating companies (GenCos) and distribution companies (DisCos) to address the ongoing issue of blackouts in parts of our country. “Power supply during the yuletide improved, but unfortunately, we’ve experienced setbacks in the new year. After investigations, it’s clear that the main cause of poor power supply

Image
18-April-2021

Digital Switchover Begins in Lagos, Kano, Others April 29

By Adedapo Adesanya The federal government has announced dates for the commencement of the digital switchover from analogue in Lagos and four other states. The Digital Switchover (DSO) would commence in the five states between April and August while the exercise would kick off in the remaining states thereafter. The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, announced the dates when he led members of the Ministerial Task Force on DSO on an advocacy visit to Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday. He noted that the government had launched the switchover in Jos, the Plateau State capital

Image
13-November-2019

Naira Closes Mixed at Various Forex Market Segments Tuesday

By Adedapo Adesanya  The first trading day of the new week at the various segments of the foreign exchange (forex) market ended with the Naira closing in different directions on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. At the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the market, the local currency appreciated against the United States Dollar by 17 kobo or 0.07 percent to trade at N362.50/$1 compared with N362.67/$1 recorded at the last session on Friday. The market was closed on Monday as a result of the public holiday declared by the federal government of Nigeria in commemoration of Id-el Maulud to celebrate

Image
27-February-2024

FG Insists Power Sector Remains Key Priority

By Adedapo Adesanya The Vice President of Nigeria, Mr Kashim Shettima, has reiterated that the Light Up Nigeria Project, remains a part of the priorities set by President Bola Tinubu to revamp the nation’s economy and ensure rapid industrialization. Mr Shettima said the Project heralds renewed hope for industrialists, investors and Nigerians who had to bear the brunt of the country’s power challenges for so long. The Vice President spoke as he officially launched the Light Up Nigeria, Southeast Initiative in Enugu, describing it as the much-expected solution to the power supply deficit that has undermined the nation’s economy and

Image
08-March-2023

Naira Tumbles at Parallel Market, Peer-to-Peer, Spot Market

By Adedapo Adesanya The Naira depreciated against the US Dollar in the Peer-2-Peer (P2P), the parallel market, and the Investors and Exporters (I&E) arms of the foreign exchange (forex) window on Tuesday, March 7. Traders exchanged their local currency for the American currency at N760/$1 versus N755/$1 in the previous trading session, indicating a decline of N5. In the black market, the Nigerian currency tumbled against the greenback yesterday by N1 to settle at N749/$1, in contrast to the preceding session’s N748/$1. In the I&E segment of the market, the domestic currency lost 17 Kobo or 0.04 per cent against

Image
20-July-2019

Nigeria May Lose Her Independence If…..—Atiku

**Says Country Can’t Survive Using N2.5trn to Service Debt By Adedapo Adesanya Former Vice President of Nigeria, Mr Atiku Abubakar, has expressed his discomfort at the rising debt threat facing the country, which he said the Buhari-led administration has chosen to overlook. The former presidential candidate has now called for an immediate action by stakeholders to address the nation’s debt burden, saying the payment of N610.2 billion to service domestic debts in the first quarter of 2019 was unacceptable. Few days ago, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that Nigeria used N610.2 billion to service its local debts. But

Image
11-July-2017

NSE Lifts Trading Suspension on Sovereign Trust Insurance Shares

By Modupe Gbadeyanka The trading suspension earlier placed on the shares of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has now been lifted, Business Post has learnt. The lifting of the suspension was confirmed on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 through a statement issued by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (SEC). In the statement signed by Mr Godstime Iwenekhai, the Acting Head in charge of Listings Regulation Department at the NSE, the stock market regulator explained that it removed the embargo after the insurance firm “submitted its audited accounts for the period ended 31 December 2016 on July 5, 2017.” Mr Iwenekhai said, “In view

Image
22-August-2018

International Breweries to Commission $250m Sagamu Plant August 28

By Dipo Olowookere Tuesday, August 28, 2018, has been fixed for the commissioning of a new factory constructed by one of the leading brewers in Nigeria, International Breweries Plc. The new plant, believed to have gulped $250 million, is situated at Km 3, Flowergate Industrial Scheme, Sagamu-Abeokuta Expressway, Ogun State. Expected next Tuesday to commission the factory, which is believed to be the biggest plant of the firm in West Africa, is President Muhammadu Buhari. Commenting ahead of the launch, Managing Director of International Breweries, Mrs Annabelle Degroot, stated that the plant will provide a great opportunity to engage qualified

Ad
Ad
Recent Stories
Image
04-March-2024

UK Announces £37.3m to Boost Livelihoods in Nigeria, Others

By Adedapo Adesanya The United Kingdom has announced new funding for the Mobile for Development Programme to help more people access mobile and digital technologies to find new opportunities and boost their livelihoods in Nigeria and other developing countries. UK’s Minister for Development and Africa, Mr Andrew Mitchell MP, during a speech at Mobile World Congress last week, announced that the UK is providing £37.3 million of new support for the Mobile for Development Programme. The new UK funding for innovative mobile phone technology will help change lives in developing countries around the world by harnessing AI technology to provide

Image
04-March-2024

Newly-Listed Transcorp Power Targets N500bn Revenue by 2031

By Adedapo Adesanya The latest company to join the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Transcorp Power Plc, has announced a revenue target of N500 billion by 2031, tapping opportunities in the capital market and sustainable energy. This was disclosed by the Managing Director of the firm, Mr Peter Ikenga, during the Facts Behind the Listing held at bourse on Monday. The firm, owned by businessman and Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr Tony Elumelu, listed its stocks on the Main Board of the nation’s flagship exchange by introduction. It listed 7,500,000,000 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each at N240.00 per share. Speaking

Image
04-March-2024

DisCos Must Promptly Respond to Customers’ Complaints—FCCPC

By Aduragbemi Omiyale Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in the country have been charged to respond to customers’ complaints quickly for better service delivery. This task was given to the energy firms by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), which said the companies must design a quick response mechanism to address issues from their customers. Speaking last Saturday at a four-day one-stop-shop for addressing billing, metering, transformer, connection, disconnection, customer service and other electricity consumer issues in Ikeja Electric coverage areas, the acting executive chairman of FCCPC, Mr Adamu Abdullahi, said the highest number of complaints received by the

Image
04-March-2024

Omokungbe Wants Implementation of Initiatives on Women’s Entrepreneurship

By Aduragbemi Omiyale A former Rector of Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech), Lagos, Mr Obafemi Omokungbe, has called for the implementation of programmes and initiatives designed to promote women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. Speaking at the just-concluded 10th anniversary of the African Women Foundation for Nation Building (WINBAFRICA) in Lagos, Mr Omokungbe, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), also appealed to African countries to renew their commitment to women’s empowerment, saying it is a crucial step towards nation-building. According to him, the journey toward women’s empowerment in Africa involves a comprehensive approach that spans various sectors, including education,

Image
04-March-2024

NGX Group Declares 75 Kobo Final Dividend Amid 57.4% Surge in FY’23 Earnings

By Aduragbemi Omiyale A final dividend of N1.5 billion, amounting to 75 Kobo per share has been declared by the board of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc for the 2023 financial year. This brings to N1 the total dividend to be paid by the company after paying 25 Kobo (N495.5 million) as interim dividend at mid-year. In its audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023, the NGX Group said its gross earnings increased by 57.4 per cent to N11.8 billion in FY 2023 from N7.5 billion in FY 2022 because its performances in core revenue and

Image
04-March-2024

Red Line Rail: Labour Party Demands Value for Money

By Aduragbemi Omiyale The Lagos State chapter of the Labour Party has tasked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure the recently commissioned Red Line Rail does not turn out to be another failure due to poor maintenance culture. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mrs Olubunmi Odesanya, the opposition party appealed to the state government to ensure its sustainability. While greeting residents of the metropolis on the project, which was commissioned last Tuesday by President Bola Tinubu, the Labour Party faulted the timing of its completion, saying the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ought to have put the initiative in

Image
04-March-2024

Access Bank to Give 700,000 MSMEs Access to N50bn Via YouThrive

By Modupe Gbadeyanka An initiative known as YouThrive designed to give entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access to a N50 billion credit facility has been introduced by Access Bank Plc. The lender disclosed at a media briefing in Lagos that about 700,000 MSMEs would benefit from this programme, which is open to business owners between the ages of 21 and 40 years. YouThrive is a transformative initiative designed by Access Bank to empower, uplift, and accelerate the next generation of MSMEs. According to the Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr Victor Etuokwu, who addressed journalists

Image
04-March-2024

Peter Obi Laments Nigeria’s Dependence on War-Torn Ukraine for Food

By Adedapo Adesanya The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 polls, Mr Peter Obi, has lamented Nigeria’s dependence on Ukraine, a country ravaged by war, for food aid. Mr Obi, in a statement on Monday, expressed dissatisfaction at the current economic realities and recounted times when the Nigerian economy was faring better than that of Ukraine in 2015. “Ukraine cultivates over 60 per cent of its arable land, whereas Nigeria has over 60 per cent uncultivated arable land. “Despite the conflict, Ukraine feeds itself, and exports agricultural products worth over $25 billion which is about the same

Image
04-March-2024

AfDb Injects $134m Into Rice, Maize, Cassava, Soybean Production in Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya The African Development Bank (AfDB) is supporting Nigeria in the cultivation of rice, maize, cassava and soybean to boost food production with the provision of $134 million to achieve this. The president of the multilateral lender, Mr Akinwunmi Adesina, said on Saturday after visiting the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) at Bayero University, Kano, that the bank would support Nigeria to cultivate 300,000 hectares each of rice and maize, 150,000 hectares of cassava and 50,000 hectares of soybeans during the 2024 planting season. The CDA is a World Bank-supported centre established to serve as a regional training

Image
04-March-2024

Salesforce Unveils Conversational AI Assistant Einstein Copilot

By Modupe Gbadeyanka A new customisable, conversational, and generative AI assistant for CRM, Einstein Copilot, has been launched by Salesforce. The system was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and it will use adequate company data to generate useful responses. The Einstein Copilot enables Salesforce customers to generate responses using their private and trusted data, while maintaining strict data governance and without requiring expensive AI model training. As a result, Einstein Copilot can answer questions, summarise content, create new content, interpret complex conversations, and dynamically automate tasks on behalf of a user, all from a single, consistent