Special Agro-processing Zones to net $4bn for Nigeria — NGF

 

When established, Special Agro-processing Zones (SAPZs) have the capacity to attract about $4billion worth of investments to the country, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has assured.

Speaking after a meeting of the forum in Abuja, its chairman and Governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi, said the 36 states of the federation can benefit from the initiative expected to unite the farming and the processing community.

Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, he said: “The Forum was briefed by its Deputy Chairman, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state on the meeting between the Forum and the AfDB. The officials came in company of existing and potential Chinese investors in Nigeria.

“The meeting was part of a series of high-level engagements driven by the (African Development Bank) AfDB to promote the establishment of SAPZs in Nigeria.

“This SAPZs which will bring together the farming and the processing community have the potential of attracting about one billion dollars from the AfDB and up to 4 billion dollars with the entry of private sector investors.”

Fayemi revealed that the governors and the AfDB have agreed that a tasks desk for the initiative would be domiciled at NGF Secretariat to coordinate interest expressed from various states.

He added: “The meeting was part of a series of high-level engagements driven by the AfDB to promote the establishment of SAPZs in Nigeria.

“This SAPZs which will bring together the farming and the processing community have the potential of attracting about one billion dollars from the AfDB and up to 4 billion dollars with the entry of private sector investors.”

Mr Fayemi said that the governors already agreed with AfDB that a tasks desk for the initiative would be at NGF Secretariat to coordinate interest expressed from various states.

Also speaking on the issue of health, the Ekiti Governor said that the forum agreed to continue to support the actualisation of universal health coverage in Nigeria.

The resolution came after the forum considered the update from the NGF Secretariat on Basic Health Care Fund (BHCF), State Health Insurance Agency and the fact that Nigeria had been polio-free for three years and on the verge of being certified polio free.

The chairman said the forum was ready to prioritize routine immunization coverage in the States to ensure that Nigeria is declared polio free and ensure sustainability.

He noted that the governors received a presentation on polio eradication from Rotary International Nigeria PolioPlus Committee, led by its Chairman, Tunji Funsho, saying, “Rotary have been active in the dedication of polio for a considerable length of time.

“The briefing is about the work that have been done and the need to sustain progress and keeping our state forces on eradication of wide polio virus intact.”

On the contentious Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) directive on local government funds, the NGF boss said the governors were exploring available means to settle the matter.

He stated: “NFIU is a matter that is on our agenda consistently, but as you may be aware we are also in court.

“We are exploring all other initiatives in order to ensure that we come to a clear conclusion on NFIU matter.”

Fayemi disclosed that the forum also

received a presentation on the forthcoming “State of the States Conference” (CWC) scheduled to hold from November 26 to 27, from Scott Sheldon, the Managing Director of CWC.

While noting the governors pledge to work with the team from CWC to deliver on the objectives of the conference, he further said: “The forum also resolved to participate in UN General Assembly on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change; as well as the Tokyo international conference on Africa which will come up on Aug. 28 to Aug. 30 as well as Sept. 23 to Sept. 27 respectively.”

Among the governors in attendance were Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Umaru Fintri (Adamawa), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Godwin Obaseki (Edo).

Also in attendance were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Darius Ishiaku (Taraba), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Babagana Umara (Borno) and Cross River Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivira Esu.

Comments