(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The Kogi State Government on Tuesday announced that it had obtained a $100 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to fund some Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) projects in the state.
This was disclosed by the Kogi State Commissioner for Finance and Budget Planning, Mr Asiru Idris, in Lokoja, while flagging off a stakeholders meeting on environmental and social impact assessment of the proposed SAPZ and associated developments.
According to Idris, the state was happy to be a beneficiary of the project which, he said, has the potential to bridge the existing gap between production and need, employment, transportation and power supply, adding that 280 hectares of land would be acquired for the project across five local government areas of the state.
The LGAs to host the project are Kabba/Bunu, Okehi, Adavi, Ijumu and Lokoja. The choice of these local government areas would benefit farmers, processors, aggregators and distributors, who would be operating almost within the same vicinity, which will reduce transaction costs and allow for shared business development services for increased productivity and competitiveness.
SAPZ is an integrated development initiative designed to concentrate on agro-processing activities within areas of high agricultural potential. The aim is to boost productivity, integrate production, processing and marketing of selected commodities.
It is expected to be executed and completed over a period of three and half years.
PROJECTED IMPACT: The project will create employment for approximately two million people in the state and by extension, curb poverty, reduce youth restiveness and open doors for private investors, and attract infrastructure like water, road, energy, ICT and others to the host communities.