The inauguration of the Special Agro Processing Zone (SAPZ) in the Federal Capital Territory, has brought to the fore its huge potentials as one of the nation’s most-important growth zones from which economic prosperity could spread to the rest of the country, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has said.

Slecial adviser on Media to the FCT Minister of State Austine Elemue quoted the minister to have given the indication shortly after the official inauguration of the Special Agro Processing Zones by President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Aliyu, also said that the FCT Administration will consciously work with the private sector entities to create jobs, and to execute programmes and projects that would contribute to the presidential target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by the end of May 2029.

According to her; “The FCT Administration has demonstrated seriousness by making the largest commitment of complementary counterpart investment among the states in the first phase of the SAPZ and we are set for implementation.”

She, however, commended the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), for the partnership to promote Nigeria’s agricultural development.

The minister specifically noted the interest of IsDB in Nigeria’s livestock sub-sector and in the choice of the FCT for its support in the first phase.

Speaking on the choice of livestock sub-sector for SAPZ development in the territory, Aliyu said it was intended to help end the incessant farmer-herder clashes, provide the opportunity for sedentarising nomadic pastoralists, enhance sub-sector productivity, promote mutual co-existence in an interdependent manner, and induce the rapid growth of agribusinesses and consequent socio-economic development.

Aliyu further said; “our project design is based on three key pillars. First, we are providing the needed infrastructure and the enabling environment for key players in the sub-sector to establish presence as anchor investors. 

“Secondly, we are providing the know-how and material support to small holder crop farmers and pastoralists to improve the availability and quality of inputs required by the anchor investors. 

“Thirdly, we are providing the logistics and business development support to create linkages between the hub and the market, ensure cross-sector interactions in the territory’s economy, and birth the emergence of our SAPZ as a key driver of innovative and sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria”.

She assured the would-be investors of favourable business environment in Paikon-Kore, stressing that it is about 30km to the Abuja international airport, about 9km to a national Trunk A highway, close to 176 Battalion of the Brigade of Guards, and proximate to the evolving north-south standard gauge railway networks.

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