Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Agro-industrial zones: Buhari welcomes provision of $538m to Nigeria by ADB, others

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the provision of 538.05 million Dollars for the first phase of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, SAPZ, for Nigeria programme.

The facility was provided by the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in a statement said the president made his feelings known in his goodwill message to the Feed Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government on Wednesday in Dakar, Senegal.

The Nigerian leader called on his counterparts to embrace innovative policies that ensure the continent’s citizens eat what they produce as well as export the surplus.

He also urged the African leaders to demonstrate political will and re-commit themselves to transformation of agriculture in the continent.

While noting the rising inflation globally and the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that have driven up food prices, especially for basic staples such as wheat and maize, Buhari listed measures that African leaders must take to change the status quo.

The president said: ‘Feeding Africa is an imperative. We must ensure that we feed ourselves today, tomorrow and well into the future.

”The starting point is to raise agricultural productivity. This requires the access of farmers to quality farm inputs, especially improved seeds, and fertilisers and mechanisation.

‘‘To succeed, we must strongly support farmers.”

He declared further that: “There is no doubt that we need to subsidise our farmers, but we must do so in ways that are transparent, remove rent seeking behaviour and effectively deliver support to farmers.

‘‘The share of budget allocation to agriculture should be increased across Africa, especially for investments in critical public goods, such as research and development, infrastructure, especially roads, irrigation and energy.

‘‘As leaders, let us decisively ensure that we meet the 10% allocation of our budgets to agriculture as agreed in the Malabo Declaration of the African Heads of State and Government.”

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