Ogun state adjudge as best for Agricultural processing zone

Ayonitemi Kareem in Abeokuta

Ogun State State has been described as the most suitable place for the African Development Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development (AFDB/IFAD) Special Agricultural-Processing Zone (SAPZ) programme.

Penpushing reports that the team led by Dr. Chuma Ezedinma made this known when the bodies were received by the Governor Dapo Abiodun  on Wednesday in his office in Abeokuta, the State Capital.

The team from the African Development Bank (AFDB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) came on a Pre-appraisal Mission for development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone.

The Country Director, International Fund for Agricultural  Development(IFAD), Dr. Patrick Habamenshi, in his remarks noted that Nigeria as a country, has opportunity of achieving greatness through agriculture.

Penpushing further reports that, Habamensh while stressing that the development of the sector is paramount to the organisation, urged the Governor to support the team with the necessary logistics that may be required towards the successful implementation of the project.

The Governor addressing the team,  declared that Ogun state has potentials in the area of good road networks, power plant, rail, deep sea-port, gas pipeline, dams among others factors that promote industrialization.

Penpushing also reports that,he said with its current level of infrastructure, coupled with the concentration of agro-investors and nearness to raw materials and large market, Ogun state is naturally a  Special Agricultural-Processing Zone (SAPZ) location and suitable for  Special Agricultural-Processing Zone (SAPZ)  innovation and case study.

“There is a level of coordination, aggregation and agro-transformation currently going on in the state, as the largest hub for both conventional industries and Agro Industries, which are located near Lagos, one of the largest markets in Africa’.

“The improved coordination of aggregation, processing and access to large markets that will accompany the much desired SAPZ, will transform lives, commerce and well-being of people in Ogun State, Nigeria, Africa and the World at large”, he said.

The Governor added with the earmarking of 20,000 hectares of land including advance level brown field activities, the state has taken the AfDB SAPZ initiative to a higher level, emphasising that the commencement of the Cargo Airport, whose first phase would be delivered in 2022, would complement export opportunities and nationwide supplies.

Penpushing reports that, Abiodun said, the state was happy to be chosen as one of the benefitting states in the country, saying the project was in line with the administration’s economic agenda.

“I note with great pleasure, our agenda to pursue international collaborations, which is leading us, with hopes from the AfDB SAPZ initiative, just like our collaboration with IITA which has helped us deliver on key Agricultural outputs, with extraordinary performances”, he stated.

The Governor expressed delight at the progress made by the state in the Federal Government of Nigeria/International Fund for Agricultural Development’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), whereby 13,000 people had been linked to credit market and jobs as well as benefits of infrastructure, markets, roads, land clearing and others.

“Since inception of this administration in May 2019, our agricultural agenda has been bold, daring, ambitious and exemplary. From registration of over 80,000 people (mostly youths) for Agricultural value chain opportunities, to linkage of over 15,000 people to credit, input and guaranteed market and productivity in the FGN/CBN Ogun Anchor Borrowers Programme and other programmes, despite a restrictive COVID-19 year, and a host of others.

“The gathering of global agricultural authorities and experts, as part of our administration’s bid for the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) Project, is an indication of our government’s continuous effort to seek partnership and collaboration, in its resolve to support all levels of agricultural activities to achieve food security”, Abiodun pointed out.

Penpushing reports that, Abiodun further reiterated that the aim of his government was also to create jobs and link primary producers and youths to the industrial process, and promote agricultural Industrialization, expressing the hope that the private sector participants would play a leading role in the SAPZ implementation, which would  align with current reforms in the state.

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