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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has reiterated its interest to partner with the Government of Enugu State with the aim of boosting investment and infrastructural development.
Speaking at the Government House during a meeting with the Governor, Peter Mbah, the Director-General of AfDB’s Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow, explained that Nigeria was strategic to AfDB’s programmes.
According to him, the first phase of the programmes, especially in the area of Special Agro-Processing Zone which is worth about $18 million has been approved.
He explained that the African bank was in the process of rolling out the second phase, which would integrate the needs of Enugu State Government.
Barrow further said the phase two of the programme would support the implementation of the SAPZ project, which the state had already undertaken, pointing to agro-allied crops such as cassava, maize, among other strategic staples where the state commands competitive advantage.
“What the SAPZ is doing is to help develop value chains for these crops, adding value to primary crops, help in reducing post-harvest losses, develop strong linkages with stakeholder farmers, training and creating financial support for the farmers’ activities, but but most importantly, driven by anchor private-sector investors”, he stated.
On his part, Skipper Group President, Jitender Sachdeva, said his company had already concluded plans with the governor to construct the green special agro-allied industry zone, which also falls within the AfDB’s programme.
He said the infrastructure, which the company was collaborating with AfDB to step up, would facilitate the ease of doing business in the state and ensure self-sustained green electricity for each factory operating in the state.
“We are here for you in terms of infrastructure, power, agro-processing zones, among other projects. With the kind of energy, positivity, simplicity I have seen in you, around you, I can assure you we are going to start immediately,” he submitted
In his reaction, Mbah expressed joy over the choice of Enugu State by the AfDB and other development partners for the second phase of the Special Agro-Processing Zone, saying his administration had already committed huge capital in the sector and would be ready to explore the opportunities AfDB presented to the state.
He assured the AfDB that Enugu had fulfilled all the pre-conditions for the project to take off.