The IsDB aims to enhance its cooperation with Africa’s largest economy, with President and Chairman Dr Muhammad Al Jasser’s working visit to Nigeria resulting in the launch of some initiatives that support the country’s agricultural and health sectors.
The multilateral bank, along with its partners, jointly launched the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) — new economic zones located in rural areas and fully supported by power, water, roads, digital and logistical infrastructure, that will house food and agribusiness companies.
Phase 1 of the launch of the US$520 million SAPZ program has kick-started in eight states across Nigeria. The IsDB and the International Fund for Agricultural Development are jointly contributing US$310 million, the African Development Bank US$210 million and the Nigerian government US$18.05 million.
The SAPZ initiative is expected to address food insecurity in the country, create well-paying agro-industrial jobs and opportunities, and radically improve export earnings from agriculture, as noted by Vice-President Prof Yemi Osinbanjo.
“With the disruption of supplies arising from the war, Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food imports from Russia and Ukraine, especially for wheat, maize and soybeans. Urgent actions are needed to prevent a food crisis in Africa,” Dr Muhammad said.
Meanwhile, the IsDB president met with Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Dr Zainab Shamsuna to sign a Murabahah agreement that will facilitate the construction of a 300-bed specialized hospital in Kaduna State.
Dr Muhammad and Prof Osinbajo also met in Abuja to discuss other ways to enhance bilateral ties between the IsDB and Nigeria