Special agro-in\dustrial project will create jobs for 200,000 persons in Anambra – AFDB

Dr Chuma Ezedinma, Agricultural Economist at African Development Bank (AFDB), says the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone programme (SAPZ), will create jobs for no fewer than 200,000 residents in Anambra.

Ezedinma spoke with newsmen on the sidelines of a meeting tagged “Preparation Mission for the Development of the second phase of SPAZ programme” on Saturday in Anambra.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting on the SPAZ-2 programme had officials from the Federal Ministries of Finance, Agriculture and Food Safety, AFDB, and the Anambra State Government.

According to him, AFDB is very much interested in what is happening in the state because Anambra’s presentation on the SPAZ project is the best seen so far, and shows the state’s readiness to run.

“From what we have seen, about 450 hectres of land will be dedicated to the industrial site.

“We are looking at approximately 5,000 farm families per zone. Multiply it by three zones, you have 15,000 farm families in the state.

“If you also add other secondary jobs that will be created in the park itself, you will see that we are creating real massive employment for more than 200,000 people over the next five years.

“The state government had already committed resources to put infrastructure in place and there is also a private sector interest to deliver this programme within a very short time,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Louis Enaberue from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, commended Anambra State Government for its preparedness for the phase two of the SAPZ programme.

“What we saw in Anambra’s presentation shows they are ready for the phase two of SPAZ and I hope and pray they meet the grade.

“The state government is expected to pay 50 per cent counterpart fund, provide the land and other infrastructure for the project, and they are already working towards achieving them,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Forster Ihejiofor, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, said that the state’s Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, and the Ministry of Industry were working tirelessly to ensure that the SPAZ project was ready to go in Anambra.

“Clearly, we are ready because this project will transform agriculture in the state as it will increase farmers’ incomes, foster job creation and enhance food security in the state and country at large,” Ihejiofor said.

NAN reports that the delegation visited the three proposed sites for the SPAZ-2 project in Ayamelum, Ogboji in Orumba South and Ufuma in Orumba North Local Government Areas of the state.

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