By Philip Daniel Yatai
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has expressed optimism that the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) programme would revitalise and transform the agricultural sector in the territory, particularly livestock.
Mr Lawan Geidam, Mandate Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, FCTA, stated this at the opening of a 5-day workshop for members of the Programme Implementation Committee in Abuja on Saturday.
According to him, the programme will not only generate significant revenue for the FCT but also create employment opportunities and infrastructural development in host communities.
Geidam affirmed the commitment of the FCT Administration to support the implementation of the programme to achieve the desired outcome.
He urged the committee members to work in ensuring that the objectives of the programme were achieved.
Also, an agricultural consultant, Dr Adesola Oyebanji, while providing an overview of the programme, said that the workshop was designed to equip the committee members with project management skills.
This, according to him, will enable them to overcome both anticipated and unforeseen challenges.
Oyebanji called on the FCT Administration to address all the challenges at the proposed Paikon Kore Grazing Reserve, which could become the hub of livestock production, processing, and marketing in the FCT.
According to him, resolving the issues promptly will facilitate the smooth commencement of the programme.
Earlier, the Programme Coordinator in FCT, Hajiya Umma Abubakar, thanked the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for supporting the programme.
She assured the banks of the Programme Implementation Committee preparedness to transform the livestock sector in the federal capital.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first phase of the programme being supported by AfDB would be implemented in Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun Oyo and the FCT.
The programme seeks to support inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development in Nigeria.
The four components of the programme aim to support the development of enabling climate adaptive infrastructure for agro-industrial hubs, and improve agricultural productivity and enterprise development to enhance agricultural value chain as well as job creation.
Others are to support agro-industrial zone policy and institutional development, and programme coordination and management.
The programme is expected to be implemented between 2022 and 2026. (NAN)
Edited by Rabiu Sani-Ali