36 states to get $4 billion from AFDB ― Fayemi

AfDB to establish Special Agro-Promising Zones (SAPZs) in all the states: The African Development Bank, AfDB, has concluded arrangements to establish Special Agro-Promising Zones (SAPZs) in all the 36 of the country, Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, reveals. Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting of the governors in Abuja yesterday night, Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF and governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, disclosed that the action is aimed at bringing together the farming and processing community.

According to Fayemi, with the action, the farmers have the potential of attracting about $1 billion from the AfDB and up to $4 billion with the entry of private sector investors. Fayemi said: “We the members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). at the meeting held today at the NGF Secretariat Abuja, deliberated on several issues and resolved as follows: “The Forum was briefed by the deputy chairman H.E Aminu Waziri Tambuwal Governor of Sokoto State on the meeting between the Forum and the African Development Bank, the officials came in the company of existing and potential Chinese investors in Nigeria.

The meeting “as part of a series of high-level engagements driven by the AfDB to promote the establishment of Special Agro-Promsing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria. “These SAPZs, which will bring together the farming and processing community have the potential of attracting about $1 billion from the AfDB and up to $4 billion with the entry of private sector investors. “Following an update from the NGF Secretariat on Basic Health Care Fund (BHCF), State Health Insurance Agency and the fact that Nigeria has been polio-free for three years and on the verge of being certified polio free, members resolved to continue to support the actualization of universal health coverage in the country.

“The Forum received a presentation on the forthcoming State of the States Conference scheduled to hold from 26 – 27 November 2019, from Scott Sheldon the Managing Director of CWC. Governors pledged to work with the team from CWC to deliver on the objectives of the conference. “The Forum received a presentation on Polio eradication from Rotary International Nigeria PolioPlus Committee, led by the Chairman Dr Tunji Funsho. The Governors expressed willingness to prioritize routine immunization coverage in the States which will ensure that Nigeria is declared polio free and ensure sustainability moving forward.”

Recall that the 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF had on Wednesday night entered into a marathon meeting to brainstorm on some very salient and germane issues. On the agenda of the meeting, which started at 8.30 at its Secretariat, Lake Chad, Maitama, Abuja, has many items on the agenda for discourse, with the issue of power supply very paramount with briefing by Stakeholders of the Transmission Company of Nigeria on Transmission Expansion Plan and its potential impact in improving power supply in States topping the agenda.

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria is also expected to brief the governors on the level of Collaboration with states on asset Disposal, just as Rotary International/ PolioPlus Committee would brief on Sustaining progress made in polio eradication and managing Post-Declaration Relapse.

Also on the agenda is Update on Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Guidelines on Local Government Funds. It would be recalled that NFIU had issued a guideline, which prevents state governments from making withdrawals from local governments’ funds. The new guideline mandates financial institutions to distribute funds accrual to local governments among the local government councils of that state and not for the other purposes, just as new financial guidelines limit cash transactions in the accounts of local governments to a daily maximum of N500, 000.

The statement had read that, ”with effect from June 1, any bank that allows any transaction from any local government account without monies first reaching a particular local government account will be sanctioned 100 per cent, locally and internationally. “In addition, a provision is also made to the effect that there shall be no cash withdrawal from any local government account for a cumulative amount exceeding N500,000 per day.”

Those in attendance were the chairman of NGF and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, deputy chairman and governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal. Others include: Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Umaru Fintri (Adamawa), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), and Dairu Ishiaku (Taraba). Others were: Abubakar Badaru, (Jigawa), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Aminu Masari (Katsina); Bala Mohammed of Bauchi; Bello Matawalle (Zamfara); Gboyega Oyetola of Osun; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Babagana Umara of Borno State and Simon Lalong of Plateau State.

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