The African Development Bank (AFDB) is collaborating with the Sokoto State Government to establish an agro-industrial park for the North West geo-political zone.
The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adeshina, who stated this during a visit to the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, says the bank is interested in partnering with Sokoto State in particular and the North West regions in general because of its huge potentials in agriculture, solid minerals and energy.
As a starting point to the realization of the overall objective of the project, cotton production would be given priority attention in order to resuscitate the ailing textile industries in the region.
He urged Tambuwal to mobilize governments of neighboring states to key into the idea of the agro-industrial zone, saying it will better serve the interest of the nation if the governments enter into partnership with AfDB collectively.
The spokesman to the Governor of Sokoto State, Malam Imam, quoted Adeshina saying that AfDB would also facilitate the state government’s efforts to engage with the private sector to mobilize resources for a number of projects in sectors like medical tourism, healthcare delivery, renewable energy, agriculture and especially harnessing the state’s potential in the manufacture of fertiliser.
“We hope to partner with the Sokoto State government to develop drugs and other solutions to tackle the disturbing problem of malnutrition and stunting growth in children. This is critical because malnourished or stunted children would be mentally or intellectually challenged and cannot contribute to the building of a new African society.”
Adeshina urged Tambuwal to sensitize and mobilize Sokoto state youths to key into the bank’s new initiative “Youth in Agriculture,” under which about 1,000 youths in each state of the federation would be supported to take to agriculture and make it a life-long endeavor.
“It is heartening that you have not departed from inclusive and consensus building approach which made your tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives worthy of emulation by leaders and aspiring leaders,” he added.
Tambuwal commended Adeshina for his zeal and contributions to the development of Nigeria and Africa.
He assured the bank of the State Government’s commitment to the realization of the partnership, and revealed that the state government was ready to host AfDB’s delegation which will visit Sokoto state later in the year to concretise the agreements reached.