By Bashir Rabe Mani
Sokoto – The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it will partner with the Sokoto State Government to establish an agro-industrial park for the North West geo-political zone, the President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said.
This is contained in a statement signed on Tuesday in Sokoto on Tuesday by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam.
Adesina was quoted to have made the pledge when he visited Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
He said the bank was interested in partnering with Sokoto State in particular and the North West states in general.
”As a starting point to the realisation 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.
”This is because of the huge potentials in agriculture, solid minerals and energy,” he said.
Adesina urged Tambuwal to mobilise governments of neighbouring states to key into the idea of the agro-industrial zone.
According to him, it will better serve the interest of the nation if the state governments enter into partnership with AfDB collectively.
The president of the bank further said that the AfDB would also facilitate the state government’s efforts to engage with the private sector to mobilise resources for a number of projects in some sectors.
The sectors include medical tourism, healthcare delivery, renewable energy, agriculture and especially, harnessing the states’ potential in the manufacture of fertiliser.
”We hope to partner with the Sokoto government to develop drugs and other solutions to tackle the disturbing problem of malnutrition and stunting growth in children,” Adesina added.
Adesina urged Tambuwal to sensitise and mobilise Sokoto youths to key into the bank’s new initiative “Youth in Agriculture.”
He said that under the initiative, about 1,000 youths in each state of the federation would be supported to take to agriculture and make it a life-long endeavour.
The bank chief commended Tambuwal for his exemplary leadership and people-oriented approach to governance, saying that this has endeared the governor to people across the country and beyond.
“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.
In his remarks, Tambuwal commended Adesina 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.
Tambuwal further revealed that the state government was ready to host AfDB’s delegation which will visit Sokoto later in the year to formalise the agreements reached.