Ekiti Government in Nigeria has identified infrastructure, agricultural-processing zones, air cargo facilities and a knowledge hub as critical areas that need support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help transform the state.
The bank said on its website accessed by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the request for the support was made by a Nigerian delegation led by Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi, at a meeting chaired by the bank’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
“Ekiti presents a lot of opportunities for investment and our agenda revolves around infrastructure development and agribusiness in order to create jobs and improve the livelihood of our people.
“We see a lot of synergies in what we are doing and the bank’s high 5 agenda,” Fayemi said.
NAN reports that agriculture provides income and employment for up to 75 per cent of residents of Ekiti, located in Southwest of Nigeria with a population of 2.3 million people.
It is rich in untapped natural mineral resources including casserole, columbite and tantalite.
Adesina pledged the bank’s commitment to support Nigeria.
“We, as a bank, stand solidly behind any initiative that aims to create jobs and improve the life of the people.
“You need to use your comparative advantage. If we believe in our youth, then we need to invest in them,” Adesina said.
He urged Nigerian government to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area deal, which he said, could become an industrial powerhouse and take advantage of the benefits of the 3.3 trillion dollar market.
“Nigeria can put itself in a striking position by taking advantage of this huge market.
“Since 1971, the bank invested about 52 million dollars in Ekiti in the areas of social and human capital development, agriculture and multi-sectoral development, ” Adesina said.