The African Development Bank (AfDB) will be financing road project and upgrade of airport in Ekiti State. AfDB will also provide technical support for the development of a ‘smart city‘, a government project within the State.
AfDB showed interest in the infrastructure projects after the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi presented a proposal seeking the support of AfDB to complete the projects, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Yinka Oyebode disclosed.
Although the amount benchmark for the project was not disclosed, Oyebode in a statement, said the bank has pledged support to finance the upgrades and the agriculture processing zone project.
The smart city, which is known as the Ekiti Knowledge zone was also among the projects that compelled AfDB to express its readiness for technical and financial support, as the smart city was initiated to promote knowledge economy within the State.
Also, AfDB is supporting the projects due to the prospects of creating job opportunities for youths in Ekiti State, which could be applied as measures to curb kidnapping and banditry in the country, AfDB’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said during the meeting with Governor Fayemi.
While explaining his reason for approaching AfDB with the projects, Fayemi said infrastructure and industrial development are crucial to the growth of Ekiti State’s economy and these projects are in alignment with AfDB’s priorities.
“These are our local priorities. If you can support us, it will enable us to do some other things through our own limited resources.
“We have aligned our priorities to the AfDB’s priorities which apply to us, such as lighting up Africa; Feeding Africa; Industrialise Africa etc. All these apply to us as our plan is to make Ekiti a destination of choice for her citizens and all those who will like to live, work and invest in the state.
“To achieve this, we need to invest heavily in infrastructure. We want to fix the roads, have our small cargo airport that will aid agriculture and open our landlocked state to domestic and international markets and ultimately create jobs that our state urgently needs for its vibrant and educated youth population.” – Fayemi