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African Development Bank approves $80 million loan for Ekiti Knowledge Zone Development

by Akeem Adeyemi
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji

African Development Bank approves $80 million loan for Ekiti Knowledge Zone Development

Ekiti State is set to become West Africa’s premier tech hub with the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) approval of an $80 million loan for the Ekiti State Knowledge Zone (EKZ).

This loan approval marks a pivotal moment, reaffirming the foresight of the State’s Development Plan, demonstrating the benefits of continuity in governance and serving as a major step in executing the job creation agenda of both the State and Federal Government.

Commenting on the approval, The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, stated, “This historic moment for Ekiti State is a testament to our commitment to fostering innovation, job creation, and sustainable economic growth. EKZ is not just a project; it’s a commitment to a better future for our State and Nigeria.

“We thank the AfDB, but also especially thank Mr President, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; the Federal Executive Council, the Ministry of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, and all other stakeholders for their unwavering support during the approval process.”

The Commissioner of Finance for Ekiti State, Mr Akintunde Oyebode, highlighted the impact EKZ will have on Ekiti State’s economic landscape, stating, “This funding will play a crucial role in realising our vision for EKZ—a world-class hub attracting premier local and international companies, unlocking value for investors and businesses. EKZ is not just about buildings; it’s about building communities, and generating thousands of jobs, including opportunities for women and youth, while fuelling the State’s progress.

EKZ’s tagline, ‘Where Innovation Thrives,’ isn’t just a mantra—it’s a pledge to investors and businesses, local and international alike. Come to Ekiti and you will thrive. We’re working hard to improve key indicators crucial to your success, spanning transportation networks, healthcare, concessions, and streamlined bureaucratic processes.”

“We are building a legacy of excellence with EKZ,” declared the Director-General of Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA), Mrs. Lolade Oke-Olutola. “Join us in transforming this fountain of knowledge into a fountain of innovation.”

The immediate focus is to meet the conditions to draw down on the approved funds, ensuring that EKZ is completed within the shortest possible time while adhering to globally benchmarked standards. With a groundbreaking planned for 2024, the Ekiti State Knowledge Zone is set to be built on a sprawling 209 hectares of land strategically located close to the newly constructed airport and a robust pool of highly skilled talent. With the support of key stakeholders, the State is confident that EKZ will not only be a beacon of innovation but also a testament to the power of collaboration in driving economic growth and prosperity.

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