The European Commission has signed a multi-million euro agreement that aims to help Nigeria tackle development challenges in the areas of governance, trade and peace.
The agreement, signed in Brussels by European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Karel De Gucht, and by Nigeria’s Executive Secretary of the National Planning Commission, Professor Sylvester Monye, is an ambitious step forward in cooperation and is a direct result of the Nigeria-EU political dialogue.
It reinforces cooperation in three strategic areas: peace and security; governance and human rights; trade and regional integration with € 677 million for the period 2009 – 2013 financed through the European Development Fund.
The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Karel De Gucht said:
“This agreement shows that Europe stands by Nigeria and its people in the development challenges it faces. I’m delighted that a substantial amount of this financing will go to support conflict resolution and the peace process in the Niger Delta which has been ravaged by years of unrest. We are fully committed to supporting the Government of Nigeria in the process of restoring peace and bringing development to the region.”
The agreement known as the “Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme” (CSP/NIP) of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) will provide a total of € 677 million between now and 2013 for:
The programmable funds will be used for the following purposes:
· peace and security: €166 million (25% of the total amount) will be invested, inter alia, in the fight against organised crime, improved migration management and prevention of human trafficking, support for the peace process and conflict prevention in the Niger Delta and support for international mandates on conflict prevention;
· governance and human rights: €297 million (44%) will be used, inter alia, to support the judiciary and prison reform, support anti-corruption bodies, the electoral cycle for 2011-15, federal governance reforms, local governance reforms in focal states, enhanced effectiveness of non-state actors and of mass media communications;
· trade, regional integration and energy: €105 million (16%) will be used, inter alia, to support trade and regional integration, the EPA development programme and improvement of competitiveness in the private sector, and energy security;
· non-focal sectors: €99 million (15%) will be divided among three main sectors: environmental protection and climate change, health and immunisation, cultural and scientific and technical cooperation; support is also planned, inter alia, for the national authorising office, studies and training.