A team of European Commission (EC) and federal government officials have visited Abia State to discuss the implementation of a new Micro Projects Programme in nine states of the Niger Delta region (MPP9).
The micro projects programme, funded by the European Union (EU), is worth €45.5Million (about N9.2 billion).
The objective of the programme is to accelerate social and economic development and to assist in resolving the conflicts in the Niger Delta region.
Members of the team included Mr Ramon Maria Reigada Granda, the Head of Rural, Social, Health and Water and Sanitation Unit of the Delegation of the European Commission to Nigeria; and Mr. A.A Taiwo, the Deputy Head of the International Development unit of the National Planning Commission (NPC); others are Ms. Maryam Abdu, the Project Officer, Rural and Social Development (EC Delegation) and Mr Ibrahim Abubakar, the MPP9 Desk Officer.
The EC and government officials were scheduled to hold talks with the Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Mr. Theodore Orji, and other officials on various issues regarding the micro projects programme. Specifically, the officials will use the opportunity to discuss, among other things, a Memorandum of Understanding with states on the implementation modalities with Local Government Areas (LGAs).
The European Union (EU) approved the MPP9 programme in September 2008, to support the Niger Delta Communities – after the successful conclusion of the earlier MPP3 and MPP6 programmes. The aim of the project is to institute reforms, resulting in Local Government and State Authorities increasingly providing infrastructural services, income generating options, sustainable livelihoods development, gender equity and community empowerment, through offering models of transparency and participation.
The programme is financed by the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU) under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF).
It is managed by the National Planning Commission in partnership with the European Commission Delegation to Nigeria . The programme will focus on supporting the reform processes of government to ensure a transparent and accountable poverty reduction process and thus enhancing effective and efficient service delivery to the citizenry at the grassroots.