Saturday, June 21, 2014 1:38 pm
Abuja – The European Union (EU) has signed a financial agreement with the Federal Government to give 512 million euros grant (N112 billion) to support Nigeria’s power supply and democracy, a statement said on Saturday.
The statement was issued in Abuja by Mr Salisu Haiba, the Head of the Information Unit of the National Planning Commission.
It said the Supervising Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, signed for the government, while the EU Commissioner for Development Cooperation, Mr Andres Piebalgs, signed for the union.
“The deal was sealed on June 20 in Nairobi, Kenya, at the signing ceremony of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programmes (NIP) between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the European Union.
“This was also in line with the just ended 99th session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Council (ACP) of Ministers and 39th Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Council-European Union (ACP-EU) Council of Ministers meetings.
“The support which is spread over seven years beginning from this year covers three key development areas including health and resilience in Northern Nigeria, as well as governance and power supply,” the statement said.
It credited Piebalgs as saying that the grant would support programmes in agriculture and rural development in the north as well as electricity and governance in Nigeria.
It further quotes the envoy as saying that the union’s development support to Nigeria in 2013 was 100 million euros.
Piebalgs said there was a possibility of increasing the grant in future, adding: “this is because if it is well used it makes a great difference both to Nigeria and to us in Europe.
“More prosperity among nations definitely leads to more trade and less problems and leads to world peace. So indirectly Europe also benefits.”
Yuguda explained that the 11th EDF programmes and projects were directed at addressing some of the challenges that Nigeria was facing at this stage of consolidating its status as a middle income country.
He said that the programmes would also help the nation to achieve its expressed developmental goals.