September 15, 2008


The European Union (EU) is to commit about N100 billion for execution of developmental projects aimed at building structures that could effectively tackle poverty, assist Nigeria to attain the Millennium Development Goals and also strengthen democratisation between 2010 and 2015. The union had spent about N82 billion between 2002-2007 in the execution of projects in the areas of water supply, state reform and anti corruption, support to democratic process and implementation of Micro-Projects in nine states of the Niger Delta. Minister of National Planning, Senator Sanuai Daggash, who disclosed this when he received European Commissioners responsible for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr. Louis Michel and his Energy Counterpart, Mr. Andris Piebalgs who were on a visit to Nigeria said that out of the amount, only 50 per cent has been utilised while the remaining part might be released between now and December 2008. He stressed that EU is the greatest support of grant in Nigeria, adding that the country has an agenda to fight poverty as well as attain a double-digit growth and would adopt a pragmatic approach to actualise the dream. In his address the Head of Delegation Amb. Robert van der Meulen said that the partnership between Nigeria and European Commission, which dates back to 1976, is aimed at assisting the country's economic, political and social development, with an increasing focus on good governance. He observed that a lot has been achieved over the years ranging from EU support to Nigeria's 2006 national population and housing census, micro economic projects in the Niger Delta and the ongoing polio eradication actions. Meulen stressed that the partnership between EU and Nigeria is increasingly becoming one of crucial strategic importance for both sides, adding that the commission is working to develop an enduring partnership with Nigeria, built on mutual trust and respect and exemplified through regular and high level political and economic contacts. The ambassador said that as the 2002-2007 country support strategy agreed between EC and Nigeria comes to an end, a new strategy would soon be put in place with renewed expectation for the enhancement of mutual cooperation for both sides. Guardian.

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