Nigeria’s infrastructure development plans have received a boost from the European Union. This is after the EU signed a financial agreement for US$697bn with the Nigerian government.
The money, to be given over a period of seven years starting in 2014, will be utilised for power supply development, among other development programmes.
According to the Supervising Minister of National Planning Mr. Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, the deal was sealed in Nairobi, Kenya, at the signing ceremony of the recent 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programmes (NIP) between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the European Union. In 2013, the EU also provided US$136m to support Nigeria’s development.
Andres Piebalgs, commissioner for development cooperation at EU, stated that there was a possibility of increasing the grant in future, if the funds are utilised correctly.
Yuguda noted that 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.
Mr. Yuguda explained that the EDF’s projects were directed at addressing some challenges that Nigeria was facing at this stage of consolidating its status as a middle-income country. According to him, the programmes will also help the nation to achieve its expressed developmental goals.
During the recent meeting of the Joint Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the EU in Nairobi, Kenya, EU Commissioner for Development Mr. Andris Piebalgs and Ministers from 16 ACP countries co-signed the first National Indicative Programmes under the 11th European Development Fund for the period 2014-2020. According to Piebalgs, the signing marks the official go-ahead for the future of EU aid in these countries.