Nigeria and the European Union, on Thursday, signed finance agreements worth over €900m for development projects.
The agreements were signed at the EU-Nigeria Strategic Dialogue in Abuja.
It formed a central part of the EU-Nigeria cooperation to advance the country’s green, resilient, digitally inclusive transition under Government Priorities and Global Gateway.
Developed jointly between the EU and Nigeria, the first signed agreement would drive new programmes through Global Gateway as follows: climate-smart agriculture, €29m); sustainable energy, €37m; access to health services, €45m; and education support to youth and education development in the North-West region, €5.4m.
In addition, the second signed €46m agreement will also contribute to building access in Nigerian social protection safety; support to border management and reintegration of returnees, €28.4m; support to the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of Boko Haram combatants in the North-East region, €20m and, support to improving the criminal justice system, access to justice and the fight against corruption, €30m.
The third signed finance agreement was a loan issued to two Nigerian private companies and banks by the European Investment Bank, as part of the Global Gateway strategy.
This includes a “2X challenge” €50m credit facility to female entrepreneurs and managers in Nigeria, expected to create jobs and growth in line with the green economy priorities. The second €14m loan was for Emzor Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients to finance the construction of a manufacturing plant for the production of anti-malarial drugs.
The European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said the EU would continue to invest in priorities of security, democracy and prosperity for all.
She said, “I am delighted to be visiting Nigeria to further strengthen our partnership, and I look forward to launching a package of new actions, as part of the Global Gateway strategy and EU support to Government priorities.
“Building on our long-standing cooperation, and in the best spirit of shared responsibility, commitment and accountability, the EU will continue to invest in our common future and priorities of security, democracy and prosperity for all, not least through the package of loans and grants that I am signing and launching here today that will benefit the Nigerian businesses, farmers, youth and the society as a whole.”
The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, stated that the EU-Nigeria relations were one of the most vibrant development partnerships in terms of volume, thematic interventions, and geographical spread in the deployment of resources.
Bagudu said, “The EU-Nigeria Strategic Dialogue is happening at the take-off of the current administration in Nigeria and presents opportunities for proper articulation and consolidation of priorities in our partnership.”