By Franklin Alli
The European Development Fund (EDF) is financing 890 million Euros (about N178 billion) worth of projects (trade, political and infrastructure) in Nigeria for the period 2009-2013.
“This represents the largest allocation granted to an ACP country by the EU and makes the EU the biggest donor to Nigeria,” Ambassador/ Head of the delegation of the European Union to Nigeria Dr. David Macre, told journalists in Lagos.
The Ambassador gave the breakdown of the above figure as follows: “EU’s support is focused in three strategic areas: peace and security, governance and human rights, trade and regional integration with 677 million euro for the periods 2009-2013; 98 million euro to support justice, anti-corruption and drugs sector in Nigeria and an additional 35 million euro contract financing agreement in support of the Nigerian government’s efforts at preventing and fighting corruption was signed on 19 March, 2012.
“The EU is spending 80 million euro, about N16 billion to finance the implementation of the second phase of the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Project (WSSSRP) in Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa and Kano; Osun and Yobe.
“The EU is also funding the micro-project programme in the nine Niger Delta states with a grant of N9.2 billion under the European Development Fund. As you know stocks of EU investments in Nigeria alone amounted to no less than 30 billion euros in 2010,” he said.
On why the EU was spending so much money on Nigeria, Ambassador Macare, said they want to make the country a better place, safer place, firmly anchored on the ideals of democracy and good governance.
“The EU has watched with interest as Nigeria surmounts one problem after another as it grapples with challenge of development and nation building. Our interest in the affairs of the country is an abiding one, and it is rooted in the long history we share together and as well as our common aspirations for a better Nigeria where every citizens can attain their potentials.
“The EU will continue to support Nigeria in its quest to transit from its present state to a desired one; Nigeria has remained EU’s key partner on the African continent. For these reasons, EU’s commitment to Nigeria has been on the ascendancy in recent years,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EU comprises 27 different nations, namely, France, Italy, Belgium, etc.