Nigeria signed a 677 million euro ($1bn) pact with the European Union on Thursday aimed at combating corruption and promoting peace in its troubled, oil-producing Niger Delta region.
The agreement will help the oil exporter to tackle challenges in the areas of governance, trade and peace for the 2009-2013 period, the European Commission said in a statement.
The Commission said 166 million euros would be spent on peace and security. A major part of the money will support reforms at all three tiers of the Nigerian government, fighting corruption and boosting electoral reform. The Commission said about 199 million euros would be devoted to addressing underlying causes of violence and poverty in the Niger Delta region.
â€œIâ€™m delighted that a substantial amount of this financing will go to support conflict resolution and the peace process in the Niger Delta which has been ravaged by years of unrest,â€ EU Development Commissioner Karel De Gucht said.