By Victoria Ojeme

THE European Union, EU, on Monday, said as part of its quota to support development in Nigeria, it would dole out 175billion naira to vulnerable communities suffering the impact of violence over the years.

The EU Ambassador, Samuels Isopi, announced this during the celebration of 2022 Europe Day, in Abuja.

She noted that EU would intensify it’s partnership with the Federal Government to bring back peace in the North-East through supporting, recovery, peacebuilding and fight against terrorism.

Amongst other things, she said that it would support Nigeria in strengthening maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

She harped on the EU’s readiness to work with any administration in Nigeria to support its vision for the future.

She said: “We will continue to work with EU Member States, the European Investment Bank and other EU Development Financial Institutions, as “Team Europe”, to implement our implement our joint vision.

“The EU as a bloc remains Nigeria’s biggest trading partner accounting for more than 20% of Nigerian trade with the world. In 2021 the volume of EU-Nigeria trade stood at 28.7 billion euros (an increase of more than 25% over 2020) with a trade balance of 6.4 billion euros in favour of Nigeria.

“The bloc is also Nigeria’s first partner in foreign direct investments, with EU companies contributing, together with their Nigerian business partners, to the country’s economic growth, job creation and wealth generation. We look forward to further strengthening these relations and helping create the necessary conditions for the private sector to operate and contribute to developing the Country,

“We will continue to work with Nigeria, under Nigeria’s leadership, to support its vision for the future: in bringing back peace in the North-East by supporting recovery. peacebuilding and the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, also through the Multinational Joint Task Force.

“In support to the vulnerable communities that are suffering the impact of violence, we are providing humanitarian and development aid in the order of 400 million euros to save lives and ensure dignity. (we will support Nigeria) in strengthening maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and responding to security and development challenges in the North-West; in continuing working together to further consolidate Nigeria’s democracy and the rule of law;

“in supporting human rights and advancing inclusion and gender equality, by standing side by side with survivors of sexual and gender based violence; in creating decent jobs and economic growth; in implementing Nigeria’s social protection policies, eradicating poverty, and reducing inequalities;

“In strengthening Nigerian National Health System, service delivery and capacity for manufacturing medicines and vaccines; in improving access to Basic education and skill acquisition and reducing the number of out of school children; in addressing climate challenges and supporting affordable and sustainable energy for all.”

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