The European Union (EU) has granted Nigeria 260 million euros to finance projects aimed at improving governance and service delivery in 13 of the country’s 36 states, the local media reported Tuesday.
The agreement for the grant was signed in the capital city of Abuja Monday, with David Macrae, Head of EU Delegation in Nigeria, signing for his organisation, and Minister of National Planning Commission Shamsuddeen Usman signing for the Nigerian government.
Some 200 million euros out of the amount will be used for the EU Niger Delta Support Programme in Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Imo and Ondo, to support the states in strengthening their public expenditure management system.
Mr. Macrae said the money would be used in enhancing skills and opportunities for youth employment and to provide access to socio-economic services such as adequate and sustainable water and sanitation.
He said the remaining 60 million euros would focus on Support to State and Local Government Reform Programme in Anambra, Osun, Yobe, Jigawa, Cross River and Kano to build capacities and processes of the states in public finance programming and management.
Mr. Macrae said the project would run for five years between 2013 and 2017, adding that the grant was in line with the Nigeria-EU Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme 2008 to 2013.
“The two projects will be implemented with the support of several development partners, including the World Bank and UNICEF in collaboration with the benefiting state governments,” Mr Macrae said.
Earlier, the minister said the signing of the agreement signified the readiness of the parties to implement the projects to impact on the lives of the people.