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Nigeria: Nigeria, other ACP countries to benefit from euro facility for development

The European Union (EU) has approved the sum of 512 million euros for Nigeria to develop and promote good governance, health nutrition and sustainable energy under the EU National Indicative Programme (NIP), according to local media reports.

The private Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday that the programme is the first National Indicative Programmes under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014-2020.

The newspaper noted that the signing of the National Indicative Programmes with 16 partner countries, at the EU-ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) Joint Council of Ministers meeting was made in Nairobi, Kenya.

The agreements mark the official go-ahead for the future of EU aid in the 16 ACP countries, who are going  to be the major beneficiaries from the EU facility.

A breakdown of how the funds will be disbursed showed that only three African countries — Ethiopia, Niger and Tanzania — got more money than Nigeria.

Ethiopia will get 745 million euros for Health, sustainable agriculture and and nutrition security, infrastructure and energy; while Niger will get 596 million euros and Tanzania 626 million euros.

Interestingly, security and food issues were listed as part of the focus for Niger, Nigeria’s Northern neighbour, fingered by intelligence reports of harbouring terror cells.

The country’s food crisis has also seen security compromised along the porous borders as citizens move supplies from Nigeria to culturally and religiously homogenous neighbours.

Some of the other African beneficiaries are  Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Swaziland.

“These documents lay down the priorities for our joint work for the next seven years and will allow us to move ahead with the concrete preparations of our projects and programmes,” the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

PANA recalls that over the years, the EU remains ACP’s main development partner, and the Commission seems determined to help its partners exploit their potential to the fullest.

The EU Commission will grant, through the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), 29.1 billion euro over the next seven years for developmental purposes.

Since 2004, the Commission said, 14 million new pupils enrolled in Primary Education, over 18 million children immunised against measles, and 70 million people connected to improved drinking water, thanks to EU support.

The NIPs represent an important step in the programming of EU aid under the European Development Fund (EDF).

EU Member States agreed in 2013 the overall amount for development cooperation that will be channelled to 78 ACP countries under the 11th EDF during the next financing period 2014-2020 (total amount €29.1 billion).

For the first time in many years, NIPs are now to be based on governments’ own policies and strategies reflecting their analysis of needs.

This is said to be in line with the EU’s vision for future development cooperation, called ”the Agenda for Change”.

Under the new direction, resources are to be targeted where they are most needed and can be the most effective.

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