• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG, EU sign N18bn pact to foster economic development in Nigeria

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The Federal Government on Tuesday signed three financing agreements worth over N18 billion (89 million euros) with the European Union (EU) to enable it further push efforts at poverty reduction and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The financing agreements marked that the commencement of implementation of programmes under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) aimed at improving specific targets in the health sector, the water and sanitation sector as well as the competitiveness of the non-oil sector of the economy.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government in 2009 signed the 10th EDF country strategy paper-National Indicative Programme with the European Union for implementation of seventeen indicative programmes in Nigeria.

The 89 million euros agreements which are entirely grants were signed by the Shamsudeen Usman on behalf of the Federal Government and David MacRae, EU ambassador to Nigeria for the EU in Abuja.

The fund would be used for three specific programmes, including support to water supply and sanitation sector reform programme Phase 111; scale up of maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes as well as for competitiveness support programme in Nigeria.

The Federal Government, according to the minister, believes that this support would significantly assist Nigeria in achieving its developmental goals as enshrined in the country’s Vision 20: 2020, transformation the agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan and the forthcoming second National Implementation Plan.

At the signing ceremony yesterday, Usman explained that the water supply and sanitation sector reforms programme was conceived to contribute to poverty reduction, sustainable development and the achievement of the water and sanitation related Millennium Development Goals in Adamawa, Ekiti and Plateau states. 52, 250,000 euros has been budgeted for the implementation of this programme but the EDF contribution is 40,000,000 euros. The expected outcome is basically an improved water policy and institutional framework for this purpose.