EU pledges 20 million euro to rebuild N/East, N/Delta

Ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to rebuild devastated parts of the North East and   the Niger Delta region, received a boost from the European Union (EU), on  Tuesday, when it pledged to support the move with 20 million euros.

 

 The pledge was specifically targeted at  the reconstruction of markets and warehouses in Borno and Delta states.

 

The EU ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Michael Arrion, who gave the pledge during a visit to the  Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun,  in Abuja, said the funds would be offered to the two states in the form of budget support.

 

“Some times ago, we talked about budget support, but we will be able to do that only at the state level, using a special instrument meant for countries emerging from war and we can look at states in the North East and look at specific projects in terms of financial support to their budgets,” he said.

However,  Adeosun said all the financial analysis needed to facilitate support to the states had  already been put in place, adding that the fiscal sustainability plan, required a  21-point fiscal reform programme that enhanced transparency, accountability and efficiency.

According to the minister, the funding arrangement would help in healing the wounds caused by insurgent activities in the North East. She said it would also give hope to the Niger Delta people, who have been impacted by  pipeline  vandalism and the attendant environmental problems in the area.

The EU ambassador said the quest to invest in Africa, was largely informed by the need to discourage migration to Europe,  adding that several  Nigerian citizens have continued to migrate to Europe.

“We have specific objective for creating this instrument and it is to address the root cause of migration.

We are presenting this initiative within the framework of the global response to irregular migration.

Today, we have  some Nigerians in Europe and we feel we have the responsibility of attracting them to come back to Nigeria.

“By investing in Africa, we will be creating jobs. We will be mixing grants with loans. We believe the grants will have a leveraged effect,” he  said  that the EU, has in the last two years, invested over 300 billion euros in Africa.

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