Abuja - The European Union (EU)) plans to increase financial aid to boost
electricity supply in Nigeria in the next seven years, the Head of the EU
Delegation in Nigeria, Michael Arrion, has said.
Addressing newsmen on Monday, Arrion said Nigerian officials and their
EU counterparts met recently in Brussels to decide on programming priorities
for the next seven years.
He said the EU financial grant to Nigeria under the 10th European
Development Fund (EDF) for 2008-2013 was €677 million.
Arrion also said that the EU had in the last five years focused mainly on three
main areas of intervention, namely economic governance, political governance
and democracy and social governance.
“Besides seeking to consolidate on the gains of the 10th European
Development Fund (EDF), the 11th EDF as envisaged will address critical sectors
like electricity, food and national security.’’
He, however, said that the amount EU had earmarked for the next 11th EDF had
not be finalised.
Arrion, who commended the successful implementation of the privatisation
exercise in the electricity industry, said access to electricity remained
central to Nigeria’s economic development.
According to him, the EU has contributed €27 million to improving access to
renewable energy in six states in the ongoing projects that will run till 2018.
On security, the ambassador said that the EU had been hampered by limited
financial resources to support the military aspect of security in Nigeria.
“We are addressing the civilian aspect of security crisis; but for the
purely military aspect, we do not have the legal competence and the financial
resources," he said.
He said providing funds for training and technical assistance for Nigeria’s
military was directly linked to sovereign states of EU as some states had
existing military cooperation agreements with Nigeria.
On the insurgency in some parts of the country, the envoy said the EU was
working with the office of the National Security Adviser to strengthen the capacity
of security agencies.
Arrion also pledged EU’s commitment to the holding of credible elections in
Nigeria and highlighted its €20million contribution to support the
Nigeria-Electoral Cycle from 2012 to 2015.
“EU €20million to this project is part of a multi-dollar trust fund managed
by UNDP with DFID and CIDA, Canada.
“Its overall objective is to contribute towards the consolidation of the
democratic process in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The ambassador, who cautioned against reliance on aid from abroad to
develop the country, added: "Nigeria will not develop with aid
outside but from its abundant human and material resources.
“Private money not public money will develop Nigeria.”