Abuja - The Federal Government and European Union (EU) on Thursday in Abuja signed a €27 million (about N6 billion) financial agreement to support Nigeria’s energy and reforestation programmes.
The Supervising Minister of National Planning Commission, Bashir Yugudu, signed on behalf of the Federal Government while Michel Arrion, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, signed on behalf of the union.
Yuguda said the grant was to support the Federal Government’s efforts to improve renewable energy and energy governance, vocational training for the power sector and reforestation programmes in the country.
He said the planned budget for the programmes was €40.4 million and that the EU would contribute €27 million.
The minister said a German Development Agency known as Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) had contributed €9 million while the World Bank/Global Environmental Facility contributed €4.4 million.
According to him, these programmes will ensure that a greater number of the population has access to electricity and does not rely solely on fuel wood for cooking.
“We believe that this is an effective way to improve the wellbeing of all Nigerians and to combat poverty in the country.
"The programmes will also support the design of state electrification plans and capacity development of selected institutions.
"Others are development of strategies to increase access to energy and tackle deforestation linked to the use of fuel wood, with a tree-planting initiative in Katsina State.’’
The minister recalled that the Federal Government had under the 2013 Annual Action Plan, submitted a proposal for the support of energy and reforestation programme in Nigeria.
He said that the European Development Fund Committee approved the financing agreement in Brussels based on the request by the government.
In his remarks, Arrion said the EU was also supporting the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government which included the improvement of access to efficient and reliable energy.
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