The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has lauded the support of the European Union in addressing some challenges militating the economic growth and prosperity of Nigeria, announcing a new MOU between the Federal government and the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.

The Honourable Minister who described the MoU as another milestone in the annals of the EU-Nigeria development cooperation, affirmed that the EU-Nigeria relation is one of the most vibrant development partnerships in terms of volume, thematic interventions, modalities and geographical spread in deployment of resources.

(R -L ) Hon. Abubakar Hasan Nalaraba, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aids , Loans and Debt Management, Honourable Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu , Nebeolisa Anako, Permanent Secretary, and Hon. Lanre Okunola, House Deputy Chairman on Aids, Loans and Debt Management during the courtesy visit.Bagudu made this known during the EU-Nigeria strategic dialogue meeting held in Abuja on Thursday, where a financial package for a total of over €900 million (₦728 billion) was announced to drive education, energy, and transport programmes across Nigeria.

Senator Bagudu also informed the European Commissioner about the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu which focuses on investments that will propel Nigeria to lasting security, sustainable stability, and shared prosperity.

He maintained that the current challenges in our sub-regions and the world at large are at the same time fraught with opportunities to make a difference in humanity if we all come to dialogue with honesty of purpose.

According to the Honorable Minister, Nigeria needs collaboration on the environment, climate change, circular economy, climate-smart agriculture, and biodiversity, including options for harnessing the abundant gas reserves in the country, better management of migration flows, and fiscal sustainability, among others.

Bagudu expressed the hope that the outcome of the meeting and the new MOU signed will address the challenges to food security and the global humanitarian issues and also provide a roadmap towards curbing terrorism, banditry, oil theft, illegal fishing, and piracy, among other security issues in the North/Lake Chad, the Niger Delta, and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

On her part, the EU Commissioner of International Partnership, Miss Juffa Urpilainen, who traced the decades of development partnership with Nigeria in diverse areas in the past, assured the Honourable Minister of more support to Nigeria.

She said: “Building on our long-standing cooperation, and in the best spirit of shared responsibility, commitment, and accountability, the EU will continue to invest in our common future and priorities of security, democracy, and prosperity for all and benefit the Nigerian businesses, farmers, youth and the society as whole.”

According to her, the relationship of the EU with Nigeria forms a central part of the EU-Nigeria cooperation to advance the country’s green, resilient, digital inclusive transition under Government priorities and Global Gateway, saying that the EU’s positive offer to deliver sustainable and trusted connections with partner countries.

While giving the breakdown of the new MoU, the EU Commissioner revealed that the package will drive new programmes through Global Gateway: which include Climate smart agriculture (€29 million)
Sustainable energy (€37 million)
Access to health services (€45 million)
Education: support to youth and education development in the North West region (€5.4 million) •

“In addition to these areas of support, the package will also contribute to building access in the Nigerian social protection safety net (€46 million), support to border management and reintegration of returnees (€28.4 million), support to the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of Boko Haram combatants in the North East region (€20 million) and, last but not least, support to improving the criminal justice system, access to justice and the fight against corruption (€30 million).” she added.

Olude omolade
For; Director Information