The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has extolled the European Union’s support to Nigeria in the fight against gender based violence in the country as 25 million Euros have been allocated to support the cause.

He made this known while delivering a goodwill message at the Spotlight Initiative Nigeria Country Program, Handing Over – National event, held in Abuja, recently.

The Minister who was represented by the Director, International Corporation Department, Dr. Lanre Adekanye revealed that the spotlight initiative in Nigeria had achieved significant milestones with their success story hinged on the commitment of stakeholders, partners and the education of all kinds of violence, against women and girls.

He further assured that the Ministry would leave no stone unturned in supporting similar programs aimed at sustaining the outcomes and impact of the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria as women and girls were agents of development and change in any country.

In his remarks, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Matthias Schmale, expressed his pleasure towards the federal government, civil society groups, the women’s movement and youth organizations for their leadership and commitment to building a world free from violence against women and girls.

He revealed that the initiative was named spotlight because it focused its attention on the issue of gender based violence and tangible results had been attained since its inception in 2019

Mr. Schmale averred that with the Initiative coming to a close, it was important to ensure that commitments made were secured for continued impacts.

He disclosed that the spotlight initiative had contributed in changing laws and policies; enabled almost 16,500 women and girls to receive vital services at its centers and made allies with traditional rulers and religious leaders.

In her bit, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, H.E Amb. Samuela Isopi, said that in Nigeria, the program assessed a new holistic approach that brought all actors together and allowed them to achieve critical results.

She disclosed that almost all states in Nigeria have passed the child right act making it the fastest bill to be passed at the national level in the history of Nigeria.

She therefore assured that the EU would remain fully engaged to the rule of law and anti corruption program implementation and continue to prioritize women’s rights and inclusion across sectors; from girls’ education to maternal health, women’s economic empowerment and political representation.