The Federal Government and the European Union on Monday in Abuja signed an agreement for 260 million euros to finance non specific projects aimed at improving governance and service delivery in 13 states.
David Macrae, Head of EU Delegation in Nigeria signed for the EU, while the Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman, signed on behalf of the Federal Government.
Most part of the grant, 200 million euros, would be used for EU Niger Delta Support Programme in Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Imo and Ondo, to support the states in strengthening their public expenditure management system.
Mr. Macrae said that the money would be used in enhancing skills and opportunities for youth employment and to provide access to socio-economic services such as adequate and sustainable water and sanitation.
He said that the remaining 60 million euros would focus on Support to State and Local Government Reform Programme in Anambra, Osun, Yobe, Jigawa, Cross River and Kano to build capacities and processes of the states in public finance programming and management.
The ambassador said the project would run for five years between 2013 and 2017, adding that the grant was in line with the Nigeria-EU Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme 2008 to 2013.
“The two projects will be implemented with the support of several development partners, including the World Bank and UNICEF in collaboration with the benefiting state governments,” Mr Macrae said.
Earlier, the minister said that the signing of the agreement signified the readiness of the two organisations for the implementation of the projects to impact on the lives of the people.
Some necessary conditions have to be met by all stakeholders involved in the projects, including the FGN and the states before the World Bank’s effectiveness.
“While the FGN, the National Assembly and the focal state governments are working assiduously to meet those conditions, we have to be ready for the projects implementation take-off at the EU end by signing these agreements,” the minister said.
The minister added that the EU had set up a team that would go round to identify the flood affected states to know the areas where it would intervene in terms of assistance to Nigeria.