The European Union has pledged its support for the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to rebuild some parts of the North East and Niger Delta regions, by setting aside €20m for the reconstruction of markets and warehouses in Borno and Delta states.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Arrion, who gave the pledge during a visit to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun in her office, said the funds would be offered to the two state
s in the form of budget support.A statement from the finance ministry on Tuesday said the funding was part of efforts by the Union in assisting the government to rebuild the troubled North East region.
The EU Ambassador said, “We have specific objective for creating this instrument and it is to address the root cause of migration. We are presenting this initiative within the framework of the global response to irregular migration.
“Today, we have a few thousand Nigerians in Europe, and we feel we have the responsibility of attracting them to come back to Nigeria.
“By investing in Africa, we will be creating jobs. We will be mixing grants with loans. We believe the grants will have a leveraged effect.”
He said the EU has, in the last two years, invested over $300bn in Africa.
Adeosun in the statement said all the financial analysis needed to facilitate support to the states had been put in place.
She pointed out that the Fiscal Sustainability Plan required a 21-point fiscal reform programme that enhanced transparency, accountability and efficiency.
She explained that the funding arrangement would help in healing the wounds caused by insurgent activities in the North East.
She added that it would also give hope to the Niger Delta people who have been impacted by pipeline bombings and the attendant environmental problems in the area.