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EU reitterates commitment to partnering Nigeria


By Princess-Ekwi Ajide-Abuja

The European Union (EU) says it will continue to pursue its bilateral engagement and friendship with Nigeria, with increased vigour so as to deliver better results in their partnership.

EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, who disclosed this at a press briefing ahead of Europe Day 2022, said EU and Nigeria’s recent launch of a Joint Ministerial Roadmap of a seven year Multiannual Indicative Programme for Nigeria aimed at consolidating extant gains of the partnership, while underlining the EU’s commitment to long-term support aligned with its shared priorities, values and interests with Nigeria.

She said the Multiannual Indicative Programme for Nigeria 2021-2027 targets projects that reinforce EU’s bilateral cooperation with Nigeria in three focal areas of Green and Digital Economy; Governance, Peace and Migration; and Human Development. adding that EU is working with its Member States, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other EU Development Finance Institutions to ensure implementation of the agreed priorities.

According to the Ambassador, EU takes the lead in promoting human rights and freedoms especially as Nigeria is one of the pilot countries for the EU-UN Global Spotlight Initiative, a multi-year joint effort to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.

She left the volume of EU-Nigeria trade at €28.7bn in 2021 which is 25.8% increase over that of 2020 EU’s imports from Nigeria stood at €17.5bn, while its exports were valued at €11.2bn, with the trade balance at €6.4bn in favour of Nigeria thereby making EU Nigeria’s biggest trading partner, first investor, top donor of humanitarian and development aid, as well as the biggest diplomatic network.

Isopi stressed that the EU has also been providing the lead in efforts that promote peace and security, democratic governance and rule of law, human rights and freedoms, prosperity and decent living at home and around the world even in the face of global challenges like pandemics, security, finding green and digital solutions, climate change and migration, the EU has already proven to be more effective while working with its networks of partnerships across the world.

Ambassador Isopi, referenced the outstanding accomplishments recorded in recent times as the EU and Nigeria ramped up collaborations to address issues of common concerns, leveraging of their strong partnership of equals in various sectors.

Some examples of EU engagement in Nigeria include; working with the Nigerian authorities to end security challenges across the country, supporting government’s efforts at fighting terrorism, radicalization and violent extremism as well as the reform of the criminal justice system, providing multi-facted support to Nigeria’s democratic process to strengthen key democratic institutions including INEC, the National Assembly, the Civil Society and the Media among others.


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