The Nigerian Government and the European Union have signed a N6 billion financial agreement to support Nigeria’s energy and reforestation programmes. The agreement was signed in Abuja, recently by the Supervising Minister of National Planning, Bashir Yuguda on behalf of the Nigerian Government with the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion signing on behalf of the European Union.
According to Bashir Yuguda, the grant was in support of the Federal Government’s efforts to improve renewable energy, energy governance, vocational training for the power sector and reforestation programmes in the country. He noted that the total budget for the programmes was 40.4 million euros out of which the EU’s support would be 27 million euros.
Explaining further, Yuguda said, “the German Development Agency (GIZ) has contributed nine million euros while the World Bank Global Environmental Facility contributed euro 4.4 million towards the project. He indicated that the programmes will ensure access to electricity for a greater number of the population and also minimise reliance on fuel wood for cooking by the populace.
“We believe that this is an effective way to improve the well-being of all Nigerians and to combat poverty in the country,” he said. Adding, the objectives of the programmes include: support for the design of state electrification plans and capacity development for selected institutions.
Others are, he mentioned are the development of strategies to increase access to energy and for tackling deforestation linked to the use of fuel wood, with a tree-planting initiative in Katsina State. He continued that the European Development Fund Committee approved the financing agreement in Brussels based on Government’s request for support to energy and aforestation
in the 2013 Annual Action Plan.
Michael Arrion, the EU Ambassador in his remarks opined that the EU is supporting the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government which includes the improvement of access to efficient and reliable energy.