By Senator Iroegbu just back from Paris
The government of France and the European Union (EU) will contribute the sum of €35.5 million as aid for the rehabilitation and development of North-eastern Nigeria and especially Lake Chad Basin region devastated by the Boko Haram terrorism.
The Adviser for Africa in the Office of the Presidency, L’Elysee, Paris, France, Mr. Thomas Melonio, disclosed this during a chat with some journalists in a study trip to France tagged: ‘The Fight against Terrorism and Radicalisation’.
Melonio stated that France in its “Lake Chad Initiative” programme, will increase its financial and humanitarian input for the development of the Lake Chad region.
He said that apart from the military, intelligence and other types of diplomatic cooperation with countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), France will embark on humanitarian assistance and development projects for the region in concert with the EU.
To this end, he said, France will give €5 million, while the EU will disburse €30 million for these projects.
“We are stepping up our efforts around the Lake Chad region. We are increasing our input for the development around the Lake Chad region for humanitarian aid and human development projects. We are taking them under what is called what is called ‘Lake Chad Initiative’, with France contributing €5.5 million and the driving force behind the EU’s €30 million,” he disclosed.
In the same vein, the Coordinator of the Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS) within the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr. Ambroise Pierre, said that the actions are line with the French policy to support countries facing terrorism including Nigeria, Iraq and Syria amongst others.
According to Ambroise, France is involved because terrorism is a global issue and the country itself is facing internal security threats from the Jihadists.