Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The European Union (EU) has expressed its support for the ongoing efforts of the federal government to rebuild some parts of the North-east and Niger Delta, promising to provide 20 million Euros for the reconstruction of markets and warehouses in Borno and Delta States.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Arrion, who made 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 states in the form of budget support.
“Sometime ago, we talked about budget support but we will be able to do that only at the State level, using a special instrument meant for countries emerging from war, and we can look at States in the North-east and look at specific projects in terms of financial support to their budgets,” the diplomat said.
The EU Ambassador said the quest to invest in Africa was largely informed by the need to discourage migration to Europe, pointing out that several thousands of Nigerian citizens have continued to migrate to Europe.
“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,”