Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Nigeria-German Development Cooperation has canvassed the alignment Nigeriaâ€™s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and AU Agenda 2063.
They made the call at the 2017 consultation meetings on Development Cooperation between Nigeria and Germany in Abuja Friday.
According to a statement issued by the Assistant Director (Press), Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Salisu Haiba, Nigeriaâ€™s delegation at the meeting was led by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, while the German delegation was led by Dr. Stefan Oswald, Director for Sub-Saharan Africa in Germany’ s Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Ahmed, who was represented by the Director International Cooperation, Mr. Samuel Eloho, pointed out that the consultations were to further deepen co-operation between the two countries, to consider the agreement signed in 2016 and also review achievements.
In his remarks, Oswald noted that Nigeria was an important partner to Germany in development cooperation, and expressed appreciation for the long-standing, and fruitful bilateral development co-operation with Nigeria based on mutual respect and trust.
He disclosed that the Germany’s Marshal Plan with Africa’, which is the cornerstone for a new co-operation with Africa, considered responsible governments and private sector- driven economic development as essential elements for the creation of a better future for Nigerians.
He therefore encouraged the Nigerian government to continue to demonstrate a strong political will and uphold democratic principles, rule of law as well as create economic structures that would facilitate investments and contribute to job creation. Oswald explained that the German ‘Marshal Plan’ was designed to support the African Unions Agenda 2063 for promoting sustainable development on the Continent, and therefore called for concerted efforts to achieve the goals.
He stated that Germany was supporting partner countries that make good progress with the implementation of the SDGs.
He cited the German bilateral support to three African Countries, including Cote d Iâ€™voire, Ghana and Tunisia within the framework of G20 Compact with Africa initiative as an example of such enhanced support related to willingness to reform.
While acknowledging Nigeria’s serious economic challenges, mainly due to global decline in oil price and reduction in production output, Oswald, commended Nigeriaâ€™s reform initiatives to overcome the challenges through economic diversification and stabilization of the macro-economic environment amongst others.
The head of the German delegation also expressed delight that Nigeriaâ€™s economy had been trending upwards since the second quarter of 2017, indicating the emergence of the economy from recession after five consecutive quarters of negative growth was a positive trend which was not only important to Nigeria but also the African Region.
The dialogue meeting on the priority areas of bilateral development cooperation and commitments covers the overall financial commitment which approximately amount to Â£620 million since it began in 1960.