Global Gateway: EU’s Commissioner Urpilainen launches major initiatives in Nigeria

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At the EU-Nigeria Strategic Meeting, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen announced, together with Minister of Budget and Economic Planning of Nigeria, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, a financial package for a total of over €900 million (₦728 billion). Together with Team Europe, this major package forms a central part of the EU-Nigeria cooperation to advance the country’s green, resilient, digital inclusive transition under Government priorities and Global Gateway, the EU’s positive offer to deliver sustainable and trusted connections with partner countries.

Commissioner Urpilainen said: “I am delighted to be visiting Nigeria to further strengthen our partnership, and I look forward to launching a package of new actions, as part of the Global Gateway strategy and EU support to Government priorities. Building on our long-standing cooperation, and in the best spirit of shared responsibility, commitment and accountability, the EU will continue to invest in our common future and priorities of security, democracy and prosperity for all – not least through the package of loans and grants I am signing and launching here today that will benefit the Nigerian businesses, farmers, youth and the society a as whole.”

Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said: “Today marks yet another milestone in the annals of the EU-Nigeria development cooperation. The EU -Nigeria relations is one of the most vibrant development partnerships in terms of volume, thematic interventions, modalities and geographical spread in deployment of resources. The EU-Nigeria Strategic Dialogue is happening at the take-off of the current Administration in Nigeria and presents opportunities for proper articulation and consolidation of priorities in our Partnership.”

“I am very happy to announce today two financial agreements in crucial sectors for Nigeria and the region: health and entrepreneurship. The partnership with EMZOR pharmaceutical Industries is a significant step towards accelerating treatments against malaria and healthcare access across the region while reducing the dependence on the importation of essential medicines. We are proud to accompany the development of a pioneer firm committed to strengthening the antimalarial supply chain and production.

“Supporting entrepreneurship is also at the heart of our action in Africa. With a new credit facility with Access Bank, our objective is to improve access to finance for female entrepreneurs and to stimulate job creation while supporting sustainable business practices aligned with green economy priorities. The EIB was the first multilateral development bank to adopt the 2X criteria for gender finance and we congratulate Access Bank’s management for their leadership in this space.” said Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President.

Developed jointly between the EU and Nigeria, the package will drive new programmes through Global Gateway:

Climate smart agriculture (€29 million)
Sustainable energy (€37 million)
Access to health services (€45 million)

Education: support to youth and education development in the North West region (€5.4 million) which will launch to contribute to policy improvement of the teaching profession and the capacity building of teachers.
In addition to these areas of support, the package will also contribute to building access in the Nigerian social protection safety net (€46 million), support to border management and reintegration of returnees (€28.4 million), support to the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of Boko Haram combatants in the North East region (€20 million) and, last but not least, support to improving the criminal justice system, access to justice and the fight against corruption (€30 million).

Commissioner Urpilainen has also participated in the signature of the loans issued to two Nigerian private companies and banks by the European Investment Bank, as part of the Global Gateway strategy. This includes a “2X Challenge” €50 million credit facility with Access Bank for loans to female entrepreneurs and managers in Nigeria, expected to create jobs and growth in line with the green economy priorities. The second €14 million loan is for Emzor Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients to finance the construction of a manufacturing plant for the production of anti-malarial drugs.

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