Nigeria Pledges $2m For Conduct Of Elections, Agric Devt. In Mali

FGNNigeria on Wednesday pledged a donation of two million U.S. dollars (about N320m) in support of agricultural development and conduct of free and fair elections in Mali.

Vice-President Namadi Sambo made the pledge in Brussels at the International Donors Conference on the Development of Mali, organised by the EU, a statement by Malam Umar Sani, the Vice-President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, said.

The statement quoted the vice-president as saying that Nigeria had so far spent 45 million U.S. dollars (about N7.2 billion) on the ongoing efforts to achieve peace and restore normalcy in Mali.

He said Nigeria had also committed moneys to humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation, administration and maintenance of military operations for the restoration of peace in the country.

Sambo acknowledged that reconstruction of post-conflict-Mali required strong international support.

He, however, stressed the need to identify the root causes of the crisis and to take into cognisance the diversity of the Malian society.

The vice-president pledged Nigeria’s commitment to the restoration of peace in country.

“We are committed to support a comprehensive integration of Northern Mali through inclusive consultations and dialogue that would create opportunity for socio-economic development and be beneficial to all Malians.’’

The vice president thanked President Francois Hollande of France for his intervention in Mali, and called for his continued support for the maintenance of territorial integrity and development of the country.

He also thanked Mr Dicouda Traore, the head of the transitional government of Mali, for sharing the country’s vision as reflected in the strategic plan for 2013-2014.

Sambo lauded the collaborative efforts of the ECOWAS, the EU and the UN to restore peace in Mali.

The conference, organised in collaboration with Mali’s transitional government, is aimed at offering financial and logistic support to Mali.

The financial support is meant to rebuild post-war Mali under a comprehensive development strategic plan.

It includes rebuilding government institutions and the military, repairing damaged infrastructure, organising presidential election, holding dialogue with rebel groups in the north, and stimulating the economy.