Nigeria has signed 15 million Euro (N3.3 billion) grant agreement with the European Union (EU) to support the 2015 general election.
According to the Minister of National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr Abubakar Suleiman, who signed on behalf of the Federal Government, the grant was to support Nigeria in scaling up its activities in preparation for the 2015 general election.
Suleiman noted that the support was also to strengthen strategic planning, policy and operational capacities of the NPC, including an improved legal framework for election.
“The financing agreement for Phase II of the support to Nigeria’s electoral cycle for the period of 2011 to 2015 will be supported under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) bridging facility.
“The 11th EDF bridging facility is a method of financing used by the International Development Partners to make available funds for implementation of ongoing programmes and projects,” he said.
Mr Michel Arrion, the Ambassador of EU to Nigeria signed the agreement on behalf of the union.
Arrion, who was represented by the deputy head of EU delegation to Nigeria, Mr Richard Young, said the 11th EDF’s 15 million Euro, was to complement the 10th EDF’s 20 million Euro, totalling 35 million Euro.
According to him, the 10th EDF support to electoral cycle was ongoing, but allocated resources under it was not enough to support activities in the upcoming election.
He therefore stressed the need for the support from the EDF bridging facility to cope with the transition period between the 10th and 11th EDF.