African Press Agency
Nigeria gets 600 million euros EU grant for trade and regional integration
13 February 2009
APA-Lagos, (Nigeria) The European Commission (EC) will give Nigeria 600 million euros to assist it in the areas of trade and regional integration, the head of the EC delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Dennis Theulin said here Friday.
The grant, which will be formally signed in June 2009, is part of the European Economic Fund (EEF) which was designed to assist Nigeria in good governance and to ensure peace reigned in the Niger Delta, Theulin told the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa, Friday in Abuja.
Theulin, who leads an EC trade delegation said 50 percent of Nigeria’s total import comes from Europe and that the grant from the Union was “expedient putting into consideration the role of Nigeria as a key player in ECOWAS’s regional development and integration.”
The grant, he said created easy access into the European market for Nigeria through the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with its non-oil export products.
Udenwa said the grant would be applied to stimulate activities in non-oil exports and to generate more opportunities in the country’s industrial sector.
He urged the EC to assist ECOWAS with technical support and capacity building and to assist its integration process to make the region more competitive in the global market.