Michel Arrion, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS who spoke at a Lecture organised by the IBB Golf Club, with the theme “40 years of European union in Nigeria: Lessons learned and the way forward” says EU will not increase its financial assistance to Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria could not be said to be poor, as it is has enough resources to meet its developmental needs.
Then he added that despite the fact that EU is not promising further assistance, Nigeria remains a key partner of the EU in view of the role it plays in global affairs.
According to him, the Official Development Assistance (ODA) flow in Nigeria is about 2.5 billion dollars yearly, which correspond roughly to about 10 per cent of the federal budget (N7,3trillion or 24 billion dollars). This, he said has raised the question of should EU continue to give aide to Nigeria.
In his words,
‘We are not offering more financial support, we are proposing more political and policy dialogue, technical assistance, capacity building, training, transfer of technology. We also proposing more advocacies for more private investments and other innovative sources of funding’.
He also said Nigeria must attract more foreign investment five times more, to reach the level of Angola or Vietnam for instance and put in place more and better Public Private Partnerships.
According to him EU in its 40 years of engagement with Nigeria has identified development priorities, funded projects to stimulate the Nigeria’s economy, reduce hunger and disease. He said that the union had also helped to enhance institutional capacities, strengthen governance and fight insecurity in Nigeria.