The European Union[EU] and Nigeria on Thursday signed a financing agreement of N6billion[27m Euros] to improve access to modern and sustainable energy sources in Nigeria, through the Energising Access to Sustainable Energy[EASE] programme.
At the signing of the agreement in Abuja, the Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michel Arrion, said the EU would support the transformation agenda of the present administration where one of the main priorities is the improvement of access to efficient and reliable energy.
Arrion explained that Nigerian government has shown commitment to the power sector through privatization of electricity assets and engagement in reforms aimed at creating an efficient electricity market.
He assured that the EU would complement the efforts of the Federal Government with provision of renewable energy, vocational training for the power sector as well as provide advice to government on energy governance.
He further explained that the financing would support the design of state electrification plans, capacity development of selected institutions, development of strategies to increase access to energy and tackle deforestation linked to the use of wood.
In his remarks, the Supervising Minister of National Planning Commission, Bashir Yuguda, commended the EU for its support to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
Yuguda, who is also the Minister of State for Works, assured that the money would be judicious spent for the projects in the energy sector.
He pointed out thta Nigeria has committed about 95per cent of the total envelope for the 10th European Development Fund of 677million Euros to various development programmes and projects in the areas of governance and human rights, peace and security, trade and region integration, health sector development and institutional support.
He noted that non-governmental organizations together with the German Development Cooperation Agency[GIZ] would implement the energy and reforestation programme.
Recall that EASE project is part of the 10th European Development Fund[EDF] which provided N150billion[677Euros million] of development assistance to Nigeria from 2008.