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EU supports Nigeria with €30m to fight corruption

European Union

The European Union (EU) has promised to support Nigeria with €30 million for the next five years to enhance the fight against corruption.

Samuela Isopi, the EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said this in Abuja on Tuesday at the formal launch of Phase 11 of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme in Nigeria (RoLAC).

Ms Isopi said the programme would be implemented at the federal level and in five states, such as Adamawa, Anambra, Edo, Kano and Lagos.

She also said 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have so far domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015 to curb violence in states.

“The programme is aimed at supporting the strengthening of the rule of law and the fight against corruption,” Ms Isopi stated. “It is also aimed at reducing gender-based violence while promoting respect for human rights and ensuring inclusivity for all Nigerians.”

She said 1.5 million Nigerians were covered in the programme’s first phase, adding that the second phase would be implemented in five states for five years.

“The states are Adamawa, Anambra, Edo, Kano, and Lagos, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with the possibility of extension to two more states,” she said.

The EU Ambassador highlighted the achievements of the first phase, which included setting up and strengthening policies and processes.

She said other achievements included increased inter-agency cooperation in the fight against corruption and creating synergies between government and civil society organisations.

The programme is aimed at supporting the strengthening of the rule of law and the fight against corruption. It is also aimed at reducing gender-based violence while promoting respect for human rights and ensuring inclusivity for all Nigerians.

Ms Isopi said the second phase would focus on criminal justice, prison reform, curbing sexual and gender-based violence, and strengthening and implementing anti-corruption policies and tools.

The EU ambassador said enforcement was the major obstacle to an effective war against corruption in Nigeria.

On his part, the head of programme, Nigeria International IDEA, Danladi Plang, said the overall objective of RoLAC phase II was consolidating the rule of law and anti-corruption reforms in Nigeria.

Mr Plang said Kano State was the only state in Nigeria that had yet to domesticate the VAPP Act.

In his goodwill message, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, lauded the EU for the plans to launch phase II of the programme.

Also, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, commended the leadership of RoLAC for its robust interface and quality programmes targeted at nation-building.

Mr Fagbemi said that the programme’s outcome would further bridge the gaps in criminal justice and administrative reform and enhance systems and structures in the justice sector. (NAN)

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