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2009-07-01:Security concerns stall EU projects in N/Delta

The European Commission (EU) has revealed that militant activities in the Niger Delta have stalled the implementation of several of its micro projects aimed at accelerating socio-economic development in the embattled region.
The new micro projects worth over N9.2 billion launched June, this year, in Cross River State are billed for the nine states of the Niger Delta region. 
Meanwhile, the EU following Sweden’s accession as new president of the Union on Wednesday noted that it has earmarked 80 million euros to support local governance in the Niger Delta as part of its drive to “support the Federal Government’s efforts to restore peace in that area.”
Denis Thieulin, head of the European Commission to Nigeria, made this known at a press briefing in Abuja to celebrate the Swedish EU presidency.
He said, “Certainly…security issue will hamper the implementation of those projects in the core areas of the Niger Delta, because, of course, we can not send people to work with communities if there are security concerns. A precondition for several of these projects is an improvement in terms of security and certainly a peace settlement.”
“I have to say that the situation in the Niger Delta is rife with a lot of criminality and so definitely to implement projects is unexpected because that is something we have to take into consideration,” Thieulin added.
The areas of support of the micro projects include provision of infrastructural services, income generation options, sustainable livelihoods development, gender equity and community empowerment, working directly with the disadvantaged communities who decide on the type of micro projects that have their highest priority.
Per Lindgarde, Swedish ambassador to Nigeria further reiterated EU’s commitment to strengthening political dialogue and cooperation with Nigeria. 
“We are enthused to contribute to fostering the relations between EU and Nigeria and it is very gratifying to build on the recent agreement to intensify the political dialogue between us. Partnering with Nigeria will contribute to help the EU in achieving its foreign relations targets set for Africa. We need Nigeria in this endeavour,” Lindgarde said.

Source:PM News


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