At a media conference held in Lagos, Richard Young, Minister, Deputy Head of Delegation, European Union Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States said Nigeria, as well as some other African countries will benefit from 2.6 billion Euros from the European Union Funds for Sustainable Development (EFSD).
The grant will improve the conditions under which public institutions and the private sector working with International Financial Institutions can borrow for investment purposes. Young noted that the grants will be released to two regional investment platforms, which include the African Investment Platform and Neighbourhood Investment Platform.
Both platforms, which have a budget of 2.6 billion Euros, are an existing grant now refocused towards meeting the objective of the European External Investment Plan (EIP).
Young said the European Commission launched an ambitious EIP that has a new approach to the way the commission supports sustainable development, as well as identifies, prepares and delivers support for investment projects in countries outside Europe. He also revealed that the EIP will improve the way scarce public funds are used. It will also improve the way public authorities and private investors cooperate on investment projects.
The plan, which will in partnership with third countries concerned, will be designed to support the reforms needed to improve economic governance and the local business environment.
The EIP package, which was proposed by the commission in September 2016 given the scale of challenges and funding needs in third countries, will scale up private sector involvement in the socio-economic development of partner countries. The proposed EIP will focus on providing technical assistance to help local partners prepare projects that are sustainable and attractive to investors.