I read with interest the article on Nigeria and its EU relationship published by Oladiran Bello (“Nigeria: a new terrorist challenge”, 8-14 September).
Most of the points made by the author are valid, especially those about the increasing challenge resulting from the juncture of Boko Haram terrorist activity in Nigeria with the threat posed by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) in the broader Sahel region, and the comparative advantage of EU action aimed at promoting “security and development” to respond to such threats.
However, I regretfully note that the author’s observation that “Ghana receives more EU funding than Nigeria” is wrong. Nigeria benefits from the largest allocation under the European Development Fund (EDF) with an indicative amount of €677 million for the period 2008-13. The indicative amount for Ghana is €373.6m.
Moreover, the author incorrectly puts the gross domestic product (GDP) of Ghana at $10,748 in 2010. Based on purchasing power parity, the GDP per person for both countries is comparable: Ghana $2,512 (2009) and Nigeria $2,274 (source: IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2011).
The EDF contributes to the Nigerian authorities’ efforts in improving its management of public finances to ensure better use of wealth, which should benefit in particular the poorest. For example, the EU supports Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The EFCC has so far recovered the equivalent of over €8 billion from a number of high-profile individuals ranging from the public to the private sphere.
EU support also focuses on assistance to Nigeria in key areas such as peace and security (eg, by contributing to the peace process in the Niger Delta), the fight against corruption, combating organised crime and people trafficking.
On the whole, EU support to Nigeria reflects the importance given to collaboration with the country as a key continental and regional partner in Africa.
Spokesperson for development, European Commission
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