The Federal Government has signed a Financing Agreements with European Union, EU, for five European Union-funded projects valued at N43 billion to support the federal government's reform efforts in the areas of justice, water supply and sanitation, electoral cycle as well as fight against drugs and related organised crime.
Minister of National Planning Commission, NPC, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, signed the agreement on behalf of the government, while Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, H.E. Dr. David MacRae signed for the European Union.
The signing ceremony followed a similar event on 19 March 2012, during which the financing agreement for a project supporting the fight against corruption in Nigeria was signed.
The project on water supply and sanitation sector reform programme phase 11 (WSSSRP-11) is valued at 97 Million Euros while the support to the Federal Government Reform Programme (SUFEGOR) and support to electoral cycle have a contract value of 20 million Euros each.
The justice sector project which is worth 27 Million Euros (about N5.3billion) will contribute towards improving the effectiveness, accessibility, accountability, transparency and fairness of the justice system, while 36 million Euros is dedicated to support the fight against drugs and organised crime.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, NPC Minister described the two projects as remarkable and also fully aligned to the Government's vision 20:2020 as well as the present administration's reform agenda in both its broad and specific terms.
Dr. Usman also said that the two projects are aimed at promoting good governance, security, transparency, accountability, curbing drugs, organised crime and reforming the justice sector. The Minister stated that the Federal Government recognises the need for a better coordination of the entire justice sector, which involves the police, the courts and the prisons.
Speaking, Dr. MacRae noted that the overall objective of the projects is to promote good governance and the rule of law, and contribute to Nigeria's efforts in the reform of the justice sector and in addressing drug and related crime in Nigeria.
In both cases the expected results are intended to enhance the development of Nigeria for the benefit of its citizens.
The justice sector project is targeted to benefit amongst others, the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Federal Judiciary, the National Judicial Institute, the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Prisons Service and the National Planning Commission.
Other important stakeholders that are expected to benefit from the project are the National Human Rights Commission, the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, and selected State Ministries of Justice and Judiciary.
The main beneficiaries of the 35 million Euros (N6.8 billion) project targeted at the fight against drugs and related crime are the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Immigration Service and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), together with non-state stakeholders (CSOs, media,academia).
Relevant Ministries, Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Federal Ministry of Health, Departments and Agencies will also be key partners in the implementation of the project.