President Bola Tinubu on Thursday in Abuja called for the
strengthening of cross-sectoral partnership between Nigeria and the European
Union (EU) based on the principles of democracy, rule of law, and freedom.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on
Media and Publicity, who disclosed this, said Tinubu stated this when he
received a delegation of the EU, led by Ms Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner in
charge of International Partnerships.
The President welcomed the signing of eight financing
agreements between Nigeria and the EU, under the “EU Global Gateway in
Nigeria,” at a separate event earlier in Abuja.
“Democracy is not an easy process, but we must fight for
democracy and struggle for it to win at all times,” the President said.
Tinubu stressed the importance of economic cooperation with
the EU in the areas of digital education, traditional energy, renewable energy,
and broadband access.
He told the visiting delegation that Nigeria’s economy was
going through several long-lasting reforms to render it capable of pulling
millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
“We have a young and vibrant population, and we are
determined to succeed. If we succeed, democracy succeeds. If we succeed,
“We need all of our partners’ hands on deck to sail
together. We look forward to strengthening our partnerships,” he said.
In her remarks, Urpilainen commended Nigeria for playing a
pivotal role as a key partner of the EU, not only in politics and economics,
but also in shaping the social landscape across the African continent.
The EU Commissioner explained that over the past four years,
the EU has been working to transform the nature of its relationship with Africa
by shifting away from the traditional donor-recipient dynamic.
She said that the EU seeks to establish an equal and
mutually beneficial partnership through the “Global Gateway” investment
programme as a flagship example.
She noted that this strategy, agreed at the AU-EU Summit in
Brussels last year, sets a goal of 300 billion Euros in investments, with 150
billion Euros allocated to Africa.
She thanked Tinubu for the important role Nigeria played in
supplying key energy products during its standoff with Russia in recent times.
The EU Commissioner noted that the oil and gas partnership
can be expanded, while adding that the “Global Gateway” strategy was designed
to expedite the green and digital transformations in EU partner countries, with
Nigeria standing as one of its most strategic.
”We are investing in critical infrastructure such as energy,
transportation, and digital infrastructure, as well as in human capital,
education, and research,” she said.
Other members of the EU delegation included Ms Samuela
Isopi, Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS and Ms Rita
Laranjinha, Managing Director of the Africa and European External Action
Others were Ms Lora Borissova, Africa Advisor, Cabinet of
EU; and Ms Maria Pilar Palmero Vaquero, Head of Unit for Western Africa,
Directorate-General International Partnerships (DG INTPA). (NAN)
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