EU PLEDGES €39M IN SUPPORT OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on September 9, 2022
The European Union is launching a €39 million programme on Monday, September 12, aimed at promoting transparent, inclusive, and credible elections in Nigeria.
The programme tagged EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Phase II, is a €39m initiative funded under the EU’s Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument, for over five years.
In a statement by the EU, the overall objective of the EU-SDGN is to foster a functioning pluralistic, inclusive, participatory, and representative democracy in Nigeria.
According to EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, ahead of the 2023 General Election, Nigeria is at a pivotal moment that allows the country to take important steps to consolidate democracy and strengthen the electoral process.
The European Union continues to partner with Nigeria in the ongoing reform process to strengthen the capacity to conduct well-managed elections with ample participation of all Nigerians.
She said for this to happen, all must contribute, from the key institutions to the political parties and candidates, from media to civil society.
The project will be anchored on the priorities identified by the Nigerian government. It also builds on the lessons learned from the implementation of phase I of the program (2017-2022), and the recommendations of the EU Election Observation Mission made after the 2019 General Election as well as those of the EU Election Follow-up Mission to Nigeria.
More specifically, it will focus on six thematic areas of support: to Improve the quality of electoral administration in Nigeria and
Strengthen capacities for legislative and judicial reform in compliance with democratic principles and standards.
Enhance Pluralism, internal democracy, and equality of opportunity in the political parties and the political party system, Empower Media, to promote fair and ethical coverage of the electoral process and combat hate speech.
Enhance participation of women, youth, and other marginalized groups in the political process and
empower civil society organizations and relevant agencies to demand greater transparency and accountability in the electoral and decision-making process.