The Head of the European Union (EU), delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ketil Karlsen, on Wednesday, said the Nigeria, EU trade increased from about €19.9 billion in 2016 to about €25.3 billion in 2017.
Karlsen stated this in Abuja, while briefing journalists on the activities of the European Union in partnership with Nigeria on elections, security, anti-corruption, migration, investment and economic development in 2018, he said from 2015 -2017 the European Union has spent €144 million in humanitarian support in the northeast and has set aside € 34 million in 2018.
According to him, “And of course Trade and investment is an integral part of our partnership, President Muhammadu Buhari has always stressed the importance of economic partnership and EU remain a significant trading partner for Nigeria it is around €25.3 billion altogether in 2017. In 2016 it was €19.9 billion. Already we are doing a lot together. And we are looking at how we can contribute to the long term development of Nigeria through diversification and inclusive growths and key value chain.
“European Union has been observing election in Nigeria since 1999. In the 2015 election there were 30 recommendations, we are partnering with key stakeholders and since 1999 we have supported key election issues with €100 million and currently we are supporting with E26.5 million. There is a full package of support for Nigeria in the running election. It is not for us to decide who should be Nigeria leaders but we can partner with institutions”.
On humanitarian support to the Northeast, he said from 2015 to 2017 €144.4 million were given as humanitarian support mainly in the northeast.
He said EU have facilitated the safe return of 7,720 Nigerians over the last few months and it scheduled to facilitate the safe return of another 110 Nigerians on Thursday.
He said, “The EU remain a key development partner in Nigeria, EU is predominantly a political partner to Nigeria in total in the last 10 years we have committed about €1.5 billion in development to Nigeria . Only in 2017 we disbursed €200 million to Nigeria”.
He also decried the continued herdsmen/farmers clash in Nigeria, “We have expressed our concern about the killings in Nigeria and we want the perpetrators to be brought to book. Our hearts are sinking on the continued killings and it is a big concern to us in EU. We support Nigeria and Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), on border control and control of small arms”, he said.