The European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its unwavering support for Nigeria’s anti-corruption endeavors, having already allocated a substantial sum of 88 million euros since 2005 to bolster these efforts. This commitment was reiterated as the EU disclosed an additional 30 million euros dedicated to enhancing the Rule of Law, combating corruption, and reducing gender-based violence within the country over the next five years.
EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, made these revelations in Abuja during the formal launch of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC Phase II) Programme, executed by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and funded by the European Union.
Ambassador Isopi highlighted the core objectives of the program, emphasizing its focus on strengthening the rule of law, combatting corruption, reducing gender-based violence, and advocating for the preservation of human rights and inclusivity for all Nigerians.
The launch event shed light on the extensive impact of the program’s first phase, impacting 1.5 million Nigerians and setting the stage for its extended five-year tenure across states like Adamawa, Anambra, Edo, Kano, Lagos, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with a potential extension to two more states.
Furthermore, the program aims to concentrate on criminal justice, prison reform, curbing sexual and gender-based violence, and fortifying anti-corruption policies and mechanisms.
According to the EU Ambassador, the primary obstacle hindering effective anti-corruption initiatives in Nigeria is enforcement. However, she expressed solidarity with Nigeria’s anti-graft crusade, acknowledging corruption’s detrimental impact on governance, human rights, and economic prosperity.
Danladi Plang, Head of the Programme at Nigeria International IDEA, underscored the program’s objective to solidify the rule of law and anti-corruption reforms, highlighting Kano as the sole state yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.
Representatives from the government, including the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, and the Executive Director of International IDEA, Fiona Rowley, emphasized the significance of ROLAC Phase II in fostering national development, enhancing justice sector systems, and addressing gender-based violence.
The launch ceremony aimed to introduce the program to key stakeholders and secure their active involvement and cooperation in its implementation, signifying a collaborative stride toward a more transparent, accountable, and just Nigerian society.