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EU disburses €39m to Nigeria’s 2023 elections

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The European Union (EU) on Saturday revealed the plan to disburse €39 million to support and ensure the 2023 general elections in Nigeria is transparent.  The EU in a statement by its delegation in Abuja on Saturday, disclosed the launching of 39 million Euros on September 12 for the EU-Support Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU- SDGN) in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

The EI bloc declared that the €39 million launched to support Nigeria’s electoral process is to promote transparent, inclusive and credible elections in the country.

The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Samuela Isopi, highlighted: “the programme tagged EU-SDGN Phase II, is a €39 million initiative.

“Funded under the EU’s Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument, over a five-year period.

“The overall objective of the EU-SDGN is to foster a functioning pluralistic, inclusive, participatory, and representative democracy in Nigeria. Inclusive, participatory, and transparent elections are a pre-requisite for a strong democracy.

“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 EU continues to partner with Nigeria in the on-going reform process with a view to strengthening the capacity to conduct well-managed elections and with ample participation of all Nigerians.

“For this to happen, all must contribute, from the key institutions to the political parties and candidates, from media to civil society.”

Isopi said that the project would be anchored on the priorities identified by the Nigerian government, noting that it builds on the lessons learned from the implementation of Phase I of the programme from (2017-2022).

She said that the recommendations of the EU Election Observation Mission were made after the 2019 General Election as well as those of the EU Election Follow-up Mission to Nigeria, more specifically, it would focus on six thematic areas of support:

“Improve the quality of electoral administration in Nigeria. 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.

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“Empower Media, including new media, to promote fair and ethical coverage of the electoral process and combat hate speech and disinformation.

“Enhance participation of women, youth and other marginalised groups in the political process.

“Then lastly, empower civil society organisations and relevant agencies to demand greater transparency and accountability in the electoral and decision-making process, and promote greater citizens’ participation.”

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