Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, has commended the German government for its commitment and undying interest in the affairs of Nigeria since the Country’s independence in 1960.
He noted that the long-standing cooperation existing between the governments was based on mutual trust, respect and understanding.
Agba gave these commendations at the recently-concluded Nigeria- German Bilateral government consultations and sectoral dialogue held, in Abuja.
Recalling a similar meeting held in 2017, which culminated in the signing of some agreed resolutions between the countries, he stated that he had been briefed on the progress made on the implementation of the programmes and projects as contained in the resolutions.
He noted that the consultation, which was aimed at discussing the new German Reform Strategy was an overhaul of the German development policy with its partner countries.
He explained that the overhauling was to ensure that development measures and funding were targeted at tackling challenges that were peculiar to partner countries.
The Minister said that the reform strategy concentrated on specific areas such as: climate, health and family policy, sustainable supply chains, harnessing digital technology, technology transfer and strengthening private investment with a view to overcoming hunger and poverty.
He pointed out that the reform strategies were in line with the economic sustainability and inclusive growth espoused by the Government of Nigeria in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020).
The Minister noted that the Reform strategy would not have come at a better time than now, as deliberations would take into cognizance the priority areas, complementing the efforts in tackling the development challenges.
In addition to those priority areas, Agba said it was expected that attention would be focused on Power sector in view of the current challenges being experienced.
He urged everyone to make the necessary efforts to ensure that opportunities offered in the Reform Strategy and other similar initiatives were not misplaced.
In her remarks, the country Manager Nigeria, who represented the German government, Claudia Wolk, underlined the objective of the bilateral development co-operation, which was to reform processes and reposition German development co-operation in order to improve the capacity to tackle new challenges and demands in international co-operation.
Consultations were held to discuss the general context for development and economic cooperation with the governments of Nigeria and Germany and to exchange views on future bilateral cooperation between the countries.
The delegation, from the Federal Republic of Nigeria was led by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, while the Director Africa, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and (BMZ) Mr. Christopher Rauh, led the German delegates.
Both countries agreed on areas of mutual interest:- in supplying a sustainable and inclusive economic development, promoting sustainable and inclusive development, promoting sustainable investment and creating jobs for all, especially, youths and women.
They also reaffirmed their commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Nigerian government commended her German counterpart for their engagements in Nigeria, through areas of sustainable economic development as well as peace and security.
Both governments agreed that development supply from the German side should align with the ongoing Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plans.
Both parties agreed to prioritize Nigerian German Development Cooperation in the following areas:
1) Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs with a focus on vocational education and training as well as private and financial sector development.
2) Responsibility for our planet – climate and energy with a focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
3) A WORLD WITHOUT HUNGER’, with a focus on food security and agriculture.
Sustainable Economic Development: The German government said their country would continue to support Nigeria through measures focused on promotion of needs-based technical and vocational education and employment possibilities for the youth with 7.5 Million EUR (Bilateral Technical Cooperation Grant)
RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR PLANET -CLIMATE ENERGY: The German counterpart explained that a feasibility study had been commissioned recommending a financial contribution in the form of subordinated loan of 25 million Euro (Bilateral Financial Cooperation) and accompanying measures of 0.5 Million Financial Cooperation Grant from the German Government to start the MSME credit line with focus on RE/EE (Green Credit Line).
AGRICULTURAL SECTOR: The German counterpart pledged to commit 4.3 million Euros (Regional Technical Cooperation Grant) to the Green Innovation Center for the Agriculture and Food Sector to increase employment, income generation and productivity improvement along various agricultural chains.
COVID 19 RESPONSES: On COVID19 response, German Government intends to further commit 5million Euros (Bilateral Financial Grant) to the ongoing eradication programme. That would allow supporting the implementation of the National COVID19 Response Plan.
In reaction to the outbreak, German Government allocated about 12 million Euros for immediate support in ECOWAS region.