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International Partnerships


Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation. In spite of its oil wealth, about two-thirds of its estimated 203 million population lives on less than one US dollar per day.

The development of the country is held back by poor overall governance, serious corruption, weak and complex institutions, massive inequality and very limited access for most of the population to basic services.

Our priorities

Our approach will aim to help Nigeria implement and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our development cooperation intervention logic has moved towards a stronger focus on jobs, investment and growth. Gender equality remains a transversal priority.

Any strategic approach to development cooperation with Nigeria needs to reflect, first and foremost, on how the EU can address the ‘Nigerian paradox’: a rich country with a lot of potential, especially in the long term, but with high and increasing levels of poverty.

EU cooperation should thus involve supporting the Government to reduce poverty, notably through improving governance, expanding social equity and maintaining economic growth. It should serve to strengthen national efforts to manage own resources more effectively and efficiently.

Our impact

Under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) cycle of funding (2014-2020), the focus is on the North of the country, where development indicators are among the worst in sub-Saharan Africa and where the root causes of conflict and instability can be addressed. In particular, EU support is focussed on stabilisation and recovery in the North Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa which have been hit by the Boko Haram conflict.

To ensure better impact and value-for-money, the EU is currently concentrating its development cooperation at state level, in a maximum of 10 out of 36 states, where real improvements in service delivery and development indicators can be made, where reforms can be increased, and where we can partner with and complement activities of our other instruments and of other key donors.

Our programmes

The 11th EDF National Indicative Programme (NIP) allocated €562 million for the 2014-2020 funding period. The focal sectors are:

Health, nutrition and resilience (€280 million) – aimed at reducing poverty through improving policy and institutional governance to enhance health status, social cohesion, increasing maternal and child survival rates and strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable households especially in Northern Nigeria.

Sustainable energy and access to electricity (€150 million) – focused on improving access to the sustainable supply of electricity, particularly for the poorest and in the least developed States especially in the North.

Rule of law, governance and democracy (€100 million) – aimed to contribute to government and civil society measures to improve economic governance, consolidate the rule of law, enhance peace and security, and reinforce democratic processes and continue the support to manage migration and mobility.

Measures in favour of civil society and support measures amount to €32 million.