The European Union (EU) announced the “Team Europe Initiative (TEI) Nigeria Green Economy” initiative, committing roughly €1.3 billion, to promote the adoption of sustainable climate-smart agriculture and renewable energy in Nigeria and expand the nation’s economy.
At the 8th EU-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos, with the theme “Nigeria and the New Economy,” the project was officially launched by Ms. Samuela Isopi, the EU ambassador to Nigeria and the ECOWAS.
Isopi claims that the program, which intends to increase Nigeria’s agricultural and energy sectors’ comparative advantage, comprises of 60 projects that must be finished by 2027.
She stated that the EU member states (Denmark, France, Germany, and the Netherlands), the business and governmental sectors, and Development Financial Institutions would work together to fulfill the project’s objectives (DFIs).
According to her, “the Green Economy Initiative would help the Nigerian government’s efforts to diversify the economy in line with the EU’s Green Deal by combining support to improve access to renewable energy for productive applications and fostering the growth of the agricultural sector.”
“The combined efforts would assist Nigeria in achieving the SDGs and move the nation toward sustainable development. The project will provide assistance in sectors where Europe has knowledge and a significant impact, such as climate-smart agriculture, technology and digital solutions, vocational training, the creation of jobs and businesses, and access to renewable energy.
She also reaffirmed the EU’s determination to work with other members that are eager to help the expansion of Nigeria’s economy.
Ms. Inga Stefanowicz, the EU Team Leader for the Green and Digital Economy in Nigeria, indicated that the European Investment Bank (EIB) and DFIs in Europe would support a number of participants in the agricultural and energy sectors of Nigeria.
The flagship program would open up space for EU trade and investment while creating job opportunities for Nigeria’s young by merging the EIB’s investment facilities with the European Development Finance Institutions and EU member states.
To alleviate food insecurity, enhance agricultural exports, fill skill gaps, and generate jobs, she said, “assistance will be offered to encourage and increase climate-smart agricultural output and value-added creation in chosen value chains.”
The Director of Agri-Business and Market Development, Dr. Emmanuel Olaleye, spoke for the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, who praised the project and claimed it would boost foreign exchange profits, ensure the nation’s food supply, and generate jobs.
Meanwhile, he declared that in order to attract investments, pursue its diversification objectives, and ensure food security, the Federal Government would continue to prioritize activities in the agriculture sector through targeted policies.
“The ministry has determined what needs to be done in order to do this, which includes encouraging the use of a better variety of seeds that are high yielding, disease-resistant, and adaptable quality.
The Green Imperative, which is government-enabled but driven by the private sector, aims to improve mechanized production by reducing human effort, boosting productivity, eliminating drudgery in farming operations, and strengthening value chain links.
Others, he continued, “include boosting investments in commodities exchanges, aggregation and backward/forward integration, supporting agricultural research and development, and lowering farming hazards through de-risking agricultural productivity.”