EU-British Council Launches €13.5m ACT Programme in Nigeria

To ensure an accountable and democratic government, the European Union (EU) British Council has stressed the need to invest in, and engage with Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), saying their contributions to sustainable development in any country cannot be over emphasised.

To this end, the Council on Tuesday, launched the €13.5 million funded Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) programme in Abuja, a programme to be implemented in the North East, North West, South East, South West and North-Central following increasing rate of conflicts.

While describing the essence of the project, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS Ketil Karisen, said that the programme aims at supporting and strengthening institutional mechanisms, structures, and processes in Nigeria.

According to him, “there was the need to improve the internal, external and pragmamatic competence of CSO’s, networks and coalitions in the country.”

“ACT will seek to facilitate improved CSO regulatory frameworks through the provision of support that promotes self-regulatory mechanisms amongs CSO’s while exploring ways to support the evolution of a functional and effective national regulatory framework that will be acceptable to all stakeholders,” he said.

Karisen added that, “the programme’s aim is to strengthen donor coordination on CSO engagement in Nigeria with a view to ensuring that there are strategic linkages and opportunities for knowledge sharing amongst key donors and international development partners supporting CSO strenghning in Nigeria.”

However, the Director, International Cooperation at the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Elizabeth Egharevba, assured of government’s support to the strengthening of CSO’s, and successful implementation of ACT in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Sub-Saharan Africa Portfolio Lead and Programme Director for ACT Bob Arnot, said that the programme seeks to also address and support gender related issues.

Arnot informed that, ” the ACT is funded by the European Union (EU) under 11th European development fund EDF and implemented by the British council.”

He further disclosed that, ” a total of €13.5 which is equivalent to an estimate of six billion eighty-nine million eighty-seven thousand nine hundred twenty-five was given by the EU towards the support of the project and assures of a successful implementation.

By PRNigeria