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Nigeria has one of the highest growth rates in Africa, over 6% per year and abundant natural resources. The country plays an active role in regional and international affairs and became an important contributor to peace and security in the West African region. However, poor economic governance, complex institutions and massive inequality remain some important challenges for the country. To implement policy reforms, the government published 2020 Vision and Transformation Agenda which focuses on the main development challenges. The cooperation between European Union and Nigeria is detailed in the National Indicative Programme 2014-2020.
The National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) aims to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigeria. The basis of environmental policy in Nigeria is contained in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The State is empowered to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wildlife of Nigeria. The official strategy is to integrate environmental concerns into major economic decisions and making process. This policy, in order to succeed must be built on the following sustainable development principles: “The precautionary principle which holds that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, the lack of full scientific knowledge shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective means to prevent environmental degradation”.
In recognition of the need to protect her resources, Nigeria has put in place a number of legislations: the Forestry Ordinance, the National Parks Service Act, the Federal Environmental Impact Assessment Decree.
Two sectors of cooperation are directly concerned by environment: health and sustainable energy. The third sector, Rule of Law will include the national policy concerning environment and management of natural resources.
Nigeria’s economy is constrained by inadequate access to electrical power. Inefficient capacity in generation, system failures and power losses are the main reasons of this issue. In addition, a significant part of the population is self-generating their power with petrol generators, at major financial and environmental cost. The previous period of cooperation supported renewable energy and energy efficiency in the areas of policy and planning. Some projects at community level were also implemented. Lessons can already be learned of these experiments. The market has not prioritized local ownership and long-term financial sustainability of projects, creating expectations of lasting support by beneficiaries. For the new period of cooperation, a hybrid incorporating policy and regulatory support (software) and blending with other instruments such as the Infrastructure Trust Fund (hardware) will be involved.
Health indices in Nigeria are very low, among the lowest in the world. Northern Nigeria is also very sensitive to climate change. Food security and nutrition is threatened by drought and external shocks have resulted in a generalized lack of resilience in many of the most vulnerable households. As a result, more than 1 million children under 5 years in northern Nigeria are at high risk of severe malnutrition. . The Health Information System in the country is not fully functional. Limited access to quality primary health care, essential medicines and technologies and low immunization coverage are also major problems. Measures to support sustainable agricultural techniques for smallholders, in particular techniques to address land degradation could play a significant role in improving resilience, in particular in the north of the country where desertification and land degradation are more prevalent.
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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interests of knowledge sharing and capacity development and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.