The Federal Republic of Germany has budgeted N7.2 billion (€18 million) for the development of border communities across the country.
The fund which would be disbursed by Germany’s international aid agency, German Cooperation is part of Bonn’s support for the fourth phase of the African Union Border Programme phase 2020-2022.
Announcing this in Abuja on Tuesday during the workshop on the regional review and planning of the AUBP in West Africa, the GIZ ECOWAS Cluster Coordinator, Mr Ludwig Kirchner explained that border communities were often neglected by the authorities due to their remote location, noting that the fund was meant to enhance social-economic development of the settlements.
According to him, since the establishment of the AUBP, Germany had supported its implementation in over 20 countries with 10 ECOWAS member states benefiting from GIZ direct support.
Kirchner further explained that numerous border management activities had been conducted with tangible results and impact in the areas of regional and national policy development, delimitation, demarcation, reaffirmation, cross-border cooperation activities as well as capacity and organizational development.
These activities, he noted, were aimed at preventing border-related conflicts, strengthening the stabilisation of the region and fostering regional cooperation and integration.
He said, “It is in this regard that the German Cooperation would like to extend its support to the AU Border Programme at the continental, regional and member state level through another three years phase 2020-2022 by providing additional €18m.”
The acting Director-General, National Boundary Commission, Adamu Adaji appreciated the German Cooperation for its support to the AUBP, noting that this had contributed to better border management at the nation’s international boundaries.
He said, “With the support of the German Government, a total of 20 standard primary pillars and 88 intermediate boundary pillars have been constructed on the boundary.”
Adaji added that eight solar-powered boreholes had also been constructed for some Nigerian border communities, noting that the GIZ had also contributed €3m to the trust fund account for the demarcation of Nigeria-Cameroon international boundary domiciled in the United Nations in New York.
“It would be appreciated if GIZ-AUBP gives further support to the National Boundary Commission in such areas as the acquisition of geo-spatial data, vehicular and camping logistics, capacity development and archival searches,” he solicited.