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Nigeria: Overseas Aid

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what additional aid he plans to make available for the Independent Electoral Commission in Nigeria to deal with the additional workload since the election in that country. (134523)

It is too early to make any significant decision on how DFID’s programme in Nigeria should be adjusted in response to the elections. Due to the problems encountered, additional elections were being held in many parts of the country on 28 April. Currently all sides are reflecting upon the electoral process and the results as these are returned.

However, we are also reviewing our support for the electoral process, including our support to Independent Nigeria Electoral Commission (INEC). DFID provided £2.5 million of support to a Joint Donor Basket Fund managed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The other donors are the European Union and Canadian CIDA. The majority of the joint funding was notionally allocated to INEC. But INEC has consistently turned down donor offers of technical support, so spending has been lower than anticipated.

Given the events of the last three weeks, the UNDP are now doing a stock-take on our joint support to INEC. We are expecting proposals early this week on how we can best wrap-up our existing programme of support for INEC. After this, there will also be a review of lessons and a priority for the coming few months will be to reach a consensus in Nigeria on how best INEC can be supported in future. In addition, we will be undertaking joint analysis on the wider aspects of political governance which need to be addressed in order for the 2011 elections to be an improvement on those of 2007.