By Naomi Sharang
In a significant stride toward strengthening Nigeria’s fight against corruption, the European Union (EU) has pledged €30 million over the next five years.
The commitment was announced by Ms.
Samuela Isopi, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, during the formal launch of Phase II of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (RoLAC) in Abuja.
The RoLAC initiative, set to unfold at the federal level and in five states—Adamawa, Anambra, Edo, Kano, and Lagos—reflects the EU’s multifaceted approach.
Addressing corruption, reducing gender-based violence, and promoting human rights and inclusivity are at the core of this comprehensive program.
Acknowledging the achievements of RoLAC’s first phase, Isopi emphasised the establishment and reinforcement of policies and processes.
Notable successes include heightened inter-agency cooperation in the battle against corruption and the creation of synergies between government and civil society organisations.
The second phase, spanning five years, will concentrate on criminal justice, prison reform, and curbing sexual and gender-based violence.
Isopi stressed that the pivotal challenge in Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts lies in effective enforcement.
Danladi Plang, Head of the Programme at Nigeria International IDEA, highlighted that RoLAC Phase II aims to consolidate rule of law and anti-corruption reforms.
While lauding the EU’s commitment, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, emphasised the alignment of RoLAC Phase II with the National Development Plan 2021-2025.
Representatives from Kano State, the only state yet to domesticate the VAPP Act, showcased the programme’s focus on enhancing the performance, quality, and oversight of the criminal justice system.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Lateef Fagbemi, expressed commendation for RoLAC’s impactful interface and quality nation-building initiatives.
He was represented by Mrs Victoria Ojogbane, the Director of Planning Research, and Statistics at the Ministry.
He said it marked a pivotal step in bridging gaps in criminal justice and administrative reform, promising to enhance systems and structures within Nigeria’s justice sector.
The EU’s generous pledge and strategic collaboration signal a renewed vigor in the shared commitment to upholding the rule of law and eradicating corruption in Nigeria.
Edited by Ali Baba Inuwa