Nigeria endorses AU's 0.5% budget contribution formula

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria stated here Thursday that the projects contained in the AU Commission's 2004-2007 plan of action could be implemented if each of the 53 AU member states contributed 0.
5% of its annual revenue to the continental body's budget.
"We will be able to finance all our projects if each of us contributes 0.
5% of our total annual revenue to the budget of the African Union," Obasanjo told journalists in Addis Ababa at the end of the 3rd AU ordinary general assembly.
According to the new current AU chairman, although public development aid had increased from US$16 billion to 20 billion, it is far below the development requirements of African countries estimated at about $64 billion.
He stressed the need for AU member states to give the AU additional resources, which could be mobilised in different ways, including reducing annual subsidies the European Union accords to its farmers and totally or partly writing off debts owed by Africa.
According to the Nigerian president, some $90 billion in additional resources could be made available to Africa in case the European Union accepts to reduce by only 25% the estimated $1 billion it provides in subsidies to its farmers per day and diverts it to the continent.
Citing the example of Nigeria, Obasanjo revealed that his government spends between $1.
5 billion to 2 billion per annum in debt repayments.
"With such an amount, we could do a lot of things particularly in the fields of education and health," remarked the new AU chairman, adding, however, that maintaining security and stability remains a priority in Africa.
"We shall have a lot problems to implement our development projects as long as peace and security problems continue in Africa," Obasanjo said.

08 july 2004 16:41:00

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