By Fiona Freddy

ABUJA: United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), yesterday, signed an agreement to increase their funding for Nigeria’s elections till 2020, bringing their total commitment to Nigeria to $60 million.

According to a statement made available to newsmen by the British High Commission Press and Public Affairs unit explained that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to extend their joint funding arrangements to support Nigeria’s electoral processes through 2020 with an increased DFID contribution.

“The additional £5.5 million (US $7.3 million) pledged by the UK brings DFID’s contribution to the joint funding arrangements since 2014 to $26 million, augmenting the $34 million provided by USAID since that time, bringing the total funding support for free, fair, transparent, and peaceful Nigerian elections through this joint mechanism to $60 million over six years.

The amendment update was signed at the U.S. Embassy by USAID Mission Director Stephen M. Haykin and DFID Governance and Social Development Team Leader Oliver Blake.

It will continue support for programs in election administration, voter education, and nonpartisan civil society domestic election monitoring, for the 2019 elections and the post-election period.

“Today’s signing is a reminder of the longstanding, shared commitment of the Nigerian, British, and American peoples to promoting democracy, in particular, peaceful and inclusive elections,” Haykin said at the event.