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Cameron breaks promise, UK will increase aid to Nigeria despite anti-gay law

Prime Minister David Cameron has broken his promise to block aid increase to Nigeria if they introduced homophobic legislation
David Cameron has broken his promise to not give Nigeria aid if they introduced homophobic legislation.
Photo by Scott Nunn.

The UK will be increasing aid to Nigeria this year despite introducing anti-gay laws.

This is in despite of Prime Minister David Cameron warning the UK would review its massive aid programme if Nigeria passed a law introducing 14 year jail terms punishing homosexuality.

Instead aid to Nigeria will be increased from £200 million last year to almost £270 million ($328m to $443m, €241m to €325m).

In 2011, Conservative leader Cameron said he would block the aid increase to Nigeria if it pressed ahead with its new law.

‘When we meet with Nigerian leaders, we will be clear about those things we agreed on,’ he said. ‘We have to be clear where we disagree. We will make clear where we stand on those issues.’

The Department for International Development said the West African state will not be losing funding as none of the money was channelled through the country’s government.

All British money is spent via agencies such as Unicef and private contractors providing education, clean water and anti-malaria projects.

But while no one is questioning efforts to stop malaria, some have asked why Nigeria needs such a hefty sum.

Earlier this year, Nigeria was named as a ‘MINT’ country – one of the four nations (the others being Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey) to have the potential to become a world economic superpower. According to experts, Nigeria is rich enough to start its own space programme.

It emerged earlier this week President Goodluck Jonathan signed the ‘Jail All The Gays’ bill.

The legislation bans same-sex marriage, criminalizes gay clubs and associations, and sets up prison terms of up to 14 years.

Openly gay people risk being imprisoned whether or not they have sex.

Anybody who knows somebody who is gay will have to tell the authorities or go to jail for five years.

Human rights activists said yesterday police have drawn up a list of 168 gay men to arrest in northern Nigeria. 38 have already been arrested, and it is being alleged police is using torture to obtain other names.

A spokesman for the government said the law was introduced as it was ‘in line with our cultural and religious beliefs as a people.’

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