Buhari seeks inter-basin water transfer to recharge Lake Chad
President Muhammadu Buhari, Friday said the greatest investment Europe and America can make in Africa now is helping the continent accomplish inter-basin water transfer to recharge the Lake Chad.
The President stated this at the State House, Abuja, while hosting the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Buhari noted that the Lake Chad, which provided a means of livelihood to several millions of people in four countries – Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria – has now been reduced to ten per cent of its originate size, due to the impact of climate change.
“People who depended on the Lake for fishing, farming, animal husbandry, and many others, have been thrown into dire straits. That is one of the reasons youths now dare the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, to seek greener pastures in Europe. But helping to recharge Lake Chad will help a great deal in curbing irregular migration,” he said.
While noting that the size of Nigeria and resources available place a lot of responsibilities on her shoulders, President Buhari pledged that the country would continue to fulfill its obligations to the African Union.
“At all international fora, we emphasize the matter of Lake Chad. We also talk about the influx of small arms from the Sahel, which worsens the security situation between herders and stagnant farmers. We will keep the issues on the front burners,” the President emphasized.
Speaking earlier, Mahamat lauded President Buhari, saying his leadership was good for Nigeria, for AU, and for Africa in general.
He added that the next AU Summit would look into the reform of the AU Commission, positioning the AU and Africa in the world, Single Air Transport Market, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and other issues.
He noted that Nigeria has played major roles towards peace in countries like Guinea Bissau, Togo, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and many others.
“Nigeria is the engine of Africa politically, economically, and in the area of peace and security. Without her, Agenda 2063 cannot be accomplished. We depend on the elder to reach our destination in good shape. Nigeria is worthy of being followed. We rely on your wisdom to fulfill the task before us.”
The President also on Friday, reaffirmed that his administration will sustain the delivery of quality infrastructure across the country for investments and businesses to thrive.
He stated this when he received representatives of Trade Associations from the 36 states and the FCT led by the National Coordinator, Paul Ikonne.
President Buhari pledged that he will continue to do his best to ensure that the country is safe and secure for everybody.
The President welcomed the group’s appreciation of government’s efforts in providing and improving critical infrastructure, especially roads and railways, to ensure ease in movement of goods and services.
‘‘These efforts are part of our campaign slogans on security, the economy and the fight against corruption; and on security, it is common-sense that unless the country is secured it cannot be governed.
‘‘The best people to comment on the achievements of this administration in terms of security are people who come from the North East where they used to share their local governments with Boko Haram, get ambushed and dispossessed.
‘‘Today, we are all witnesses to the commendable efforts of government on security,’’ the President said.
President Buhari also took note of some major observations by the traders including illegal seizure of good by agents of governments, harmonisation of taxes and charges, and the need for timely completion of rail networks connecting ‘‘South to North, North to the East and East to the West.’’
In his remarks, Ikonne praised the Buhari administration for instituting policies that are friendly and encouraging to traders, artisans and farmers.
The National Coordinator declared the Association’s support for the fight against corruption, saying ‘‘Mr, President, we must applaud your courage to fight corruption which is restoring Nigeria’s reputation within and outside the country. This, indeed, is an outstanding achievement and we are proud of you.’’
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