Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja reiterated the need for sustained financial, technical and capacity building support from the international community to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change in the country.
The president, according to his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, made the call while receiving a letter of credence from Mr. Robert Jan Petri, the Ambassador of Netherlands to Nigeria.
According to him, Buhari said Nigeria would continue to vigorously pursue the replenishment of the Lake Chad Basin, which has dried up to 10 per cent of its original size.
”With the population growth in Nigeria and the drying up of the Lake Chad, we have to move faster and adapt to the impacts of climate change through technological solutions,” the president was quoted as saying.
He said the president told the Dutch Ambassador that following Nigeria’s active participation in United Nations-organised Climate Change conferences in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Nigerian government successfully hosted a high-level international conference on Lake Chad in February 2018.
“President Buhari noted that the high-level conference provided an opportunity to push further options to restore the Lake Chad, including the inter-basin water transfer project from Ubangi River in Central Africa to the Lake.
“On agriculture, the president welcomed the interest by some Nigerian doctoral students studying in the Netherlands on developing the sector through research and innovation, particularly the livestock sector,” Adesina said.
He said in separate remarks, while receiving the letter of credence from the High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana, Mr Pule Mphothwe, Buhari commended the Southern African country for its consistent support for Nigeria in the international fora.
He also said the president recounted Nigeria’s leadership role in the liberation of African countries from colonial domination, saying: “It is a national duty to support our African brothers in their time of need.”
The president, he added, also received a letter of credence from Mr. Houssam Diab, Ambassador of Lebanon to Nigeria, and commended Lebanon for the successful parliamentary elections, commitment to stability and security in the Middle East, as well as assistance to Syrian refugees.
He said in their separate remarks, the ambassadors, while highlighting the existing cordial relations between Nigeria and their countries, called for increased trade and economic cooperation.
He quoted the Dutch Ambassador as saying: “We are in the process of intensifying our cooperation, particularly on agriculture where we can offer our expertise, being the second largest exporter of food after the United States.”
Furthermore, he said the Botswana High Commissioner to Nigeria told Buhari that several companies from his country had indicated interest in investing in Nigeria’s mining, agriculture, sports and creative arts sectors.
”Sequel to the visit to my country (Botswana) by your predecessor in 2011, there is a great desire for my president to visit Nigeria,” Mphothwe reportedly said.