- It would be the greatest western investment in Africa
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said the greatest investment Europe and the United States could make in Africa now was to help in accomplishing inter-basin water transfer to recharge the Lake Chad.
Receiving the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in the State House, Buhari recalled how the Lake Chad had served as the source of livelihood for millions of West African citizens in the past.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president listed countries which benefitted immensely from the lake in its productive years as Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
The president, according to the statement, also noted that Lake Chad had now shrunk to 10 per cent of its initial size as a result of the huge impact of climate change.
He was quoted as saying, “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.”
The statement added that Buhari observed that the size of Nigeria and resources available there-in placed a lot of responsibilities on the country’s shoulders and pledged that the country would continue to fulfill its obligations to the African Union (AU).
Adesina further quoted the president as saying, “At all international fora, we emphasise 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.”
Furthermore, the statement added that Mahamat, in his remarks, praised Buhari, saying his leadership has been good for Nigeria, the AU, and 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,” the statement added.