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Buhari seeks global commitment on shrinking Lake Chad


Receding Lake Chad

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for more commitment from the international community on redirecting water to the Lake Chad.He warned that the about 40 million population in the region will pose adverse migration and security challenges to the world.

Receiving Letters of Credence from the High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, Philip Baker, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari said the tragedy of the shrinking Lake Chad will continue to fuel more illegal migrations. He added the area is also aiding banditry and providing willing hands for terrorism, since majority of the people have lost their means of livelihood.

According to him: “In 1920’s, an academic rightly predicted that except there’s a redirection of water to Lake Chad, it will dry up.In a statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday, he urged the Canadian government to support the on-going efforts to divert water from the Congo River to the lake.“Canada has the capacity to help us. The lake is now less than ten per cent of its normal size. A redirection will help our people from getting into the Mediterranean Sea,” he added.

The president added that Nigeria and Canada have good relations dating back to the early 60’s when Nigeria gained independence, and commended the country for “its vast resource utilisation and solid political background.”The Canadian High Commissioner commended the president, adding that

Canadian Governor General, Julie Payette, had presented a picture taken from space of the vanishing lake to the president when she visited recently.Baker said more than 11, 000 Nigerians were studying in Canada, with many residing in the country, and assured the president that majority of the students return to build and invest their knowledge in the development of Nigeria.

Receiving Letters of Credence from the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Wendy Campbell Laing, Buhari said Nigeria remains grateful for the training support for the military in the northeastern part of the country, since it started fighting Boko Haram.

In her remarks, the British High Commissioner said the visits of the Prime Minister, Theresa May and Prince of Wales, Charles Philip Arthur George, to Nigeria last year were to further consolidate relations, and look forward to Nigeria’s support after Brexit.

Buhari, who also received Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Argentina to Nigeria, Maria Del Carmen Squeff, said the vast potentials in trade and agriculture for both countries could be further explored.In her response, the Ambassador of Argentina noted that both countries must move beyond the level of signing agreements to ensuring that issues of trade, sports, investments and agriculture get practical follow up for mutual benefit.

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