Nigeria’s ties with Niger, Chad yielding results, presidency affirms
As commission tasks financial, technical partners on Lake Chad Basin
The Presidency, yesterday, expressed satisfaction with the current bilateral relationship between Nigeria and its neighbours, confirming that such ties have helped, especially, in addressing border insecurity, illegal arms import and smuggling.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in Niamey, Niger, shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned a major road named after him in the state capital.
He said Buhari, on assumption of office in 2015, opened up strong dialogue with neighbouring Niger, Benin, Chad, and Cameroun, an approach, he said, has resulted in positive diplomatic ties of mutual interest to both countries.
Garba noted: “President Buhari has strong respect for our neighbours and he understands the essence of neighbourliness. Before this administration, some of these countries complained that Nigerian leadership was not even talking to them.
“We have opened up dialogue with them, and it is paying off. We are partnering with them on essential matters, especially, on security, tackling smuggling, and importation of illegal weapons. So, the partnership is complete.”
According to the aide, Buhari leaves behind, on May 29, 2023, a solid relationship, built on a solid rock with Nigeria’s neighbours, and expected to be built upon by his successor.
While justifying the naming of a road after Buhari, Shehu said the development indicates the tremendous respect Nigeria’s neighbours have towards him.
President of Niger Republic, Mohammed Bazoun, who was accompanied by the mayor of Niamey and other officials, took Buhari on a tour of the 3.8kilometer boulevard, commissioned in line with the country’s constitutional provisions.
Buhari is in Niamey to join other leaders in the continent for the African Union (AU) summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification.
MEANWHILE, Executive Secretary of Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Alhaji Mamman Nuhu, has charged the commission’s technical and financial partners to come up with recommendations for resolving challenges facing millions of people in the Lake Chad Basin.
He gave the charge in Abuja, yesterday, in his opening remarks at a meeting of experts, preparatory to the 68th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), holding in Abuja, November 24 to 26.
He said the meeting of experts is important because it is where matters concerning the past, present, and future activities of the commission are discussed, and recommendations made for consideration by the Council of Ministers.
He added: “This year’s meeting is taking place against the background of complex challenges, occasioned by extreme poverty, economic instability and food insecurity. Climate change and variability is acting as a threat multiplier, with extreme weather events, severe droughts, irregular rainfalls, water scarcity, devastating floods, environmental degradation, desertification, etc.
“You must boldly push the process forward with a solid commitment to deepen cooperation and integration in areas that can transform this region’s development landscape.”