President Muhammadu Buhari has put heads together with his Chadian counterpart, President Marshal Idris Deby Itno on how to restore hope to 30 million people that have been adversely affected by a shrunken Lake Chad, which is now just about ten per cent of its original size.
Speaking when the Chadian strong man paid him a ond-day visit today, March 27 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President said: “it is imperative that there be water transfer to the Lake Chad from the Congo Basin, so that the people can resume their normal lives.”
He said that with inter-basin water transfer, farming, fishing, animal husbandry would resume, and curtail irregular migration of youths, who now dare the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, to get into Europe, seeking greener pastures.
“I’ve been engaging with the relevant stakeholders in Africa and beyond, on why we need to recharge Lake Chad. Nigeria will benefit more, but it is also advantageous to everyone,’’ President Buhari added.
He appreciated Chad for its role in curbing insurgency in the region, particularly the Boko Haram challenge.
“We appreciate what you are doing on security. When I first came to office in 2015, I came to see you, as well as leaders of other neighbouring countries, because it makes sense to be in the good books of our neighbours.”
President Buhari wished Marshal Itno well in the general elections coming up in his country in April.
The Chadian leader thanked President Buhari for receiving him, saying: “we are neighbours facing similar challenges.”
He advised President Buhari to consider convening an international summit to adequately address the issue of the recharge of Lake Chad.