President Muhammadu Buhari has said that about 30 million people are adversely affected by a shrunken Lake Chad, which is now just about ten percent of its original size.
President Buhari said this Saturday at the State House, Abuja, while hosting the President of Chad, Marshal Idris Deby Itno, who paid him a one-day official visit.
He said, “It is imperative that there be water transfer to Lake Chad from the Congo Basin, so that the people can resume their normal lives.”
The president said with inter-basin water transfer, farming, fishing, and 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 in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
Buhari thanked Chad for its role in curbing insurgency in the region, particularly the Boko Haram challenge.
President Buhari wished Marshal Itno well in the general elections coming up in his country in April.
The Chadian leader, who appreciated President Buhari for receiving him, said: “We are neighbours facing similar challenges.”
He added that he was also around to explore other bilateral issues, in addition to security.
Itno, while speaking on the recharge of Lake Chad, advised the Nigerian President to consider convening an international summit to move the idea forward.