President Muhammadu Buhari says massive investments are needed through strong public-private partnership to recharge the waters of Lake Chad to address the challenges of poverty and insecurity in the Lake Chad region.
President Buhari stated this at the Fifth Edition of the Future Investment Initiative Summit holding in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday.
The Nigerian leader, who drew the attention of world leaders to the devastating effect of climate change on livelihoods of people around the Lake Chad said:
“As we strive to build resilience towards a sustainable economy in our various countries, let us not forget the negative impact of climate change on our efforts to achieve this goal.
”Nigeria and many countries in Africa, are already facing the challenges posed by climate change. Climate change has triggered conflicts, food insecurity, irregular youth migration, rising level of sea waters, drought and desertification, as well as the drying-up of the Lake Chad.
“In the Lake Chad Basin region, where Boko Haram insurgency continues to undermine the peace, security and development of the region, climate change is largely responsible for the drying up of the Lake Chad which has shrunk by more than 85 per cent of its original size.
” The diminishing size of the Lake is at the root of the loss of millions of livelihoods, displacement of inhabitants and radicalization of teeming youths in the region who are recruited to serve as foot soldiers in the insurgency.
” In order to redress this situation and restore the lost fortunes of the Lake Chad Basin region, strong public-private partnership through massive investments will be needed to recharge the waters of Lake Chad.
President Buhari expressed the hope that participants at the forum would rise to the challenge in the interest of durable peace and sustainable development of the Lake Chad region.
The president used the opportunity to convey heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud for the invitation extended to him to participate in the summit.
He also congratulated the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for his leadership and support through the Future Investment Initiative Summit.
“I remain confident that through such exchanges, the world indeed will be a better place.
”I hope and pray that this forum will rise to the challenge in the interest of durable peace and sustainable development,” he added.