Buhari, Guterres to Help Raise $50b for Lake Chad

  • Buhari promises to diversify the economy and make it more inclusive.
  • Lauds ADB for successes recorded in the four years of Dr Adesina’s tenure

President Muhammadu Buhari alongside United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres will chair a Special Session of the UN to raise $50 billion to fund the inter-basin water transfer from Central Africa to Lake Chad.

This was announced by Guterres in a letter sent through the President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Akinwumi Adesina, who delivered the letter at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday.

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President Buhari has been a frontline canvasser for the regeneration of Lake Chad. According to him, such a Special Forum was necessary in view of the size of capital required for the project which was unavailable to the Lake Chad Basin countries.

Addressing issues directly related to the ADB, the President expressed delight with successes recorded in the four years of Dr Adesina’s tenure at the Bank. and specifically citing the Bank’s contribution to the growth of Nigeria’s agriculture and infrastructure, and commended what he called “its critical gesture in 2016 during the difficult period of economic recession through the issuance of USD600 million budget support facility.

While highlighting the successes achieved by his administration through the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), he stressed that his focus will continue to be on diversifying the economy and making it more inclusive as well as the creation of jobs in critical sectors like the Information Communication Technology, and manufacturing so that “young people will earn a decent living.”

Speaking on growth in the agricultural sector, the president, who noted that a lot is being achieved in providing guaranteed off-takers for farmers, and in the provision of infrastructure that includes airports, rail, roads and waterways admitted that there are still significant works ahead in the provision of power, small scale cottage industries and promotion of the agro-industrial zones coming up in the country.

He, therefore, asked to continue supporting his administration in this regard.

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While presenting the letter,Dr Adesina thanked President Buhari for his support, without which, he said, he would not have been ADB president.

Dr. Adesina who listed his record of achievements in the last four years among which lending to critical sectors of the Nigerian economy grew to an unprecedented 4.3 billion US Dollars told President Buhari that the fortunes of the Bank had significantly improved, earning global ratings in accountability and transparency, improved incomes and for making impact on the lives of millions of its target population.

He also sought for the support of president Buhari for a “general capital increase” to fast track the development of the Bank, to which the president gave all assurances and directed the Ministry of Finance to engage and expedite action on the issues brought to the government by the ADB.

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