President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the shrinking Lake Chad for the economic challenges and also the reason why many indulge in all manner of crimes.
“The effect of climate change on Lake Chad has created more economic challenges, with the shrinking lake rendering many jobless, and leaving them with little or no options for survival, except crime.
Buhari said this yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving Letter of Credence of the High Commissioner of Australia to Nigeria, Mrs Claire Ireland.
President Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said climate change was “steadily” taking a toll on income of families as farmlands got narrowed with desert encroachments, while the vagaries of the weather posed greater risks for the future.
The president, who said the global attention on taming the effects of climate change was important, added that population had been on the increase in Nigeria, and lands for investment and farming had turned more competitive.
“Before now, 10 to 15 members of a family could own a land, but the desert encroachment and growth in population has created a situation where you can have 200 people struggling over a family land,” he said.
Buhari said the country was preparing for more challenges from desert encroachment.
Mrs. Claire Ireland in her remarks said that Australia had maintained consistent economic growth for 29 years, scoring a record of development indicators that many countries had not been able to attain.
She said the growth had been largely driven by investments and diversification in the mining sector, assuring that stronger partnerships would be explored for Nigeria’s potentials in minerals, education and agriculture.
President Buhari, who also received Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of Sweden, Carl Michael, said Nigeria remained grateful for the strong partnership it had enjoyed over the years.
The Swedish ambassador, who assured the president that he would work hard to deepen political and economic relations as there were many opportunities for cooperation, including trade and investments.
Receiving the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Nigeria, Maxwell Ranga, Buhari also said that Nigeria had enjoyed long years of cooperation with Zimbabwe.
Maxwell Ranga in his remarks said that Zimbabwe appreciated Nigeria’s support during the country’s struggle for independence.