THE Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel says her country has earmarked the amount of eighteen billion Euro for the recharging of the Lake Chad through the diversion of rivers in the Congo Basin to empty their waters into the lake.
Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu on Friday said both the German leader and President Muhammadu Buhari said they have marked this project as one of their priorities.
Angela Merkel made this announcement at a joint Press Conference with President Muhammadu Buhari following bilateral talks on Friday in Berlin.
President Buhari, who made a strong pitch for the recharging of the Lake in bilateral talks with the German leader in the course of an ongoing state visit said that the drying up of the lake has put the 30 million people in the Lake Chad basin area in danger of being forced to leave.
President Buhari linked the emergence and spread of the Boko Haram terrorism as well as the increasing number of illegal migrations to Europe from Africa to joblessness, starvation and poverty party arising from climate change as manifested by the drying up of the lake.
Speaking at the press conference, the German leader disclosed that “The Lake Chad region is a great priority to us, Nigeria is part and parcel of that. n terms of cooperation we said we will earmark 18 billion for lake chad region area and 50 billion for the overall areas.”
President Buhari welcomed the German offer of skills and vocational training of Nigeria’s teeming unemployed, training and provision of equipment and intelligence to combat criminality and terrorism in the North-East, the vandalization of oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta region and frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
The President also acknowledged the more than 100 German firms in the Nigerian economy and thanked Chancellor Markel for her encouragement of more of such firms to invest in Nigeria.
The German leader commended the progress Nigeria has made in fighting crime, terrorism and corruption and promised continued consultation and closer bilateral cooperation.
Chancellor Merkel expressed concern that the annual illegal migration of 20,000 Nigerians to Germany had become a major issue that needs to be addressed, especially given the fact the emigrants were mostly unqualified for asylum under their own laws.
“We also talked about the migration partnership with the European Union, the EU want to negotiate migration with Nigeria, my point in this is that we need to see to it that human traffickers are out or business, we have to strengthen legal migration to also create jobs in Nigeria, jobs possibilities for vocational training, possibilities in education,” said the Chancellor.