President Muhammadu Buhari has demanded the $5m Environmental Audit report initiated by former President Olusegun obasanjo, on the shrinking Lake Chad which he has said would help in monitoring and curbing the activities of insurgents around the axis.
Buhari gave this directive on Monday to the Auditor General of the federation, Samuel Uruka after an Environmental audit report was presented at the Presidential Villa, expressing interest in the $5 million report on the shrinking of Lake Chad commissioned during the tenure of former President Obasanjo.
“I have to digress here based on personal knowledge of this. I saw an article in the journal of National Demographic in 1978 that a professor in the University of London in 1925 has foreseen what we are just seeing. I handed over the article to Gen. Obasanjo and I understand that Gen. Obasanjo took the initiative sometimes ago.
“He gave $5 million to the study, and the study’s report was that unless some of the rivers from the Central Africa Republic are diverted to empty into Chad Basin, Lake Chad will dry up.
Buhari also expressed disappointment with the Auditor General, questioning why the environmental audit report was not included in the earlier report submitted and therefore insisted that the report be submitted to him in order to regularize the actual amount expended on the report.
“I understand that this report which was sponsored by Nigeria has been submitted. I am a bit disappointed that in the speech of the Auditor-General, there was no mention of this report whether my own report was correct: that $5m was given.
“One of the recommendations was that at the time the report was submitted, the cost of diverting one of the rivers to empty into Lake Chad would be between $13 billion and $15 billion.
“I will like the Auditor-General to comment on this. I think this government will like to see this report and see how we can ask our foreign friends how they can help us.
“This is because if that river is diverted to empty into Chad Basin, I think it will affect at least, two million Nigerians and another two million from Cameroon, Chad and Niger to resettle and perhaps that will help us to stop Boko Haram around that area.”
In reaction, Uruka stated that the report would be made available to the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC.
“The situation is that the study had been completed. The cost estimate for the project is $14.5 billion.
“We have been consulting the Congo Basin to allay their fears on the environmental impact assessment they want us to add and we need some additional political support to be able to convince them that it is also in their interest to see that this water is diverted to Lake Chad.”
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