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Recharging Lake Chad Tops Agenda As PMB, Rutte Meet

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In the course of his official visit to The Netherlands, President Muhammadu Buhari met with Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, yesterday at The Hague.

According to a statement by the special adviser media to the president, Femi Adesina, the two leaders discussed issues related to the fight against insurgency in the North East, climate change, particularly the shrinkage of Lake Chad, economic cooperation, the fight against corruption and a range of other issues of mutual interest.

He said President Buhari highlighted the progress made in the fight against insurgency in the North East, and the Dutch Prime Minister pledged the support of his government to the anti-terrorism efforts in the region.

In this context, President Buhari raised the issue of the humanitarian situation in the region, the receding of the Lake Chad and its impact on the economy of the communities living in the area.

The Nigerian leader stressed the need for workable solutions to restore the Lake Chad, including the inter-basin water transfer project from Ubangi River in Central Africa to the Lake.

The President welcomed the interest of the Dutch Prime Minister on Lake Chad and commitment to establish a technical committee to work with the Nigerian side on the best approach to address the issue.

President Buhari also expressed the firm commitment of his administration to recover more stolen funds and assets of the country stashed abroad and looked forward to working closely with the Netherlands on this.

On the economy, Prime Minister Rutte congratulated Nigeria on the enormous strides being recorded, including Nigeria’s rising profile on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business.

He noted that The Netherlands is one of Nigeria’s biggest trading partners, and the two leaders agreed on the need for more collaboration to increase trade.



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