Nigeria Hunts For N314.8bn To Recharge Lake Chad

Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama
Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama

By Victor Ernest with agency report

Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama says Nigeria is in need of about one billion dollars (N314.8bn) for recharging of drying Lake Chad.

The minister told newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja that the fund would also take care of the humanitarian needs of persons affected by Boko Haram insurgency in North East Nigeria.

He said that an international conference of donor countries and agencies has been scheduled in Oslo, Norway, to raise the funds on Feb. 24.

According to him, the conference was being put together with the support of Germany and Norway, who galvanised the international community to support Nigeria’s efforts in addressing its humanitarian challenge.

Onyeama said that the U.S., international organisations and civil society organisations were also supporting the initiative, adding that they are committed to making the donor conference a success.

The minister said that it was expected that at least one billion dollars or more would be realised to take care of the needs of the people in the Lake Chad basin.

He described the conference as a great opportunity for the international community to make meaningful commitments towards funding humanitarian response activities in Nigeria.

He said that the conference would present an opportunity for Nigeria to present its case to the world on the humanitarian challenges it is facing.

According to him, the government would present the roadmap on the enormous sacrifice and resources it has invested in recharging of the Lake Chad basin to the international community.

According to him, the conference will also look at access to medicine and other basic facilities, which require huge investment.

He said the number being affected were up to 10.7 million people, which is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

The minister stated that the government will focus on humanitarian protection for the people of the region and the military gain in the area.

He said there was the need for jobs creation for the people in the area so as to address the challenge of restiveness and extremism ideology.

While appreciating that other countries are also facing economic challenges, he expressed belief that if Nigeria stated its case they would be aware of the dimension of what it is facing.

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