The Executive Governor of Borno State (North East Nigeria), Prof. BABAGANA UMARA ZULUM, visited the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Head of Mission of the Multinational Joint Force (MNJTF), His Excellency Ambassador MAMMAN NUHU, on 20th January, 2020 at the Headquarters of the LCBC in N’Djamena, Chad. The Governor was accompanied by some members of the Borno State Legislative and Executive arms of government.
Prof. ZULUM expressed the gratitude of the government and people of Borno State for the remarkable work the LCBC is doing to secure, stabilize and implement beneficial development projects in areas affected by the Boko Haram crisis. While noting the nexus between security and development in the region, ZULUM called for concerted efforts towards enhancing infrastructural development, improvement of the living conditions of the people, enhancing cross-border trade, as well as regional integration towards ending the Boko Haram crisis in the region.
The visit by the Governor to Chad was aimed at strengthening cooperation and trade among member States as well as finding sustainable solutions to the Boko Haram crisis in the Region. This is keeping with the spirit and letters of the Lake Chad Basin Governors Forum and the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin Region.
Since assumption of duty as governor of Borno State in May 2019, Governor ZULUM has spared no effort in the fight against Boko Haram crisis and the improvement of the socio-economic status of the region. He believes the effective implementation of both the Regional Stabilization Strategy (RSS), and the Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF), are viable avenues for solving the challenges of the region.
Furthermore, the Governor equally called for enhanced commitment, cooperation and regional integration towards the revitalization of the Lake Chad, in particular, the implementation of the Inter-Basin Water Transfer Project (IBWTP), as a sustainable solution to the challenges of the Region.
The Executive Secretary of the LCBC thanked the Governor and members of his delegation for the visit. He lauded the sterling role being played by the governor in enhancing regional cooperation and integration as well as the various developmental initiatives undertaken by his government towards improving the livelihood of the peoples of the Region. Amb. NUHU informed of progress being made by the military in the fight against terrorism in the region and thanked the government for its support to the region.
With regards to progress made on the IBWT project, Amb. NUHU affirmed the correlation between the shrinkage of the Lake Chad and the insecurity in the region. he noted that the loss of viable means of sustenance by majority of the peoples of the region has served as both a pull and push factor for terrorism to thrive in the area. Accordingly, following the approvals of the LCBC Council of Ministers in December 2019 and in keeping with the directives of LCBC Summit of Heads of State (2012), the Commission is exploring measure to commence the first phase of IBWT by undertaking detailed studies on the improvement of the hydraulicity and water carrying capacity of the Lake and its major tributaries.
Furthermore, the ES also informed on progress made regarding the implementation of the Regional Stabilization Strategy as well as the Regional Stabilization Facility. In particular, he informed that the Nigerian leg of the regional consultation and sensitization visits to drive greater awareness and buy-in at both state and national levels, is scheduled to take place in the 1st quarter of 2020. The visit will involve interaction with relevant line ministries that will be involved in the implementation of the Strategy, members of civil society organizations, the private sector and diplomatic community, among others.