Nigeria ratifies Chad Basin charter

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

Nigeria has ratified the Lake Chad water charter, to cement the treaty it signed in 2012 with countries surrounding the Lake.

This was part of decisions reached at the meeting of the Federal Cabinet, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Briefing newsmen after the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu said the ratification of the Lake Chad water charter was part of the processes required before it became operational.

The Minister said the treaty was signed four years ago by all the countries that are members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, who will all need to also ratify the charter.

He said: “The Lake Chad Basin Commission comprises of a number of countries, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Central African Republic and Libya. A treaty was signed in 2012 by all the countries, but it requires 95 percent of these countries to ratify it before it can come into effect. So that was presented to Council today and members ratified it. The next stage is for it t go to the National Assembly for an enactment of the law to back it.”

Adamu said the charter would strengthen cooperation between member countries of the commission and also strengthen and protect the lake.

“The Charter seeks to strengthen cooperation between all the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and to forge some kind of consensus on issues relating to environment, security and the future of the lake itself,” he said.

The Council also approved the purchase of operational vehicles worth over three hundred million naira by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

Also addressing correspondents, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fyemi announced that the Ministry hadf obtained FEC’s approval to purchase operational vehicles worth three hundred and twenty six million naira.

“We had an approval for a direct procurement of Nissan 4-wheel patrol vehicles for the Mines Inspectorate in our 36 states at the unit cost of N8, 190,000 each, totalling N326, 781,000” the minister explained.

He said the vehicles would be used for surveillance to ensure the protection of miners around the country, as a vehicle will be allocated to each of the 36 states of the country.

“You must have heard of what has happened in Zamfara recently, where some miners were killed by bandits that had been operating in that area, which is one of the reasons why as part of our roadmap, a surveillance task force has also been established in collaboration with the ministries of interior and defence, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Police and the National Security and Civil Defence Corps,” he said.

The FEC meeting provided an opportunity for cabinet members to appraise themselves, having spent one year in office, following their inauguration on November 11, last year.

Also present at the meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita.