President Muhammadu Buhari today said the drying up of Lake Chad to about 10% of its original size as a result of climate change contributed in making the region a hot bed of insurgency.
He therefore called for a greater global cooperation against the devastating effects of climate change to avert disaster for the human race in the 21st century.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates while addressing the opening of the 2016 World Future Energy Summit.
Buhari was quoted as reaffirming Nigeria’s readiness to work with the UAE and rest of the world in a collective effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He regretted that Africa is already suffering from the consequences of climate change, which included recurrent drought and floods.
He said, “In Nigeria, the drastic drying up of the Lake Chad to just about 10% of its original size, has negatively impacted on the livelihood of millions of people, and contributed in making the region a hot bed of insurgency.
“Desert encroachment in Niger, our northern neighbour and in far northern Nigeria, at the rate of several hundred meters per annum, has impacted on the existence of man, animal and vegetation, threatening to alter the whole ecological balance of the sub-region.
“In the middle and southern part of Nigeria, land erosion threatens farming, forestry, town and village peripheries and in some areas major highways.
“Constant and abrupt alteration between floods and droughts prove that climate change is real and therefore a global approach and cooperation to combat its effects are vital if the human race is not to face disaster in the 21st century.”
Noting that the summit was taking place soon after the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Paris late last year, Buhari praised the UAE for consistently supporting international action on climate change.
“We see Abu Dhabi as a dependable partner in the collective effort to manage climate risks including the attainment of the sustainable development goals by 2030.
“Thank you, Abu Dhabi, for consistently continuing to support international action in this sphere. We appreciate your immense contributions worth hundreds of millions of dollars in energy aid to developing countries,” the President said.