By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday welcomed the support of the Prime Minister of Netherlands, Mark Rutte, who expressed support for the restoration of the shrinking of Lake Chad as a result of climate change.
This came after the President official engagement with the Dutch leader yesterday.
Nigeria will also today address the be at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands.
The Nigerian leader is the only President invited to grace the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the ICC Rome Statute.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President will share his thoughts on the values and ideals of the Court, which was established to prevent impunity, and try cases of genocide, war crimes, aggression, and crimes against humanity.
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.
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, the President 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.
He 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.