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FG Ratifies Lake Chad Basin Charter

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The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has ratified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter, paving the way for the document to be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law.

The council meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday also approved the procurement of 38 Patrol vehicles for the mines inspectorate division of the Ministry of Mines and Steel.

Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu and Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, briefed State House Correspondents of the meeting’s outcome.

Adamu said that the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter was signed in 2012 by all member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and required 95% of member countries to ratify it before it comes into effect.

He explained that “the charter seeks to strengthen cooperation between all members and to forge some kind of consensus on issues relating to environment, security and the future of the lake itself.

“As you are aware, the lake has been threatened by climate change. It has shrunk to less than 10 per cent of its original size 40, 50 years ago and efforts are being put in place to ensure the lake is safe from extinction and to improve the security situation which as you know, is part of the reasons for the current restlessness and insurgency by youths in the North East.

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“We are also expecting other countries to ratify the charter so that we can strengthen the relationship in the Lake Chad Basin Commission.”

On the purchase of vehicles for the Mines and Steel sector, Fayemi noted that the states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory would benefit from the procurement.

“For a decade, no vehicle has been purchased for the mines and steel inspectorate division to oversee what is going on in our various states,” he said.

He added that the procurement of the vehicles will also help in tackling illegal mining activities and other challenges facing the sector.

Fayemi said: “Over the last two to three months, all the approvals we have got for vehicles not just ours in Mines and Steel Ministry but the ones for the Prisons Service, Immigration and the EFCC are procurement authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry.

“The government remains committed to that and this approval is further confirmation of the government’s commitment in that direction.

“It also speaks directly to our determination to begin to focus lot more seriously on the activities of informal or illegal miners,” he added.

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