President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday identified population as one of the big challenges facing Nigeria.
Buhari, who left Abuja for the Peace Forum in Paris, also listed climate change and desert encroachment as other challenges.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja during a courtesy visit by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and his investiture as the foundation’s patron.
He said his administration would continue to keep the issue of reviving the Lake Chad on the front burner and exert more commitment from the developed countries to do the needful.
Buhari said it was regrettable that the issue of the receding Lake Chad had not been addressed till recent times.
He argued that Nigeria is more affected by the drying up of the lake because fishing, animal husbandry and farming are affected.
“The problem of climate change is real. The desert encroachment is aggravating it. The population explosion in Nigeria is another big challenge,” he said.
“The drying up of Lake Chad is a serious thing for Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries. Nigeria is much more affected because fishing, animal husbandry and farming are affected very seriously.
“We are trying to prick the conscience of the developed countries that have the resources and the technology to quickly execute the interbasin transfer from Congo Basin to Chad Basin.”
The President also welcomed the advocacy by the foundation on the need to protect endangered plants and animals in the country, after which he directed the Ministry of Environment to reflect this in its budgetary requirements in the next fiscal year.