The World Bank has stated that without stability in the Lake Chad region, Nigeria’s government will not be able to pull 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Shubaham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director, announced this Tuesday in Abuja during the inaugural Annual International Forum on the Development of the Lake Chad Region with the topic,“Lake Chad Basin: Climate Change, Security, Resilience and Development Recovery.”
He stated that the World Bank was in Nigeria to assist the Nigerian government, just as his team is in other Lake Chad partner countries to assist the governments in eradicating poverty.
Chaudhuri said, “The basic factor is that Nigeria cannot achieve that goal of raising 100 million Nigerians out of poverty unless we have all succeeded in our global mission in bringing peace to the Lake Chad region.”
According to Mohammed Alkali, Managing Director/CEO of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC), Lake Chad has been burdened by climate change and forced displacement for numerous years.
According to the most recent estimates, the region is home to 2.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons, the majority of whom are children.
This forced displacement problem, according to Alkali, has put further strain on host communities around the region.
Despite the Lake’s potential to foster development in West Africa, the Managing Director stated it was being hampered by various and interconnected drivers of war and fragility.
He decries the fact that the Boko Haram insurgency in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria had touched nearly 23 million people in the four nations bordering the Lake.
Alkali went on to say that the Lake Chad Region Recovery and Development Project (PROLAC), which was launched in 2018, was created to help the Lake Chad Region recover through a series of initiatives, in the four nations, investments are focused on helping regional cooperation, acute humanitarian and forced displacement situations.
He explained:“This Forum hopes to achieve the following aims, among others: Developing a roadmap to address issues of development around the Lake Chad Region; Discussing and planning new initiatives and cooperating to enhance the impact of actions on stabilization in the Lake Chad Region; Mobilizing the necessary financial and political support for the sustainable development of the Lake Chad Region.”
Mr. Mamman Nuhu, the Executive Secretary for the Lake Chad Basin, said the Forum’s first edition was expected to lay the groundwork for future fora to act as effective channels for regional collaboration and coordination of stability and recovery measures across the region.
He explained that the platform was created to provide concrete and practical answers for increasing resilience and enhancing people’s livelihoods in the region.
Nuhu explained that the huge response from individuals and organizations both inside and outside the Basin who wished to come and contribute to the development of the impacted areas was not surprising.
Through PROLAC and MCRP, he added, the Forum hoped to advance the implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery, and Resilience of Areas of Lake Chad Basin Affected by Boko Haram Insurgency (RSS).
It should be noted, according to Nuhu, that the LCBC was tasked with managing and coordinating regional initiatives aimed at addressing the challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency in the region, as part of its mandate to promote regional integration and safeguard peace and security in the Conventional Basin.