The Lake Chad Basin Commission would be of benefit to both national and international communities?when properly managed by the countries benefitting from its resources.

Prof Goldface Irokalibe of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said this in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja.


Irokalibe noted that the problem of the receding lake was of national and international concern because the situation had adversely affected?industrial, agricultural and other usages of the basin.

According to him, the Lake Chad Basin Charter’ was aimed at evolving ways to revamp the lake.

“Lake Chad Basin Charter is the document that brings together different interest groups.

“In the case of Lake Chad, we have six?nations including Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Libya, and Central African Republic that form the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

Irokalibe noted that?the people living within the basin?depended?on the water and other resources of the lake for their agricultural activities and other industrial production.

He said the drying lake had rendered the rural population of the basin poor and routinely faced with food shortages.

“The charter has been drawn up to govern or to regulate the use of water resources of Lake Chad basin as well as the biodiversity and the entire ecosystem of the lake.

“When you have an international legal instrument binding all the nations and seeking to make them cooperate for the sustainable use of that common resources, it becomes beneficial to them, Nigeria inclusive.“

He also noted that apart from agricultural and other industrial purposes, the lake could also serve as a?tourist centre for foreign investors.

?According to Irokalibe, agricultural and other industrial activities around the lake had polluted the water, rendering it?harmful to the entire environment, thereby destroying the ecosystem.

“It is universally acknowledged that the lives of the people of the region depend on the continued existence of the lake.

“In the course of industrial production, agricultural practices and other usages of the lake, it has become harmful to the environment.”

He stressed?the need for the benefiting countries forming the basin to come together to ensure that each country took?the?steps to resuscitate the lake.

He further explained that this was the essence of involving the stakeholders and the National Assembly to make the charter part of the law of the country.

“According to the constitution, whenever an agreement or charter is entered into at the national level, it has to be domesticated by our National Assembly. “

“ President, Goodluck Jonathan and heads of states of other countries have signed the charter,” Irokalibe said.


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