Lake Chad Basin: Senate Wants FG to Release $5m for Resuscitation
...Confirms Sallah as INEC Commissioner
From Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja

The Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government to provide the $5 million promised as tripartite funding for the resuscitation of the Lake Chad Basin "so that work can start on the project."

The upper legislative house made this resolution after deliberating on a motion brought by Senator Muham-med Abba Aji, who noted that "the gradual receding of the lake has adversely affected the lives of about 23 million people in the sub region, out of which 12 million are Nigerians.

"The Nigerian portion of the active hydrographic basin extends to Kano, Adamawa, Jigawa, Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe and Borno States. It is also a principal source of economic attraction to other Nigerians from states such as Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Benue. The progressive receding of lake has turned millions of economically buoyant Nigerians to near abject poverty, forcing them to become refugees in neighbouring countries," Senator Aji further lamented.

He argued that in accordance to the recommendation of the Lake Chad Basin Commission that the cost of the feasibility studies and project design be borne by the member nations, and with assistance from donor agencies such as the World Bank, UNDP and other relevant UN agencies, "member nations have already contributed the sum of $1 million out of the $6 million seed money required to carry out the feasibility's studies and project design," leaving out the Nigerian promise of $5 million.

Meanwhile the Senate yesterday confirmed the appointment of the nominee from Taraba State, Mrs. Esther Charity Sallah as a national commissioner of the Indepen-dent National Electoral Com-missioner (INEC). No fewer than nine of the nominees had earlier been screened and confirmed last week.

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