9 September 2016
President Muhammadu Buhari will lead Nigeria’s delegation to the 71st UN General Assembly scheduled to begin at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, has said.
Onyeama, who made this known in Abuja on Friday said the president would be discussing series of issues which had direct impact on Nigeria.
He said the president would, among others, set the record straight on the issue of human rights violation and sign the Paris Agreement on Climate.
At the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) held in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally-binding global climate deal.
The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to 2°C.
The agreement is due to enter into force in 2020.
Onyeama said that the president’s signing of the agreement would send a signal to the world that Nigeria was serious with it and noted that China and the U.S. had already signed it.
He said that the UNGA conference was a unique one where Mr President would have the opportunity to meet world leaders and build on the country’s reputation.
“It is one unique conference where world leaders assemble and address issues pre-occupying their minds; it is a wonderful opportunity for the president to build on his reputation.
“President Buhari is well regarded by world leaders and it will give him an opportunity to reconnect and engage them on various issues.
“He needs world leaders’ support in the areas of economy, security, anti-corruption and governance. He will use the opportunity to push for Nigeria’s interest at the UN,” the minister said.
He said that the president would also use the opportunity to look for foreign markets for Nigerian products and garner support for the economy.
Onyeama said that the president would also use the opportunity to canvass for the repatriation of Nigeria’s stolen money sitting in foreign banks.
“Mr President will use the opportunity to canvass for support for the recharge of Lake Chad.
“There will be a discussion on the Lake Chad Basin and how to recharge the lake through Central Africa which will cost about 15 billion dollars.
“Mr President will engage and push for investors on the project. He will be looking at Public, Private Partnership to mobilise that kind of funding for Lake Chad.
“Such investment will have direct impact on at least five million people,” he said.
According to Onyeama, there will also be a discussion on “One vision, One Africa’’ where all African nations can have a voice on issues that have direct impact on the continent.
He said the EU would be putting 31 billion euros on the table to address certain issues affecting the Middle East and parts of Africa.
Onyeama said that Nigeria was the only one invited to the meeting to look into how to spend the money, adding that the forum would give Nigeria the opportunity to access the fund.