President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with the British Prime Minister Theresa May, where he discussed the 2019 elections.
Writing about the meeting on his Facebook, the president’s Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, said issues including the 2019 elections, climate change, agriculture, and the relationship between Nigeria and the UK were discussed.
Speaking on the 2019 elections, Buhari told May that he is more bothered about the security and economy of the nation, than on the elections. He said:
We campaigned on three major issues, to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption. We have elections next year, politicians are already preoccupied with the polls, but I am bothered more about security and the economy.
On the relationship between the 2 nations, Buhari asked that more British companies invest in Nigeria. He said:
Like Oliver Twist, we ask for more investments. We are encouraging more British companies to come to Nigeria. We appreciate the support you have given in training and equipping our military, particularly in the war against insurgency, but we want to also continue to work with you on trade and investment.
On climate change, Buhari discussed the drying up of Lake Chad, and gave it as once of the reasons Nigerians find it easy to flee the country, passing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. He said:
The Lake Chad is now about 10% of its original size, and it is perhaps one of the reasons our youths dare both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean, to get to Europe. But if there is inter-basin water transfer, about 40 million people in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and other countries stand to benefit.
I made the case during the Climate Change Summit in France. If Lake Chad is recharged, it will reduce the number of youths coming to Europe to increase social problems. We brought back about 4,000 people from Libya recently. Almost all of them were below 30, and Libya was not their final destination. They were headed to Europe.
May, on her part, said the issue of climate change is an important one. She said:
The issue of the environment and climate change is very important, because of its impact on many countries in the Commonwealth. Stability at home is important, to curb illegal migration.