In the course of his official visit to the Netherlands, President Muhammadu Buhari met with Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, Monday at The Hague.
The two leaders, according to a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), discussed issues related to the fight against insurgency in the North East, climate change, particularly the shrinkage of Lake Chad, economic cooperation, the fight against corruption and a range of other issues of mutual interest.
President Buhari highlighted the progress made in the fight against insurgency in the North East, and the Dutch Prime Minister pledged the support of his government to the anti-terrorism efforts in the region.
In this context, President Buhari raised the issue of the humanitarian situation in the region, the receding of the Lake Chad and its impact on the economy of the communities living in the area.
The Nigerian leader stressed the need for workable solutions to restore the Lake Chad, including the inter-basin water transfer project from Ubangi River in Central Africa to the Lake.
The President welcomed the interest of the Dutch Prime Minister on Lake Chad and commitment to establish a technical committee to work with the Nigerian side on the best approach to address the issue.
President Buhari also expressed the firm commitment of his administration to recover more stolen funds and assets of the country stashed abroad and looked forward to working closely with the Netherlands on this.
On the economy, Prime Minister Rutte congratulated Nigeria on the enormous strides being recorded, including Nigeria’s rising profile on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business.
He noted that the Netherlands is one of Nigeria’s biggest trading partners, and the two leaders agreed on the need for more collaboration to increase trade.
Meanwhile, Nigeria will be at the centerstage of global attention Tuesday, July 17, 2018, as Buhari addresses the International Criminal Court.
The Nigerian leader, according to Adesina, is the only President invited to grace the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the ICC Rome Statute.
He will share his thoughts on the values and ideals of the Court, which was established to prevent impunity, and try cases of genocide, war crimes, aggression, and crimes against humanity.
President Buhari, who had a Roundtable meeting with Dutch CEOs in Rotterdam on Monday, July 16, 2018, at a meeting with members of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO), the Netherlands Chapter same Monday, on the sidelines of his Official Visit to The Hague, Netherlands, President Buhari said:
“I am pleased with the quality of people I am seeing. You are high quality people. Congratulations on your personal achievements.”
Saying he was quite pleased with their intellectual and professional achievements, the President lauded them for representing Nigeria well, and for always being in touch with their motherland.
Among those who met President Buhari were Julius Nnamdi Nwankpa, Chairman NIDO, Dr Mustapha Gidado, a specialist in tuberculosis, having oversight over management of the disease in 22 countries, Lola Visser Mabogunje, a performance monitoring expert, Dr Peter Ngene, a research scientist and Assistant Professor at Utrecht University, Engineer Cornelius Obot, a software expert, and Toyin Loyo, an artist and culture enthusiast of international repute.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Nwankpa commended President Buhari for the war against corruption, “for which you have earned respect around the world,” high improvement in infrastructural development, and for signing into law the Diaspora Commission Bill, which he hoped would “become effective as soon as possible.”
On the security situation in Nigeria, the NIDO Chairman urged the government and security team to accelerate stoppage of unfortunate killings, while also calling on Nigerians “to play their roles in breaking the cycle of violence, which usually has no winner.”
The delegation presented the gift of an artwork called Light to President Buhari, with Toyin Loyo, the creator of the work saying: “The work is illuminating. You bring light, which will never go out, and which will shine round the clock.”
President Buhari also attended a Dinner hosted in his honour by the President of ICC on Monday, July 16, 2018