What Buhari told Theresa May [Full text]

President Muhammadu Buhari has thanked UK Prime Minister, Theresa May
for the effort of the British government towards the training of the
Nigerian Army in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.

Buhari on Monday held a bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister,
Theresa May at 10, Downing Street, London.

The President told the Prime Minister that, "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," he
stressed.

Recalling that Nigeria and Britain have a long history of cooperation
on several fronts, President Buhari stated: "People ought to know how
they arrived where they are, if they would move forward. It was a
mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in
schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now.

He commended British companies "who have stood with Nigeria through
thick and thin. Even when we fought a Civil War, they never left.

"But 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.

President Buhari briefed Prime Minister May on the strides in
agriculture, which he said has put Nigeria firmly on the road to food
self-sufficiency.

"I am very pleased with the successes in agriculture," he said, adding
that, "We have cut rice importation by about 90%, made lots of savings
of foreign exchange, and generated employment. People had rushed to
the cities to get oil money, at the expense of farming. But luckily,
they are now going back to the farms. Even professionals are going
back to the land. We are making steady progress on the road to food
security."

On education, President Buhari said more investment was being made,
because, "people can look after themselves if well educated. In this
age of technology, education is very important. We need well-staffed
and well-equipped institutions to move into the next generation.

Climate change and environmental issues also came up for discussion,
and President Buhari brought up the necessity of inter-basin water
transfer from Congo Basin to Lake Chad.

According to him: "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."

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