By Chioma Iruke
11 African countries that make up the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) have endorsed Nigeria to produce the next Chairman of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of their regional organization.
The endorsement took place during the ‘7th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of PAGGW’, last Thursday, in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
The countries are Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sudan and Nigeria, too.
Minister of Environment, Dr. Muhammed Mahmood Abubakar, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja, on the recent positive developments in Nigeria’s environment sector.
He said: “The Council believes that President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is capable of taking the GGW delivery structure to a higher level if he becomes the Chairman of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of PAN-GGW.
“If the Nigerian President takes over the leadership of the PAN-GGW, it would be easier for the GGW programme to access about 5 billion USD as grant and 14 billion USD soft loan available out there because of the respect the world has for the President.”
According to the Minister, the PAGGW Council of Ministers at their ordinary session, further agreed that Nigeria host the ‘8th Ministers’ Meeting’ of PAGGW later in the year.
Dr. Abubakar, said Nigeria was also picked to host the ‘5th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the PAGGW’, virtually, in September.
“Members of the Council voted that President Muhammadu Buhari assumes the Presidency of the Heads of States and Government of the PAGGW, while Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar assumes the Chairmanship of the Council of Ministers, at the end of the 5th Summit,” he added.
While speaking further at the briefing, the Minister, disclosed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Union Bank had expressed support for the GGW programme.