From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
In a speech delivered on Tuesday in Seoul, South Korea, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria was already feeling the effects of climate change due to the country’s widespread floods and creeping desertification and drought in the north.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he said this during a private audience with the former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, on the sidelines of the First World Bio Summit in 2022.
Buhari expressed satisfaction with the partnership that exists between Nigeria and the Republic of Korea, particularly in the field of energy supply, mentioning gas exports to the Asian nation.
The President also mentioned that health issues need to be taken into consideration while addressing unemployment and underdevelopment, calling education a crucial investment in these areas.
On his part, the former Secretary-General, who is the Chair of Ban Ki-Moon Foundation for Better Future and strong advocate for Climate Change remediation, sympathized with President Buhari over the flooding, while calling for more investment to improve education, avert environmental degradation and preventive diseases in order to meet the core Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He thanked President Buhari for attending the World Bio Summit, adding that his presence would highlight the importance of global action and cooperation in the development of vaccines and technology to meet the huge threat and challenges of pandemics.
Ki-Moon noted that Nigeria is a highly important nation with notable citizens holding sensitive positions in international organizations, and he called for increased intercultural dialogue and cooperation while also asking Nigeria for support in Korea’s quest to host the EXPO in 2030.
The former UN Scribe discussed his pet project and asked donor nations to fulfill their financial obligations to the Global Climate Fund. He said his Global Centre on Adaptation is working to organize resources to aid impoverished countries in their fight against climate change.
President Buhari and his guest also discussed the role of gender equality towards attaining a prosperous society while calling for an end to the war in Ukraine.