Friday, September 11, 2015 12:55 am
Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe on Thursday invited President Muhammadu Buhari to a regional summit on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea holding in that country in November.
The Togolese leader gave the invitation to Buhari at a joint news conference after a closed door meeting with his Nigerian counterpart at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to Gnassingbe, more than seven billion dollars is being lost to piracy in the gulf annually.
He said that the summit would discuss issues of piracy, illicit trafficking in drugs and humans in the sea, illegal fishing as well as pollution of the sea water.
“I am here to inform the President that Togo is hosting a summit on maritime security and development in November.
“The summit will deal with main issues of piracy and we know that one of the problems of Nigeria is the theft of oil through the sea.
“The summit will also deal with illicit trafficking in the sea, like drug trafficking, arms trafficking and human being trafficking. It will also deal with the illegal fishing in our waters. As we know, 80 per cent of the fishing that is going on in the African territorial water is illegal.
“So, the revenues that should have come to our states are escaping. So, we must find a solution to stop that.
The other issue will be the issue of pollution in our waters.’’
According to him, toxic products are poured in the water ways thereby killing the eco-system in the African seas.
Gnassingbe stated that the summit would also be deliberating on the issue of migration as many illegal migrants were losing their lives while attempting to travel to Europe through the high sea.
The Togolese leader commended Buhari on his efforts at combating terrorism. He noted that the fight against terrorism in Nigeria would promote security in the African continent.
In his remarks, Buhari noted the concern of Gnassingbe over the regional security, Boko Haram insurgency, and oil theft, illegal fishing and dumping of toxins in sea water across African continent.
According to him, it is not easy trying to fight insurgencies on so many fronts, the North East, the South South and then try to provide infrastructure in the country.
The Togolese president had earlier inspected a Guard of Honour mounted by the Nigerian Army at the Presidential Villa.