Executive Intelligence Review


Italy Commits To Helping Finance Transaqua Feasibility Study

Feb. 26, 2018 (EIRNS)—On the sidelines of the International Conference on Lake Chad, which opened today in Abuja, Nigeria, Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontesilli communicated to the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Committee, Sanusi Imran Abdullahi, that the Italian government is pledging a donation of up to €1.6 million to finance a feasibility study for the major water-transfer infrastructure project known as Transaqua. Pontesilli stressed that, although his communication was a verbal one, it was official and would be soon be made formal.

With the Italian decision, the Transaqua feasibility study is as good as funded. In fact, the strategic agreement, signed by the Italian engineering firm Bonifica and PowerChina, says that the Chinese will match any funding that Italy is putting into the deal. This means that the costs for the feasibility study are covered, and nothing further stands in the way.

In response to a question from EIR in a press conference, Nigerian Water Resources Minister Eng. Suleiman Hussein Adamu said that the Italian donation is “very welcome,” and that this will make the feasibility study possible. In a second stage, he said, there must be a detailed engineering study.

At the same press conference, UNESCO Deputy Director Getachew Engida said he was “happy that Italy is joining hands” in the effort to save Lake Chad. UNESCO was a co-sponsor of the Abuja conference, together with the Nigerian government and the LCBC.

The Schiller Institute Special Report by Hussein Askary and Jason Ross “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa: A Vision of an Economic Renaissance” was presented to the Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Water Resources Minister Adamu.

UNESCO Deputy Director Engida, who is from Ethiopia, was asked whether he agrees with those Europeans who think that small projects are better help than large projects. He said, “Although you need both small and large projects, for Lake Chad—you need a big one. I am tired of being forced to go via London if I want to travel from one African capital to another one.”