Niger Basin Authority devises new sharing formula

Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja

The Niger Basin Authority (NBA) says it will formulate a new sharing formula of member countries’ contribution to the institution’s operating budget.

The Nigerian Minister of Water Recourses Engr. Suleiman Adamu who is also the Chairman of Council of Ministers of NBA stated this in Abuja during the extraordinary session of the NBA Council of Ministers meeting.

The Minister said the new sharing formula would scale up strategic Plan for mobilising financial resources for the NBA to enable members to fulfil their financial obligation effectively for execution of projects in the region.

“This will improve the living conditions of the people through an increase in production and access to hydro-power, a secured agricultural, pastoral and fishery production, an increase in surface areas of agro-pastoral and forestry production through the restoration of degraded land and also contribute to the protection of and preservation of the river and basin’s ecosystem.”

Earlier this year, the  Summit of  Heads of States and Government  of the basin adopted a programme approach for investment which include the adaptation of the NBA 2016-2024 Operational Plan (OP) and Climate Resilience Investment Plan(CRIP) with a  350 investment  and capacity building plan for the benefit of member countries to the tune of US$7.2 billion. However the basin is faced with the challenge of member countries not being able to meet their financial contributions.

It’s on this note that the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari who declared the meeting opened said there was need review the budget system of the institution in line with the investment plan in the basin.

The implementation of the adopted Operational Plan will require some institutional and organizational in line with our investment profile of the Basin. This need for adjustment had justified our decision to conduct the audit of the NBA.” he explained

In line with the President’s remark the Minister of Water Recourses emphasised that implementation would reduce youth restiveness and unemployment which will in turn improve the security situation of the basin and throughout West and Central Africa.

The security situation in our basin throughout West and Central Africa remains a major concern for all government of NBA members countries .For  the implementation of Operational Plan NBA will provide job opportunities for  in doing so our institution will contribute to the fight against idleness and lack of future prospects for the youth of the basin which as we know may drift them toward extremism as observed over the years,” he noted

The Niger River Basin is made of nine African counties which include Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Niger, and Chad.