….as 37th ordinary session of council meets
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- THE Federal Government, Friday, lamented poor funding of the Niger Basin Authority, NBA, by member countries as 37th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers meet over issues affecting the organisation’s performance.
This was stated by the Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, in his opening speech as Chairman of the Governing Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority, NBA, while declaring the meeting open.
Adamu said it was imperative to remind ministers of water resources of member countries on Resolution No. 6 of the 36th Session of the Council of Ministers held on April, 2018, where the NBA adopted Objective-based Programme Budget (2018-2020 OPB), which will ensure member countries’ have their contributions included in their national budgets for the fiscal year.
He said: “Our presence at this meeting is an expression of the commitment of our Heads of State and Government to the wellbeing of the populations of the Basin and for the Niger Basin Authority to fulfill its mandate of ‘promoting cooperation among member countries and ensuring the integrated development of the Niger Basin in all areas of hydraulics, energy, agriculture, livestock, fishing and fish farming, forestry and forest exploitation’.
“The primary objective this 37th Ordinary Session, among others, is to consider the 2019 Annual Work Plan and its Budget for our great institution, Niger Basin Authority, NBA.
“During the last fiscal year, we experienced some challenges including low level of the River Niger Basin in Guinea due to a deficit in rainfall, the persistence of insecurity in the Sahelian zone (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria) and other parts of the Lake Chad Basin causing delays in the execution of NBA activities, inadequate funding of the NBA due to the international and regional economic situation and the non payments of contributions by member countries promptly.
“We are pleased to note that in spite of these challenges and numerous others, we are still united in working towards our goal. For instance, the PIDACC programme which was evaluated between April and May 2018, and a project presentation mission of the phase 1 of the Programme for Development of Resilience to Climate Change in the Niger Basin (PDReCC) was constructed by the World Bank to the Executive Secretariat of the NBA and Niger between June and August, 2018.”
Meanwhile, the Minister disclosed that “Negotiations for the financing agreements of the Programme for Integrated Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Niger Basin (PIDACC/NB) were held here in Abuja last week and we look forward to the launch of the programme early next year which will impact positively on the over 130 million inhabitants of the Niger Basin.”