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Nine countries to revive Niger Basin with $6.4m

Nine countries to revive Niger Basin with $6.4m

Niger

Nine member states of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), Nigeria, Cameroon, Guinea, Mali, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Chad are expected to commit $6.44 million towards reviving the basin and improving the lot of the people living in the area.

The funds are also to help in facilitating access to hydro-electric power as well as boosting agriculture production in the region, The Guardian online reports.

Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this during the opening ceremony of the council of ministers meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

This phenomenon is heavily compromising the future of the ever increasing population of the Niger Basin through the intensity and number of environmental, social and economic problems it is inducing.

He complained of the deteriorating state of the basin which is hugely spurred by the combined effects of climate change and human activities.

“This phenomenon is heavily compromising the future of the ever increasing population of the Niger Basin through the intensity and number of environmental, social and economic problems it is inducing,” he said.

He further expressed concerns about the security situation within the basin and the entire West and Central African region. Buhari noted that the implementation of the Operational Plan NBA would provide job opportunities for youth in the areas of agriculture, livestock, fisheries and conservation of the basin’s natural resources.

He said the institution would contribute to fight against idleness and lack of future prospects for youths which could lure them into extremism as observed over the years.

The President said the investment outlay was developed with the active participation of representatives of all member- countries for selected 350 investment and capacity building actions for the benefit of countries and the basin’s secretariat.

The Chairman of NBA Council of Ministers and Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, stressed the need for member- countries to contribute at least 10 percent towards the funding of the operational plan, adding that a new sharing formula had been formulated.

The Basin was established in November 1980 to “promote cooperation between member-countries and ensure an integrated development of the Niger Basin in the areas of hydraulics, energy, agriculture, livestock, fisheries as well as fish farming, forestry and logging.”