The Niger Basin Authority is to invest $9.33bn in the region in order to sustain the resources of the basin, which has about 130 million inhabitants, the Federal Government has said.
According to the government, member countries of the NBA adopted the multibillion-dollar investment plan for the region from 2008 to 2027.
The NBA is an intergovernmental organisation in West Africa. Its aim is to foster co-operation in managing and developing the resources of the basin of the River Niger and it is made up of nine member countries.
These are Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who spoke on behalf of the Nigerian government at the 36th ordinary session of the NBA in Abuja, also announced the adoption of another $7.2bn as the organisation’s operational plan, while $3.11bn would be spent on its Climate Resilience Investment Plan.
Adamu, who doubles as the Chairman, Council of Ministers of the NBA, said, “Indeed, the combined phenomena of climate change, population growth, irrational and abusive exploitation of natural resources have had and continue to have adverse consequences on socio-economic activities in the basin through the silting of the river and its tributaries and infestation by invasive aquatic plants, deforestation, and pollution of various origins.
“I am pleased to note that despite all these difficulties, in recent years, thanks to our own political will and the active support of our development partners, our organisation has made significant progress with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Action Plan of the Niger Basin with a 2008-2027 investment programme for a total cost of €6.3bn, which is $9.33bn broken down into three five-year plans.”
He added, “Another is the adoption of the 2013-2024 strategic plan and its 2016-2024 operational plan incorporating the investment plan of strengthening resilience to climate change in the Niger Basin. The total amount of the OP is $7.2bn, including $3.11bn for the CRIP.
“As for us member countries of the authority, despite the significant efforts made in the payment of contributions, we must recognise that we still have much to do to follow suit with our development partners, by honouring our commitments to our joint organisation regularly and in due course.”
The NBA’s Executive Secretary, Abderahim Hamid, said the regional body was working with the World Bank to invest $500m in the development of resilience to climate change in the basin.