President Buhari has on Thursday in Abuja declared open the virtual 12th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA).
The President believes the Niger River, commonly called Djoliba in Guinea and Mali, offers enormous development opportunities in the fields of agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, fish farming, hydropower, hydraulics and navigation.
President Buhari commended financial partners, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), Global Environment Fund (GEF), and German Financial Cooperation (KFW), as well technical partners for identifying with the vision and projects of the authority.
According to Femi Adesina his media adviser, here is what the president said as he called for support in the Niger Basin area:
“It is, therefore, necessary to continue to promote its enormous potential for the benefit of our people, and to improve the socio-economic development of the region,”
Buhari explained that it was a fight against pollution and the degradation of ecosystems, in order to manage its resources in a sustainable and equitable manner.
Being the outgoing Chairman of the NBA Leaders’ Summit, the Nigerian president in the virtual summit gave account of his five-year stewardship, in piloting the affairs of the institution.
He also explained that some decisions made are yet to be implemented. In his words
“Of the several decisions taken at the summit, only the decision on funding of the NBA 2016-2024 Operational Plan is yet to be fully implemented.”
Buhari talked about ongoing programmes including the integrated development and adaptation to climate change in the Niger Basin financed by the AfDB, GEF, KFW and NBA member-countries to improve the resilience of the Niger River ecosystems and populations through sustainable management of natural resources.
President Buhari assured that the climate change programme would cover the nine NBA member countries – Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad.
He urged them to give their support for the success of the programmes and commended all member countries for their unflinching efforts towards contributing to the construction of a befitting Headquarters for the NBA, noting with appreciation the commitments made so far.
His tenure also came to an end on the summit and he gave them a final charge.
“At this summit, my tenure as the Chairman Summit of Heads of State and Government of our common institution comes to an end as I will hand over to a new chairman. I urge you to extend maximum cooperation to the new chairman for the continued smooth running of our institution,”