The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has stepped down as the chairman of Niger basin and has called for international support to wrap up advancement efforts in the Niger Basin area which is currently home to more than 160 million people who rely on the River for their livelihoods, aso Naija reports.
Buhari asserted this in Abuja on Thursday while proclaiming open the virtual 12th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Niger Basin Authority.
This was encompassed in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled ‘President Buhari calls for global support to develop Niger Basin.’
According to the statement, the President said the Niger River offers enormous development opportunities in fish farming, animal husbandry, agriculture, fishing, hydropower, hydraulics, and navigation.
‘‘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.’’
He said ‘‘Excellencies, it has been a privilege to lead this Summit of Heads of State and Government for the past five years, since you all unanimously endorsed me as the Chairman at the 11th Summit held in Cotonou, Benin Republic on 8th January 2016 to lead our common Institution.
‘‘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.
‘‘It is pertinent to note that there are some ongoing programs like support to Ground Water Management in Niger Basin, project II to strengthen NBA and its Member Countries’ technical capacity and human resources for improving transboundary groundwater resource management in the Niger Basin.
He enumerated other ongoing programs including the Integrated Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in Niger Basin financed by the AfDB, GEF, KFW, and NBA Member Countries.
He explained that the climate change program will cover the nine NBA member countries- Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad.