The executive secretary of NBA, Nigerian-born Major General Collins Ihekire has said this non-respect of financial engagements by NBA member countries has caused financial difficulties for the authority. “Non-payment of contributions by member states is recurrent, whereas we cannot continue depending only on our financial and technical partners”
General Ihekire was speaking at the opening of the 32nd ordinary session of the council of ministers of the NBA in Yaounde on Friday, November 29.
The Yaounde session was held against a backdrop of climate change, international crises, sub-regional conflicts, food insecurity, poverty and unemployment.
Cameroon’s Prime Minister and Head of Government who represented the President of the Republic at the opening and closing ceremonies called on member countries to honour their financial contributions. He said such contributions will enable the Authority carry out the Niger River Basin Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP).
At the end of the session, member states through their representatives resolved to honour their financial engagements so as to attain the sustainable development action plan of the basin.
Focal Ministers will take back NBA financial demands of their countries to their various parliaments so that it could be integrated into national budgets, the executive secretary told reporters.
In order to bring the organization closer to the local citizens so as to better address their needs, General Ihekire told the press that the ministers also adopted the Memorandum of Understanding on the operationalization of NBA National Focal Structures and another Memorandum of Understanding on the operationalization of National Coordinating Units and Regional Coordinating Units of the users of the Natural Resources of the Niger Basin.
Besides some 13 resolutions, NBA member states also adopted a communication plan.
The 33rd session which will take place in Niamey, Niger in 2014 will culminate in the golden jubilee celebration of the body and the laying of the foundation stone of its headquarters.
The NBA has as mission to foster cooperation among member countries and ensure the integrated development of the Niger Basin in all areas including energy, water supply, agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery and fish farming as well as logging, transport and communication for the 160 million people in the basin.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde