Lack of funds affects Niger Basin Authority’s activities

Ihekire made the observation at a conference of focal ministers of the basin including representatives from Nigeria, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Chad yesterday in Abuja.
“Member countries delay in the payment of contributions thereby forcing the executive secretariat to function on overdrafts in order to meet sovereign responsibilities is a real constraint on the conduct of NBA’s mission,” he said.
He urged member countries to make additional efforts to ensure the smooth functioning of the organisation, adding that membership contributions only account for about 10 per cent of the basin’s overall budget.
 He said that as a result of the situation, the basin’s summit of heads of state and government had adopted some mechanisms for the autonomous and sustainable financing of the basin’s activities.
The mechanisms, he said, include the introduction of user-pays tax targeting the hydropower sector and polluter-pays tax for the mining and industrial sector in member states.
Others are the establishment of a capital fund to be financed by members and donors, remuneration for assistance to contracting authority of projects and programmes.
Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, Minister of Water Resources, said that the conference was an opportunity for member countries to interact and resolve various issues including non-payment of contributions which threatens the management and equitable use of the basin.

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