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History of Niger Basin Commission (NBC)

The immense benefits of the River Niger Basin to the countries surrounding it has made the leaders of these nations engage their minds on how to harness the potentials. As a matter of fact, on 23rd October 1963, nine countries lying within the Niger Basin agreed on the formation of the River Niger Basin Commission. The countries are; Nigeria, Guinea, Mali, Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, and Cameroon. Chad withdrew its membership in 1975. The summit of the Heads of states in 1980 decided to change the name of the organization to Niger Basin Authority. The headquarter is in Niamey in the Republic of Niger, French and English language are used in the conduct of its affairs.

Objectives of the Commission

1. To promote cooperation among member countries so as to ensure integrated development of the River Basin.

2. To harmonize developments of energy, agriculture, forestry, transport, communications, and industrial resources of members. 

3. To settle disputes and complaints arising from the use of the River Basin.

4. To develop and maintain closer ties and cooperation among member nations in the use of the Basin.

5. To protect the environment from threats of desertification, deforestation, and pollution of the rivers by agriculture and industry.


Some of its achievements are;

1. Annulment of Existing Regulation: The existing regulation tended to promote division and so the establishment of the regional body has helped to annul it.

2. The regional body fosters closer ties and corporation among member countries.

The Problems of Niger Basin Commission (NBC)

Some of the difficulties experienced by this commission are;

1. Paucity of Fund: Acute shortage of funds to handle the numerous project embarked upon by the commission is a great challenge.

2. Insufficient Manpower: Shortage of technical personnel to execute the various projects of the commission becomes also another problem to the commission.

3. Out-Dated Equipment: Most of the equipment being used is obsolete and breaks down regularly. As a result of this, much delay has occurred in the completion of the commission’s projects. 

4. Inadequate Support from Member Countries: There is little or no support from member countries on the attainment of the commission’s objectives. Many of them are only after the gains rather than funding and providing support to the growth of the commission.

Evaluation Questions

  1. Explain the full meaning of NBC
  2. Trace the history of NBC
  3. State the objectives of Niger Basin Commission
  4. Explain briefly the two major achievements of this Commission
  5. State three major challenges of Niger Basin Commission


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