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    The African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions Working Group on Environmental Audit (AFROSAI-WGEA) Secretariat hosted a five-day planning meeting on the Joint Audit of the River Niger from the 29th November to the 3rd December 2021 in Niamey, Niger. The planning meeting consisted of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of 9 (nine) riparian countries in participation. The River Niger has been under the joint management of the Niger River Basin Authority for several decades of the 9 countries as follows; Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Tchad and Mali.

    Over the decades, the riparian states through this joint management are reinforcing a process of revival for more sustainable management. With the recent several development projects and dams ie. The construction of new facilities, there has been a collective strategy of the Audit of the River Niger.

    The main objective of the Audit is to discuss, develop common approach tools, develop the Audit plan and Calendar of Activities. With thorough analysis on environmental issues, the report of the entities involved and the means or methods to be implemented in order to resolve and monitor problems of the River Niger. With the years 2021-2023 as the timeframe, the Audit will verify whether the member countries and the relevant actors comply with the standard and practices for the management of the River Niger.

    Declaring the meeting open, The President, AFROSAI-WGEA and the Auditor-General for the Federation (SAI NIGERIA) Mr. Aghughu Adolphus A. JP, FCNA, FCTA represented by Mr. Akindele W.D. gave a brief historical background of the cooperative audit of the River Niger. He stated that environmental issues know no boundary. “A negative environmental activity in Africa could go as far as affecting Europe and other continents”, he said. Also stating that activities that relate to the River Niger must be through joint and communal efforts. The recommendations that are made at the end of the Audit will lead to the sustenance of the socio-economic and environmental resources of the Niger River. He urged participants to take the planning meeting seriously and resolve that they “play the men” for our sub-region on the Audit of the River Niger.

    Also welcoming the participants to Niamey was the First President of the Court of Accounts, Niger, Oumarou Narey. He assured the participants of a peaceful stay in Niamey and assured them of his full support in the planning, Audit and resolution stages of the exercise.

    Several presentations were made by participants of the nine SAIs with reflections on the state of the River Niger in their countries. Various perspectives were also given on key stakeholders and those who are affected by the mismanagement of the River Niger Basin.

    In a stakeholder analysis for the joint Audit, Mr. Michael Malabeja of SAI Tanzania highlighted that the Basic Audit Process of stemming from the three Audit types; Performance Audit, Financial Audit and Compliance Audit can all be used for environmental topics. He said they could be translated into a main basic cycle as Planning, conducting, reporting and follow-up. He also gave a selection of the Audit Topic and Problems for the River Niger Audit. He said that flooding is a common area of concern for countries that share a water body like the River Niger as actions taken in upstream countries can personally contribute to damaging flood events in downstream nations.

    The planning meeting ended with an excursion to the Niger Basin Authority, Niamey. The Director of the Observatory of the Niger Basin, Zinsou Didier gave a declaration in a compact p0resentation that the monitoring of water resources should be continuous in order to have better planning, management and exchange of information with transparency to facilitate concerted and peaceful management of shared waters.

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