The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC) has called on the National Assembly not to pass Water Resources Bill, saying the it would contradict the existing Land Use Act.
The Council also described the bill as an attempt by the Federal Government to take over the ownership and control of the nation’s water resources which contradicted the existing laws.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the NDYC National Coordinator, Mr Jator Abido, and National Secretary, Mr Kede Michael.
They said: “Going by the stipulations of Land Use Act, all lands comprised in the territory of each state in the federation are vested in the Governor of that state.
“And such lands shall be held in trust and administered for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians in accordance with the provisions of this Act. Making another parallel law contradicts the existing law.’’
According to them, ceding the control of state lands and water resources to the Federal Government will not only impoverish people but make them vulnerable.
The Niger Delta group called on all legislators and stakeholders from the South South and riverine areas to rise up in strong opposition to the Water Resources Bill.
It will be recalled that the bill was initially introduced and rejected during the Eighth Assembly, following public outcry which prompted the failure of the bill to sail through Eighth Assembly.
However, the bill was re-introduced at the Ninth Assembly.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata (APC/Jigawa), had moved a motion on July 23, 2020, calling for the reopening of 11 bills, including the Water Resources Bill, not passed by the Eighth Assembly.
But few days ago, there was a dispute at the House of Representatives but concerned lawmakers kicked against the reintroduction of the controversial bill slated for first reading.
By Deji Abdulwahab