The Federal Ministry of Water Resources says that the National Water Resources Bill is consistent with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Land Use Act, and should not be politicised.
The ministry also on Friday, June 8, 2018 urged Nigerians to disregard misleading allegations, which were evident from the various commentaries noticed from those opposing the Bill.
The minister, Mr Suleiman Adamu, in a statement, noted that the bill was not a new law; rather an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence as enshrined in LFN 2004.
He said reports in the media appear to have neglected the provisions of the bill which was for the development, management and efficient use of the Nation’s water resources in line with global best practices.
The minister further appealed to stakeholders and Nigerians in general to have faith in the bill as it was for the good of the nation.
“It is in the overall best interest of every citizen of the country that the process of its passage is not politicised.
“The general public is invited to note that this National Water Resources Bill when passed into Law will better serve and provide for the enhancement of the Nigeria Water Sector in line with global best practices.”
He said the attention of the ministry was drawn to the erroneous and distorted analysis of the National Water Resources Bill, which was currently before the Senate having already been passed by the House of Representatives.
He noted that the overall objective was geared towards efficient management of the Water Resources Sector for the economic development of Nigeria and the well-being of its citizens.
“These Laws are: Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004, the River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A.LFN, 2004 and National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004.
“These Laws are being re-enacted with necessary modifications in the new bill to actualise current global trends and best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). “
He added that that the bill, drafted in 2006 had passed through series of consultations among stakeholders up to 2008, since which time it received no priority attention by successive administrations until now.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of all people.
It provides for domestic and non-domestic use, irrigation, agricultural purposes, generation of hydro-electric energy, navigation, fisheries and recreation.
The Federal Government intends to ensure through the provisions of the law that “the water resources of the Nation are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all persons in accordance with its constitutional mandate’’.
It is noteworthy that the Water Resources Bill provides for the creation of an enabling environment for public and private sector investment.
The bill also provides for capacity building processes to foster good governance whilst establishing a water use and licensing framework to ensure sustainable financing for Water Sector
By Tosin Kolade