Water Resources: Rivers control, mgt lies with FG – Ita-Enang


The Presidency, yesterday made fresh move to see to the passage of the National Water Resources Bill 2018 , stepped down on the floor of the Senate last month at the third reading stage.

The Executive Bill, which ran into trouble waters on the floor of the Senate on May 24, arising from contentious provisions, seeks, amongst others, for exclusive control and management of Rivers and Lakes in Nigeria by the federal government.

It is also seeking to establish a regulatory framework for the water resources sector in the country, provide for the equitable and sustainable development, management, use and conservation of Nigeria’s surface and ground water resources and for related matters.

The Presidency, through the Senior Special Assistant ( SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters ( Senate), Senator Solomon Ita Enang, at a press briefing yesterday said “the intent of the bill was misunderstood by lawmakers, who kicked against it at the last stage of consideration and some Nigerians making negative comments on it.

“The National Water Resources Bill 2018 which was forwarded to the National Assembly in 2016 as an executive bill seeks to bring about conglomeration, amalgamation and consolidation of all the existing laws on control and management of water flowing from one state to the other”.

The intent of the bill, he added, is to make the Nigeria water ways in tandem with global practice.

He explained further that the bill as misconstrued, does not intend to confer any new power on the federal government as regards management and control of water ways practices in the country but to harmonize all the laws and Acts into one document.

“Prior to the National Water Resources Bill, various extant laws like the Water Act of 1993, National Water Resource Institute Act of 1985, River Basin Development Authority Act of 1986 and Nigeria Hydrological Act Services Agencies Establishment Act of 2010 have already in one way or the other given the right of control and management of Rivers to the federal government as constitutional provided for by item 64 of the exclusive legislative list in part 1 of the second schedule of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended”, he said .

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