The Federal Government, through the Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission (NIWRMC), is to commence the regulation and licensing of borehole drilling and water usage in the country.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, said this at a workshop on “National Dialogue on Water Use and Licence Regulations 2016,’’ in Abuja, on Thursday.
NIWRMC was established to regulate the right to the nation’s water resources.
According to the minister, government is set to regulate effective use of water resources in Nigeria.
Adamu, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Rabi Jimeta, explained that water was one of the national resources that needed proper management, through regulation for economic and sustainable development.
“The approval of water use and licence regulations 2016 and the National Water Resources Policy and Strategy 2016 set the framework for coordination of water governance within an appropriate coherent policy setting.
“Taking into account the overall social and economic goals of the resources in the country and the importance of stakeholders in the implementation of water use and licence regulations, a holistic and comprehensive national strategic plan for the management of the resources is required,” he said.
The minister emphasised the need to provide a common platform for strategic feedback on the implementation of the regulations from various stakeholders across the country.
According to him, the workshop provides an avenue to engage and sensitise the relevant stakeholders and the general public on the regulatory activities of NIWRMC as provided by the water use and licence regulations 2016.
“This is to ensure that a common language of understanding exists between the regulators and the relevant stakeholders.
“It will also ensure that due consideration is given to the various potentially conflicting issues and other overlapping regulations associated with water governance in Nigeria,” Adamu said.
Earlier, the Executive Director NIWRMC, Mr Reuben Habu said that the dialogue on water use and regulations 2016 was aimed at discussing the implication of the “New Water Use and Licencing Regulations on water services’’.
This, according to him is in line with International Integrated Water Resources Management principles.
“It is hoped that the discourse on the regulations will assist the commission to set up guidelines for its implementation to engender cooperation of sister agency in this task,” he said.
Also speaking, Prof. Abdulbumi Ahmed of Bayero University Kano, while presenting a paper entitled; “The Role of Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Commission on Effective Water Governance in Nigeria”, said water use regulations would help to manage and develop water.
“How a country manages its water resource determines the health of its people, the success of its economy, the sustainability of its natural environment and its relations with neighbouring countries,” he said.
Water Use and Licence Regulations was launched in 2016 by the Federal Government as an instrument for the regulation of the development and management of water resources in Nigeria.
NIWRMC is saddled with the responsibility of promoting the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources to maximise the effects on the economic and social welfare of the country. (NAN)