From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said on Thursday that the proposed water bill was designed to improve water resources in Nigeria thereby attracting more private sector investments to the sector.
He, thus, appealed to lawmakers to expedite action and pass the bill, stressing that it will aid in the provision of certain essential services that the Federal Government allocation could not meet.
Adamu who spoke at the 27th regular meeting of the National Council on Water Resources (NCWR), held in Abuja, on Thursday, said the Bill has generated a lot of controversy by those who may not have proper understanding of its contents and merit.
He explained that the only way through which Nigerians can benefit adequately from water resources is through the bill, thus amplifying the calls for sensitisation of the citizens and other stakeholders on the bill.
He said: “The Ministry has outlined action plan to create awareness on the bill. I, therefore, urge the Council to collaborate with us to educate stakeholders within their domain. The passage of the bill, undoubtedly, will stimulate private sector investment as the Federal Government budgetary allocation can no longer meet up with the demands of this essential services to all Nigerians.
“It has been a herculean task, but we are determined and unrelenting in our quest to improve access to potable water, sanitation and hygiene, enhance food security through irrigation agriculture and the implementation of water resources projects and programmes to tackle the problems of unemployment and insecurity challenges facing Nigeria.
“In this regard, the Ministry is poised to consolidate on past gains to set the water sector on enviable path.”
FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, in his remarks agreed that some content of water bill is being misunderstood by most Nigerians, hence the resistance from different stakeholders.
He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Water Resources to intensify advocacy and enlightenment in a way it will be understood by all.
“There is a need for you the members of the Council to take ownership of the bill and to be able to explain in very clear terms the importance of the legislature for people to really understand the potentials that abound therein.”