From: Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The House of Representatives has passed the National Water Resources Bill for second reading.
The Executive bill presented by the House Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, during plenary, on Thursday, seeks to protect citizens’ right to use water but at the same time, guide against private ownership of water.
The bill also seeks to establish the National Council on Water Resources, the Nigeria Water Resources Regulatory Commission, River Basin Development Authorities, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, National Water Resources Institute.
The bill stipulates that the National Council on Water Resources be established as the apex advisory body for the review of National Water-Related legislation, water resources master plan and policies.
According to the bill, the Council is to be chaired by the Minister of water Resources with membership comprising of state commissioners for Water Resources or any other person responsible for water resources in the states.
Speaking on the piece of legislation, Gbajabiamila opined that it would lead to an improved management of the country’s water resources, especially through Public, Private, Partnership agreements.
He further said the bill will ensure that the water resources of the nation are protected and managed in a sustainable and equitable manner for the benefit of all persons.
“Water is a gift of nature and we must protect it. The National Water Resources Bill is a wholesome law that intends to regulate the use and conservation of Nigeria’s Surface Water and Ground Water Resources affecting more than one state”, he said.