…Say state AGs, councils’ll meet on the issue
…Bill will promote equitable dev, management of ground water —FG
By Henry Umoru
Governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, have said they will soon take a position on the controversial National Water Resources Bill 2020.
The NGF, which disclosed this after its 17th teleconference meeting since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, said a decision would come after the State Attorneys General and Executive Councils of states brainstorm on the proposed bill and other similar relevant bills that have been generating controversies in the country.
The governors’ decision came after a briefing by the Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu, on the National Water Resources Bill 2020.
In a communique signed at the end of the meeting, Chairman of NGF and Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said states’ Commissioners for Justice and the Executive Councils of state would make a policy statement after brainstorming on the proposed bill and other relevant laws, including the River Basins Development Authorities Act 2004; the Natural Water Resources Act 2004; and the Nigeria Hydrological Resources Act 2004.
Fayemi said: “Forum members, while commending the Minister of Water Resources for taking an integrated approach on water resource management as a national good, resolved that the proposed bill and other relevant laws, including the River Basins Development Authorities Act 2004; the Natural Water Resources Act 2004; and the Nigeria Hydrological Resources Act 2004, will be reviewed by their Attorneys-General and Executive Councils of States after which a common position of states will be presented to the federal government.’’
According to the statement, the Water Resources Minister, Engineer Adamu, at the briefing earlier had told the governors that the proposed bill will promote equitable development, management of ground water resources.
“The minister emphasized that the basic philosophy behind the bill is to integrate water resources management in the country by bringing all laws related to water resources management into one consolidated code.
‘’He noted that the new bill is consistent with the Land Use Act, and will promote equitable development, management, use and conservation of Nigeria’s surface and groundwater resources.”
Recall that it became imperative for the Federal Government to reintroduce the objectionable bill after it was roundly rejected and thrown out of the window by the 8th Senate, led by Senator Bukola Saraki, soon after it was read the first time.