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National Water Resources Bill: We’ll come up with our position soon, govs tell FG

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…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.’’

READ ALSO: Water Resource Bill: Be guided by Nigeria’s unity, group tells NASS

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.


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