By Gabriel Ewepu, ABUJA
AS controversy continues to greet the National Water Resources Bill, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, weekend, said, the Bill is for national interest and beneficial to all Nigerians present and unborn.
Speaking on the benefits of the Bill Adamu pointed that there is no place in the Bill that the ancestral lands of Nigerians, especially those down south of the country will be grabbed and taken to other tribes.
He had explained that the proposed Water Resources Bill is also to harmonise all the statutes in the sector including protecting rights of Nigerians and the environment while water is used for both domestic and commercial purposes.
He said: “The National Water Resources Bill is for national interest and beneficial to all Nigerians including those unborn.
“The Bill is to establish effective water sector governance in Nigeria in line with global best practices.
“Guarantee citizens’ right of access to safe water and basic sanitation.
“Provide for effective catchment management; Provide for equitable and sustainable development of Nigeria’s surface and ground water.
“Enhance a greater participation of farmers in irrigation management and improvement in food security; Provide the regulatory framework for private sector participation in water supply delivery in the country.
“This Bill is provides for a Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) FUND to support financial investment by States and Local Government Areas in the provision of WASH services and investment in Water supply infrastructure.
“Provides for meeting the basic human needs of present and future generations.
“Protecting the water environment for sustainability of the water resources and protecting of aquatic ecosystems.”
According to the Minister, the required legal instrument is also provided in the Bill to back it up.
“Provides the required legal instrument to support efficient management of the Nation’s water resources and accelerate the contribution of the water sector to national development in accordance with Integrated Water Resources Management, IWRM, principles.
“It will promote equitable and affordable access to water and reducing poverty”, he stated.
He also explained that the Bill is to, “Accelerate foreign direct investment opportunities and job creation in the Water Sector.”