Water Bill

…Attract private sector’s participation in water projects

…boost River Basin Development Authority had operations, which had collapsed before Buhari’s regime

…Empower states to improve water & sanitation programmes

…Control indiscriminate borehole drilling in Nigeria

…as Ministry produces 794.3 million litres of water per day; provides 32 million Nigerians with water

Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor

Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, on Monday boasted that the enactment of the National Water Resources law would substantially reduce the perennial flooding across the country when it comes into operation.

The Minister, who made the declaration while presenting the scorecard of the Buhari administration in the water sector, maintained that contrary to insinuations in certain quarters, the National Water Resources bill is geared towards empowering the three tiers of government and relevant stakeholders to play more roles in water management than what obtains at the moment.

Engineer Adamu said that apart from establishing an independent regulator for the management of the nation’s water sector, the proposed law would also attract private investors into the water industry and empower state government to improve water and sanitation programme, which is not at the peak at the moment.

The minister said, “The National Water Resources Bill is structured as a compendium of existing Acts to actualize Integrated water resources management strategies as stipulated by the National Water Resources Policy. It is designed to provide the required instrument needed to support efficient management of the nation’s water resources and accelerate the contribution of the water sector to national development.

“It will also address the problem of proliferated groundwater exploitation without due consideration of its implications on the ecosystem and will also check unbridled pollution of water bodies and it threat to human health and the environment,” the minister explained.

Adamu also said that the law would establish a regulatory commission with the objective of regulating, protecting, conserving and controlling water resources identified as crossing state boundaries and provide extensive procedural guidance on the functions of the commission.

Enumerating the work of the ministry from 2015 to date, the minister disclosed that out of the 116 uncompleted and abandoned water projects the ministry inherited from previous administration, he had made tremendous progress in completing and putting them to use in addition to embarking on new ones for the benefits of Nigerians.

These included 38 irrigations, 37 dams and 41 water supply projects spread across the country some of which were started as early as 1987.

To make water readily accessible to Nigerians, the minister said that a total of 6761 water schemes were developed across urban, towns and rural areas of the country with the production of 794.3 litres per day for no fewer than 32 million Nigerians.

He also said that out of the 36 water projects the ministry inherited from the previous administration, 30 had been successfully completed while the remaining ones are to be shut down or transferred to the states in which they are located.

The minister regretted the collapse of the once flourishing River Basic Development Authority in the country, saying however that strident efforts had been made to resuscitate the agency with professionals in the respective areas to ensure that it does not fail its mandate anymore.

You’ve no moral basis to criticise Buhari, APC govt-Lai Mohammed warns Atiku, PDP

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who coordinated the press briefing, used the event to warn the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, that he and his party have no moral justification to attack the All Progressives Congress administration headed by Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister, who spoke at a news conference in Abuja to unveil the achievements in the water sector of the economy, accused Atiku of trying to downplay the achievements of the Buhari government for political purposes.

Mohammed said, ” Let me use this opportunity to comment on the increasing tendency by some opposition presidential

candidates to downplay the achievements of this Administration, in their desperation for power, ahead of the 2023 elections. “The worst offender in this regard has been the presidential candidate of the

PDP, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

” During his recent campaign in Akure, the former VP was quoted as saying the APC had not done anything for Nigeria in eight years. What a preposterous statement from somebody who should know. I guess we can excuse His Excellency the

former Vice President who, until recently, had fully relocated to Dubai, thus losing touch with Nigeria.

“And if anyone would accuse the APC-led Federal Government ofdoing nothing, it should not be Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Why? Because for the 16 years of the PDP rule, eight of which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

was Vice President, there was no motorable road to the former VP’s hometown and indeed to key local governments in the Southern Senatorial zone that served as Adamawa’s food basket and economic

nerve centre until the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office. 

“Today, gentlemen, the Mayo Belwa- Jada- Ganye- Toungo road has been constructed fully and it’s the road that Alhaji Atiku uses to get to his hometown of Jada.

“What about security? Before this Administration came into office, all the five local government areas in Adamawa’s Northern Senatorial District were effectively under the control of the Boko Haram terrorists. All state institutions, the local government administration, the police, the judiciary, schools, hospitals and markets had been sacked. Traditional rulers, including Emirs and Chiefs, had been displaced with their palaces taken over by the terrorists as their headquarters.

“The affected 5 local governments in the Northern Senatorial zone are:

Madagali, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South and Little Gombi.

“In the Central Senatorial zone, two local governments were effectively under the control of the Boko Haram terrorists: These two local governments in the Central Senatorial zone are:                   

Maiha Local Government, Hong Local government. Today, not an inch of these local governments in Adamawa, the home state of the former Vice President, is under the control of terrorists. All institutions of state have relocated back and are operational. All Emirs and chiefs have returned to their palaces.

“Schools and markets have opened. Please note, gentlemen, that throughout that period, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar could not even go home. As a matter of fact, when one of his right hand men, Mr. Adila, was killed by the terrorists, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar could not even go to condole with the family of the deceased. It was that bad. Now that he can travel home freely, thanks to the Buhari Administration, it is not sweet in his mouth to accuse the same Administration of doing nothing. As they say, the bedwetter should not join those who are insulting the washerman.

“In the area of Social Investment Programmes, there have been 29,641 beneficiaries, from Adamawa alone, of the N-POWER Programme of the Buhari Administration. Under the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, some 162,782 pupils from Adamawa are benefitting from one meal a day. That programme employs 2,259 cooks in Adamawa and has covered 1,236 schools in the state. How many school children did the PDP feed in Adamawa or anywhere in the eight years that Alhaji Atiku

Abubakar held sway as Vice President in Abuja! We are not done. Under the Conditional Cash Transfer, some 64,607 vulnerable people have benefitted in Adamawa alone, while Trader Moni and Market Moni have reached a total of 38,000 people in the state.

” In the area of infrastructure, some 8 roads projects totaling 714 kilometres are currently being rehabilitated or constructed in the state. That’s out of 43 road projects in the North East alone. These are not phantom projects. We have the full list of the roads and can make it available to anyone who so wishes. Similarly, the North East Development Commission (NEDC) has either completed or is currently working on 140 projects, including construction of classrooms, healthcare facilities and ICT training centres, in Adamawa alone. Overall, NEDC has a total of 593 projects in the entire North East. Again, we have a full list of the projects.

“Gentlemen, you can now see that we didn’t even need to go far to disprove the former VP’s soap box statement. You can also see the irony of someone who held the number two position in the country for all of eight years but could not positively impact on his own hometown, state or region now condemning an Administration that has made it possible for him to even access his hometown -anytime he flies in from his new hometown of Dubai! 

“The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has had a positive impact on all parts of this federation. No amount of fallacious soap box rhetorics can change this fact,” Mohammed said.

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