Water Resources Bill: Wetin dey di ‘law’ and why e dey provoke some Nigerians?

Nigeria goment first introduce di National Water Resources Bill for 2018 give di 8th national assembly. While di House of Representatives pass di bill, e fail for di National Assembly as Godswill Akpabio, di minority leader dat time lead opposition senators to reject di bill.

Bukola Saraki, di Senate President dat time tok say make dem keep di Bill, then bring am back afta goment don make some adjustments but dat one no happen until dia tenure finish.

For July 2020, goment reintroduce di Bill again give di 9th assembly and dis wan don make some Nigerians hala. Some of those wey chook mouth for di Bill mata like Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, Benue State Samuel Ortom, Nigeria Labour Congress, Afenifere group, among others tok say, if dem pass am into law, e fit affect di national unity of di kontri.

But di federal goment don explain say di Water Resources Bill wey dey di National Assembly no be new one as goment just add some tins to am to make am conform wit global best practices.

Wetin be di Water Resources Bill 2020?

Na four existing Water Resources Law, goment join together to form di National Water Resources Bill 2020.

  1. Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004
  2. River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004
  3. Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A, LFN 2004
  4. National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004

Di water resources bill want make di management and control of all water resources (both surface and underground) and di banks of di water sources dey under di control of di federal goment.

According to di Minister of Culture and Information Lai Mohammed, dem design di bill to provide professional and efficient management of all surfaces and ground water wey go dey beneficial and useful for all Nigerians. He add say goment no get hidden agenda as na for di good of di nation.



Why di Bill dey vex pipo?

  • Section 98

Dat section of di bill tok say di “use of water go dey subjected to licensing provisions”. Dis one mean say before anybody fit say im wan start any water project, e must collect licence from designated goment agency.

  • Section 104: Emergency powers in case of shortage of water

Dis bill go give goment power to direct pesin who get excess supply of water pass wetin im and im family need to reduce di amount of water dem get to wetin dem need.

  • Section 107: Goment go get power to cancel license

Di law fit cancel di licence of anybody wey dey misuse water.

  • Section 120: Nigerians must get permit before dem fit drill boreholes

Corporate or individual pesin no go fit do borehole drilling business for Nigeria or sink boreholes for im house if dem no collect Water Well Driller licence from di Commission.

  • Section 125: Entry onto land in furtherance of duties

Only authorised personnel fit carry out routine checks to inspect water usage or water disposal on properties and dem must carry dia identity card or oda means of identification if e dey necessary.

  • Section 131: Non-compliance

No pesin go fit use water outside wetin dey dis Act tok.

States go fit only manage, use and control water sources wey dey only within dia states and dem go dey guided by di policy and principles of di federal goment.

Di Bill top any right to use water wey any body fit dey enjoy under any oda laws before.

How pipo react to di Water Bill.

Benue State Govnor Samuel Ortom say di provisions wey dey inside di National Water Resources Bill 2020 no dey follow wetin dey di Land Use Act tok, im say goment get hidden agenda.

Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka for inside statement wey e issue for August 2020 warn say di Bill, if dem pass am into law go give di President absolute control over di nation entire water resources both over and underground.

Other unions and groups don also condemn di provisions wey dey inside di bill.

Goment Reaction

Di Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed and di Minister of Water Resources Engr. Suleiman Adamu bin clear di air on top di Water Resources Bill 2020 during one Press Conference for Tuesday, 21 September, 2020.

Oga Lai say those wey dey criticize di bill neva even settle down read di provisions, dem only dey read wetin pipo dey tok.