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Group calls for adjustment of bill to regulate water resources

Group calls for adjustment of bill to regulate water resources
September 05
17:41 2020

The Association Of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners Practitioners (AWDROP) has asked the federal government to remove controversial contents in bill seeking to regulate water resources in Nigeria.

Rejected in 2018, the national water resources bill 2020 was reintroduced by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in July, and now awaiting passage by the national assembly.

The bill seeks to bring all water resources– both surface and underground, and the banks of the water sources under the control of the federal government through its agencies to be established by the bill.

In a statement on Friday, Michael Ale, national president of AWDROP, said there is need to regulate water resources in the country with the involvement of state governments.

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“Some portions of the bill that has been greeted with controversies should be expunged, then a replica of the bill should be enacted at the state level by the state assembly with the establishment of a regulatory commission at their level,” Ale said.

“Why should just some parts of a bill, which have been greeted with controversies, now make the whole document invaluable. It’s like throwing away the baby with the bath water.

“In line with the International best practices, water law is important for protection of our water resources, just like we have laws governing airspace and land activities in the International best practices.

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“The current practice along the water sector is the Integrated Water Resources Management Commission which requires that the water resources must be governed and managed well for the sake of sustainable and equitable use of this common resources by all, irrespective of political affiliations, race, gender and sociology cultural belief and interpretations.

“If the portion of the bill can be amended, not all the content of the bill, it isn’t perfect as far as I am concerned because it has been trailed with controversies. But if it has not been trailed with controversies and not misinterpreted then, it is a perfect deal.”

Wole Soyinka, playwright and Nobel laureate, had condemned the bill, saying the government is lacking in vision and had been unable to solve the country’s least water problems.

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