By Tayo Taiwo |
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu has said that Nigeria must update its water laws if the country must benefit from such resources.
The minister, who insisted that there was no hidden political agenda behind the National Water Resources Bill, said if all plans materialise, it would harmonise the existing laws.
Recall that the Water Bill was sent by the president to the 8th National Assembly but was not passed following the outrage that greeted it at that time.
Since its reintroduction to the National Assembly this year, the bill which, among other things, seeks to provide equitable and sustainable development, management, use and conservation of Nigeria’s Surface Water and Groundwater Resources has been criticised by some Nigerians who alleged it is a ploy to take absolute control of the water resources in the country.
But contrary to the unfounded allegations, Adamu, in an interview with LEADERSHIP, said the main objective of the bill is to improve the water resources sector in Nigeria.
Adamu, who explained that Nigeria had already subscribed to the integrated water resources management, added that there is a need to update water laws to conform to the international convention of integrated water resources management.
Clearing misconceptions on the bill, Adamu said, “Nigeria has already subscribed to the integrated water resources management and there is a need to update our water or water laws as it were to conform to this international convention of integrated water resources management”.
“Today, there are full existing laws in force that governs the water resource sector in the country. First, one is the water resource Act 2004 which was the decree number 101 of 1993. Then we have the River Basin Development Authority Act. We have the National Water Resources Institute Act and we have Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency Act.
“River Basin Act predates the Water Resources Act 2004 because it started a long time ago. Even the Water Resources Institute was created like 35 years ago, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency is the newest baby that was created in 2010”.