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Some Nigerians Use The Water Bill As A Political Tool—FG

Some Nigerians Use The Water Bill As A Political Tool—FG

Some Nigerians Use The Water Bill As A Political Tool—FG

Some Nigerians Use The Water Bill As A Political Tool—FG

According to the Federal Government, certain Nigerians are exploiting the Water Resources Bill as a political weapon against the Buhari-led administration.

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Additionally, it urged Nigerians to “let the national assembly” finish its work on the law.

Following the weekly televised Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, which was presided over by President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret. ), Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, revealed this to State House Correspondents.

Since the water bill was recently re-presented for discussion at the National Assembly, it has sparked a new wave of controversy.

Some Nigerians Use The Water Bill As A Political Tool—FG

The bill, which raised dust in 2017 and 2020, has been interpreted by many Nigerians as a scheme to grab the waterways and reassign them to Fulani pastoralists.

But speaking on the issue, Adamu said the legislature would treat the bill the same way it had done to others in the past.

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According to him, “Some people have chosen to interpret it the way they want it. Some people have decided to use it as a political tool against the government. But we are confident that we have wise men in the legislature that will do the needful, the same way they have been treating all other bills in the past.”

He argued that the government had adequately captured and addressed the interests of various groups and Nigerians must now allow the national assembly to deliberate on the issues raised.

Some Nigerians Use The Water Bill As A Political Tool—FG

“We have met with the Governors’ Forum. They appointed a technical committee made up of Attorney-General to look at the draft bill. They came back with their observation before we even went back to say we sent these observations along with a redraft.

“When we got their observations, we appointed an environmental expert, Professor Olarewaju Fagbohun, SAN, to review the entire thing alongside the observations of the Governors’ Forum. He did that, put the necessary things in check and that is what we have re-presented to the National Assembly.

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So, we have responded to the needs and concerns of everybody. So, I think now is to allow the National Assembly to do its work,” he said.

Citing some rivers in the South-East, he added that the land-grabbing narrative peddled in various quarters is false.

Some Nigerians Use The Water Bill As A Political Tool—FG

According to him, “People are talking about land grab where there is none. Some are even saying that they will not be allowed to use the rivers. I ask people, Oguta lake is in Imo State, Nike Lake is in Enugu State. Who has ever gone there to do anything? Has the federal government ever gone to interfere with what is going on?

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“What we are concerned with as provided in the constitution, Schedule 64, are water resources that are interstate. That is, transboundary waters? That is what we’re talking about. And if the federal government is not the custodian as provided in existing legislation, Water Resources Act 2004, nothing has changed.

“All that we are doing is putting in additional value to these laws so that we can improve the management and efficiency of a sector.”


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