By Umar Muhammad Puma
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said all hands must be on deck if the nation is to achieve positive transformation in the country’s water sector. The Speaker made the call on Tuesday at the public hearing of the House Committee on Water Resources, on the National Water Resources Bill (2017).
Speaking on the need to establish an enabling environment for efficient management of water resources in the country, Dogara said doing so would be in line with the current administration’s plans for industrial and agricultural development.
The Speaker revealed that the bill seeks to repeal some extant Acts such as the Water Resources Act, River Basin Development Act, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act and National Water Resources Institute Act, and to establish the National Council on Water Resources, Nigeria Water Resources Regulatory Commission, River Basin Development Authorities, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency and National Water Resources Institute Acts to provide for the regulation, equitable and sustainable development, management, use and conservation of Nigeria’s surface water and ground water resources.
“The role of water in our day-to-day life cannot be overemphasized. Nigeria being a signatory to the United Nations Human Rights to water and Sanitation and the Lake Chad Basin water charter, all hands must be on deck to ensure that such ratified Instruments are respected and implemented to the latter”, he said.
“The passage of this Bill would facilitate the enabling environment to achieving one of the cardinal objectives of the present administration’s commitment to ensuring adequate preservation, provision and management of water, for both domestic, agricultural and industrial uses.”
“The 8th House of Representatives and indeed the National Assembly is undoubtedly poised to exercising its statutory powers granted by the constitution to ensure that all government MDAs maximize their potentials through the creation of appropriate enabling laws.”
“With the array of stakeholders present in this hall, our collective contributions during this exercise will serve as a cradle of new ideas to transform our water sector for Nigeria to assume a respectable place at the international community”, he said.