Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says there is no going back on the water resources bill.
The bill seeking to regulate water resources has generated criticism, with many, including Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, kicking against it.
Those who have expressed displeasure over the bill accused the federal government of making move to control the entire water resources of the country.
The proposed law was first introduced in the eighth national assembly but it was not passed at the time.
In July, the bill was reintroduced in the house of representatives and has been passed. The bill is currently awaiting concurrence by the senate.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Mohammed explained that the bill is a consolidation of four existing laws aimed at the efficient management of water resources in the country.
“Gentlemen, there is nothing new about the National Water Resources Bill. This is because it is an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence for a long time,” Mohammed said.
“These are; Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004, River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency(Establishment) Act, Cap
N1100A, LFN 2004; National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004
“So, why are the laws being repackaged as the National Water Resources Bill 2020? The answer is that they are being re-enacted with necessary modifications to bring them in line with current global trends as well as best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
“The overall objective of this amalgamation is the efficient management of the water resources sector for the economic development of Nigeria and the wellbeing of its citizens.
“Contrary to what is being perpetuated, water resources in a state that do not go beyond the particular state are not regulated by this bill.
“You can now see that many of those condemning the National Water Resources Bill 2020 either have not read it or do not understand its provisions. Also, we cannot rule out deliberate mischief by some of those who have been portraying the Bill as a new source of conflict.
“We are therefore using this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to avail themselves of the provisions of the bill to avoid being misled by those who have chosen to politicise it.
“We also want to state that the bill is for the good of the nation, and has no hidden agenda whatsoever.”