BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR,
Federal Government has called on the media to play critical role towards the passage of the Water Resources Bill before the National Assembly.
Dr. Musa Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, who sought the partnership of the media at the just concluded first maiden Nigeria Media Water Week in Abuja, urged the media to assist in the aggressive enlightenment and sensitisation of the citizenry on the content of the Bill.
It would be recalled that Water Resources Bill before the Senate has been bogged down with controversies, as many have alleged that the said Bill was crafted to give more powers to the Federal Government in the control and management of water resources across the country.
However, Ibrahim pleaded with newsmen to educate the public on the importance of the Bill, while allaying fears surrounding the details and intents of the bill awaiting the nod of the Senate.
According to him, “We are making efforts to get the Water Bill passed at the Senate.
“We need the media to help us. The Bill will decentralise the powers of the Minister contrary to the belief that it would give more powers to the Federal Government in the control and management of water resources in the country.
“I want the media to know that the Bill did not start with President Buhari administration, therefore, we will not play politics with it.
“The Bill seeks to integrate the current four different water regulatory laws into a single one in line with international best practices.
“The existing laws are the Water Resources Act of 2014, the National Water Resources Institute Act, the River Basin Act and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Act.”
The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu had explained that, “The Bill when passed into law will among other things, provides for effective catchment management, greater participation of farmers in irrigation management and a regulatory framework for private sector participation in water supply delivery in the country.”