CAPPA – Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

Water resources bill: Civil Societies kick, says policy is anti people

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country, have kicked against any move to pass the National Water Resources Bill in to law by the National Assembly.

The CSOs at Townhall meeting on Monday, organized by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) in Abuja, on the Bill, said the policy is anti people and does not have a place in Nigeria.

Speaking on the bill which transfers the control of water resources from states to the Federal Government, the coalition said they will resist any attempt to force the bill on Nigerians.

Specifically, Prof. Sofiri Joab-Peterside, in his keynote address, said the originators of the billl were confused when drafting the bill.

“Apparently, there is an inherent confusion in the minds of the framers of the bill. Whereas they recognize that the constitution and the Land Use Act entrust the management and control of water resources within the boundaries of a state in the state government, the Bill states that the Federal Government manages the water resource channels across two or more states. The question therefore is; do we have any land not owned by any state? The bill is at conflict with existing laws, as it seeks to remove the rights to water from states and bring all water resources (surface and underground) as well as riverbanks under the control of the federal government through its agencies. This, no doubt, undermines the principles of federalism as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) (2020: 4)”

He said the bill as condemned by notable stakeholders when it first reared its ugly head should not be considered in the society.

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