The Presidency has again said the executive bill on water resources currently before the National Assembly is not to take over the ownership and control of the resources from the states of the federation.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, said the purpose of the bill had been misinterpreted by Nigerians.
He said, “Upon submission of the National Water Resources Bill to the National Assembly by Mr. President on April 11, 2017, there have been several misrepresentations and indeed divisive comments by some persons on the content and intent of the bill, thus the need to offer these insights into the content, intent and policy direction of the executive bill.
“The bill is intent on consolidating some or all the laws on the water resources sector into one body of laws, whereby when you pick up the Water Resources Act (as it may come to be), you will find therein all the laws hitherto existing as different laws in different volumes of the laws of the federation in the one instrument.”
The laws to be harmonised by the legislation, according to Enang, include the Waters Act, Nigeria Hydrological Agency Act, National Water Institute Act and the River Basin Development Authorities Act, among others.
These laws, he said, were made at different times regulating different aspects of water resources sector and contained in different volumes and chapters of the laws of the federation.
“This bill brings into one body of consolidated, harmonised and updated body of laws all these laws into one instrument,” he noted.