OrderPaperToday – The presidency has moved to clear the air over alleged attempt by the Buhari administration to seize control of waterways from states and make it an exclusive affair of the central government.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, in a statement, dismissed the controversies surrounding the Water Resources bill from the executive.
Recall that the bill during deliberations in the Senate sparked criticisms with some senators saying the federal government is trying to take total ownership of waterways across different states of the country.
However, a statement made available to OrderPaperNG from Sen. Enang’s office said “this is not correct.”
The presidential aide explained that the claim that the President is appropriating waterways to the Federal Government by expropriating from the states “is only imported and no new provision conferring extra right or privilege on the Federal Government other than as stated under the 1993 Act made by the President Babangida administration.”
He added: “For the avoidance of doubt and comparative clarity, I reproduce hereunder, some of the provisions of the existing Act on the left hand side and the provision of Mr. President’s Bill to show that it is simply a re-enactment, consolidation and compliance with the international best practice as requested by the development partners and in compliance with the practice in other countries.”
Speaking more on the bill, Enang declared that the bill also intends to consolidate 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.
“There are, as existing laws today, the Waters Act Cap….LFN, The Nigeria Hydrological Agency Act, Cap… LFN, The National Water Institute Act Cap …LFN and the River Basin Development Authorities Act Cap…LFN among others which 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,” he said.