Recently Nigeria government introduced what is called Water Resources Bill.
In this article, I’ll try to explain many things that you may like to know about this bill.
Welcome to my blog friend. As usual, we have an important issue to talk about today, so let’s take it by the horns.
Water is a huge challenge that face Nigeria in West Africa. Fortunately I’m coming from this gigantic business-magnate of a nation found in West Africa. Why did I use the term ‘fortunately’ above to qualify an ugly situation? I did so because I’m fighting tooth and nail to see that I’ll impact at least my community through solving this water problem before leaving this planet earth unto glory. Have I felt the impact of poor water supply in Nigeria? Yes, I’ve suffered from it for above 30 years of my life. If you want to know more about my plan towards scratching this huge water problem in my community at least, you may do that by look at my project plan by clicking the link below.
I’ve been going around the world virtually looking for sponsorship to this project’s startup that could save many lives in West Africa. I’m still hopeful that it would someday fall in the hands of good citizens of the earth who can respond immediately by extending their helping hands.
Recently, Nigeria government introduced a bill that they termed Water Resources Bill. Many things had been speculated around this bill; many interpretations has emerged, insulating that the federal government of Nigeria is trying to hijack and impose sovereignty over all water resources and channels by which individuals are helping themselves in sourcing potable water; eg. Bore holes, bore wells. streams, rivers, lakes, fountains etc. which by doing, they will stop ordinary citizens from accessing those natural ways of helping themselves with alternative water supply. Many believe that the main agenda is that the Nigeria government is trying to take this decayed water problem to extort resources from her citizens through taxation and unfriendly laws that will restrict the masses from accessing water freely from anywhere in Nigeria without the consent of the federal government.
Inasmuch as there may or may not be truth in the suspicions and speculations from the masses, I personally paid further attention beyond speculations; to understand what the federal government want to achieve with their new introduced bill that is yet to be passed into law by the house of assembly.
Government is trying to convince the masses to believe that the bill will work in their favor in lifting this sand bag of water issue off their necks through a friendly support from federal government in every private and commercial water scheme across the nation. How true their claims are is not yet certain to Nigerians, it’s so because there’s less trust in our government and their unending political promises that eventually never comes to reality.
So let’s see few things what the federal government says that they will accomplish through this bill, if it’s signed into law.
Federal government want be partnering with the states; for rural water schemes for example, the initiator (State government) brings 50% while the federal government brings 50% contribution.
Then for urban water scheme, state must bring the 70% while the federal government contributes 30% funding for the state to do their urban water schemes.
Both the masses, government and policy makers must understand that the government is trying to find a simplified way of giving back to then people. Our population growth is not in minus, it is positive and increasing daily.
So the federal government expects that state government should continue to invest in water because of our rapid increase in population. The government must be one step above the population. But what has been happening is that the government will do a water scheme, and play oversight till another 15 to 20 years till the population doubles. And then those obsolete water scheme capacity will now be the one serving the doubled population.
Recent studies has shown that most of the existing water schemes that are in place are operating at 30/40 percent capacity which is weird below the expected capacity, when the people has doubled, so how can people have adequate supply of water? Now we’re advocating that the state government should improve on their water supply. Most states in Nigeria don’t even have a water supply master plan, how can they now know how to structure their project on the quantity and quality of water supply to be aimed at?
Federal government of Nigeria has been accused of not doing anything concerning irrigation system in the country, but the government is trying to defend the accusations. Irrigation is on a concurrent list; federal government does it own and expect the state government to do their own.
Right now, we’re meant to understand that the federal government are handling a 30,000 hectares of irrigation, under their new program from 2016 to 2030, they want to raise it to 500,000 hectares by 2030. Federal government has allowed another one million hectares for state government and large scale commercials to also invest.
But not many states are investing in irrigation, if their only investing is 20 to 30 hectares; that’s nothing to compare to our population and agricultural demand in a country of about 200,000,000 people and about 923,768 km² land mass.
What we need in Nigeria is large scale irrigation from the government, and don’t forget, in the last 50 years, the federal government has built over 200 dams in this country but my eyes haven’t seen one in my state and legion. Maybe they’re selective. Marginalization is a problem that Nigeria must put away! These 200 dams are all federal government projects inside some states, Their idea is for the state government to tap in their ideas; to provide water supply, and to also provide irrigation facilities for the people. But they’ve not done that. The federal government is being accused of being too high handed, controlling things. This is true. But at the other hand, when it comes to the real issues; the project that will impact the people, you see that many states would rather abdicate that responsibility back to the federal government. Nigeria state government should sit-up if they don’t want too much of interference or federal presence. How can you say that you don’t want too much of federal presence and control and then you also abdicate your own responsibilities and want the federal government to be the one to carry out your due responsibilities?
Federal Structure of Nigeria
Yes, it’s possible and true that the federal government may not be seen in every community in this country which was why we have a federal structure; we have the federal, state and local governments. So I think citizens should constantly be asking the state government what they’re actually doing for them just like the courage we saw in Nigeria youths within the last few days.
Banning of bottle and sachet water in Nigeria
This is another topic that I’ll deal extensively with in one of my upcoming articles. It’s also cited in this said water resources bill and it’s surrounding debates.
The government of Nigeria has already adopted the policy of what is known as circular economy; that has to do with the issues of recycling, refurbishing and all that, which I believe if they can manage well, then there’ll be no point trying to ban masses from producing bottle water.
A ‘Go home with’ question
The issues of pollution and plastic waste as it concerns Nigeria, Africa and the world at large, do you think it’s something that Nigeria can tackle by banning her citizens from engaging in water security through potable bottle and sachet water?
Please air your views in comment section.
I’m still your friend Max
Please stay safe!
Pictures are credited to pixabay