The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, on Tuesday decried the multinational companies’ usage of the nation’s underground water resources for commercial purposes without obtaining license from the Federal Government.
Adamu stated this at a joint press conference with the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to address the controversies surrounding the National Water Resources Bill.
He lamented that without a law to protect the nation’s water resources, indiscriminate usage would not be addressed, hence the need for the passage of the National Water Resources Bill into law.
The minister stressed that the federal government was not interested in taking over the control of water resources in states, but to create an enabling environment for effective water resources management in line with global best practices.
Adamu said the bill would empower irrigation farmers to form Water Users Association for effective operation and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure and sustainable development.
On borehole, the minister said with the new bill in place, commercial borehole drillers would be mandated to obtain licenses, adding that no license was needed for domestic extraction of water.
He said: “Nobody has said you should not drill a borehole in your house, but the issue is that you cannot be taking water for commercial use at the expense of the people, so this bill is actually protecting the rights of the people to use their resources.
“The other issue is the proliferation of boreholes in this country. This is the only country in the world that you drill borehole without the authorities knowing.
“When I was told there are over 1,000 boreholes in Abuja alone, I could not believe it, the recent earth tremor was linked to the drilling of borehole.”
On his part, Mohammed, said the bill was for the good of the nation and had no hidden agenda whatsoever.
“Also, we cannot rule out deliberate mischief by some of those who have been portraying the bill as a new source of conflict whatsoever,” he said.
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