By Ejike Umunnabuike Jr: General Editor, with additional reports from Iyasiki Dan-Opulah
Nigeria’s Water Resources Minister, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe, has hinted that, the Federal Ministry of Water Resource, Abuja is considering authoring, sponsoring and presenting a public Bill to the National Assembly for purposes of regulating, water-resources premised projects in the country.
The Bill, when in place, will help in defining, regulating, control and set a benchmark that will provide a guide in line with international best practices in the construction of any water resource related projects .
In her view, such a legislation, will also guide the application as well as the streamlining sundry matters that may be connected therein, in order to path-find such constructions in the different neighborhood settlements nationwide, taking the hygienic safety of the citizenry into cognizance.
She revealed this Tuesday, in the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while speaking on a Live Television Program, “NTA Tuesday Live”, a weekly current affairs interactive news-features schedule the Nigeria Television Authority.
The thrust of the Television program, was on the development administrative concept of “Water & Food Security”, which has a relational linkage with agrarian production, processing and marketing, ostensibly determined by the dynamics of water-resources management, water-behavior and water-training.
The Water Resource Minister, who was responding to a question by journalist, whose question profile centered on efforts by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in institutionalizing a control mechanism to regulate the current wave of indiscriminate construction of boreholes by a growing population of landed property owners, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
She said while her Ministry acknowledges the prevalence of this civil engineering behavior-discrepancy by most landlords in the nations federal capital territory, her Ministry, had been institutionally constrained to effect appropriate sanctions to erring culprits, due to the lack of the enabling laws to back the regulation of this trending.
She offered explanations as to why, residents of Abuja as well as in the various State and Local Governments Councils, have consistently experienced perennial portable water supply shortage Specifically she said,“The Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Abuja, has its well-defined functions, going by legal instruments regarding functions, role-performance and role-expectations”.
Essentially she said, “The Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Abuja, is involved with bulk water supply. The Federal Government through the platform of this Ministry is addressing issues and values that relate to water resources management by ensuring that there is effective water resource-user legislation in Nigeria, reviewing and examining existing legal instruments in that direction”.
She claimed that, there appears to be some misconceptions by a great majority of people as to the different functions of the Ministry, States, Local Governments in Nigeria and allied water-related agencies in Nigeria, in terms of the primary duty schedules in maintaining and sustaining water supply to the citizenry.
According to her, “the three-tiers of government , the organized private sector players as well as specific international donor agencies with organizational interests in global and continental water resources management, are all involved in this instance”.
…Moves to tackle Nigeria’s water troubles
In spite of Nigeria’s animated social problem of finding hygienically-treated and portable water supply for human consumption as well as for industrial, agricultural and sundry uses, there are positive indications of greater institutional efforts towards mitigating the condition.
Already, there is in place a new presidential roadmap spear-headed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, as part of the Federal Government’s Water-Engineering and Water Resources-Management template for the provision of this natural resource.
Nigeria’s Hon. Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe, while speaking on the occasion to observe the World Water Day, said, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s led administration, through her Ministry, is making frantic institutional efforts towards addressing the current problem of managing Nigeria’s fresh [BULK] water resources with a view to meeting the challenges therein.
The Water Resources Minister said, “ on the government’s campaign drive towards water conservation, Nigerians, should learn to appreciate water usage as well as its application to various domestic, industrial, agricultural and irrigation scaled-preferences”.
She said water supply provision to all stake-holding consumers is premised on the availability of adequately stored untreated fresh water for various uses, including agricultural, irrigational, industrial and domestic purposes.