By Chimezie Godfrey
The Chairperson, Conference of Civil Society Organizations, Adams Otakwu has debunked the insinuation that the National Water Resources Bill 2020 has been rejected by Nigerians.
Otakwu who made the assertion during a press briefing on Monday in Abuja, said that about 98% of Nigerians who have studied the bill support it, and that only 0.2% them are opposed to it.
“Our finding reveals that 98% Nigerians have not studied the content of the Bill closely, 5% of Nigerians have perused the Bill.
“About 98% of those who have studied the Bill, support it, over 1.8% of them are indifferent, while less than 0.2% of them discredit and oppose it.
“This invariably implies that the more Nigerians study the Bill closely, the more they embrace and support the content of the Bill,” he said.
Otakwu said that the analysis is necessary in order to debunk the insinuation that the Bill is being opposed by a vast majority of Nigerians.
He promised that his organization will sustain the enlightenment across the remaining 95% of Nigerians who are yet to avail themselves of the content of the Bill.
Otakwu pointed out the Bill is not a new creation but rather a consolidation and modification of four extant status.
According to him, analysis has shown that the Bill will be of immense benefits to Nigerians.
“Our analysis shows that the Bill will upgrade our water resource sector by 90% than it is currently, to be in tandem with global trends and international standard of ethics, decency and professional practices in integrated water resource management.
“It will de-risk aquatic ecosystem across hydrological areas and basins as well as promote dam safety, effective reservoir operations and management and environmental integrity by over 75% than it is currently.
“It will open up the water resource sector for public private investment that will increase job and employment opportunities by over 65%, than it is currently,” he said.
Otakwu further mentioned that the bill will enhance transparency, accountability, equity and full disclosure, among many other benefits.
He stressed that the bill does not interfere or obstruct the Extant Land Use Act, which confers the power of physical planning in any state on the state government, given the provision that every landed facility to be used by the National Regulatory Commission will be acquired through the provisions of the Land Use Act.
He also noted that the Bill is not a physical planning bill , but that it is concerned mainly with interstate surface and ground water resources.
Otakwu promised that the organization will commence more engagement of respective groups and stakeholders in the course of the Bill’s progression in the National Assembly.a