By Okon Okon
Abuja – The Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission says the National Water Resources Bill, if passed will ensure provision of potable water and promote its efficient use in the country.
Mr Peter Onoja, the Ag. Executive Director of the commission, made this known in a report titled: “ Implementation of Effective Regulations of Water Resources in Nigeria”, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
Onoja said that further that the bill would also ensure the safety of drinking water and to protect public from contracting water related diseases.
He said that water regulatory systems under the bill would be catalytic to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, and achieved the universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
NAN reports that SDG 6, which is one of the 17 SDGs established by the UN in 2015 – aims at ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all people by 2030.
According to Onoja, the enactment of the water bill by the National Assembly and the President can fast track the achievement of the SDG 6.
He said that the regulation of water sector in the country was imminent to eliminate irregularities, stressing that the commission was duly committed to work toward it.
Onoja pointed out that the objectives of the “Water Use Regulations included protection, conservation and control of water resources for equitable and sustainable social and economic development and maintenance of environmental integrity.
He said that other objectives were to ensure allocation, supply and distribution of water resources for all users with a view to promoting global best practices.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, had recently said that the bill was an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that had been in existence as enshrined in Law of Federation 2004.
It is to promote efficient use of water resources and reduce duplication of efforts in line with international best practices.
NAN reports that the bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of all people.
The bill is for both domestic and non-domestic use, irrigation, agricultural purposes, generation of hydro-electric energy, navigation, fisheries and recreation.
The Federal Government aims under the bill, to protect the nation’s water resources; to use, develop, conserve, manage and control water in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all persons.
The water resources bill will also provide for the creation of an enabling environment for public and private sector investment.
It also provides for capacity-building processes to foster good governance while establishing a water use and licensing framework to ensure sustainable financing for water sector.