The Nigerian government is to introduce a National Water Policy, aimed at consolidating on all existing water laws in the country.
Minster of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu stated this to journalists soon after Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the new policy would enable Nigeria have a standard national water law and set up an agency to regulate the water sector.
The Minister told state House Correspondents that the Federal Executive Council approved the establishment of the national policy on water in order to meet up with international standards and harmonize the various laws currently in use across the country, as well as give room for the establishment of a regulatory agency for water related activities.
“The National Water Policy seeks to provide strategies that will improve the management and delivery of water resources in the country and is followed by the enabling water resources bill which essentially consolidates all the existing laws; the Water Resources Act, the River Basin Development Authorities Act, the National Water Resources Institute Act, the National Hydrological Service Act and other Acts, put together to form a National Water Law that conforms to international standards and international best practices,” the Minister explained.
He says the national policy on water will help boost agricultural activities in line with government’s diversification plans.
“Nigeria has the potential of 3.14 million hectares of land for irrigation, out of which only 130,000 hectares have been developed formally and only about 70, 000 is being utilized. So there is a huge gap and introducing this policy will help us to work along at federal level and then with the states and it will also help us develop our agriculture agenda,” he said.
Minister of Information and Culture, Ali Mohammed, who also addressed State House Correspondents, underscored the importance of water to the society.
Commenting on the recent debate o the sale of public assets, the Information Minister said government would soon make its stand known to the public.
“Everything you have heard so far has been just suggestions. Until the government makes its position known; whether it is assets sales, assets leasing, whatever is being bandied about now, they are nothing but speculations and government is yet to come out with a position on how it will bail out the economy and we will do that very soon,” he emphasized.
The Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Ita-Oyo and federal ministers.