In some quarters, the House of Representatives will revisit the Water
Supply Bill as an effort to reintroduce the vetoed RUGA program.
Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker, who dropped the hint, maintained
that the decision was in the country’s best interest.
The Lagos lawmaker argued that it was easier to err on the side of caution, remembering how
the lower legislative chamber was forced to retrace itself about the expeditious passage of the Infectious Diseases Bill.
Consequently, he instructed the Chairman of the House Committee on
Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata, to amend it for further deliberation.
A motion by Mzondu Benjamin Bem (PDP: Benue) followed the resolution. He had pointed out that since the new
piece of legislation, which scaled the third reading at the eighth assembly, should be subject to fresh deliberation since the “salient provisions of the bill will impact on the well-being of Nigerians.”
Nkem-Abonta Uzoma (PDP: Abia), who raised a constitutional
order point, emphasized that the bill was in “breach of the Land Use Act and Section 315 of the 199 Constitution (as amended).
Kingsley Chinda (PDP: Rivers) agreed, stating that the Speaker is responsible for
giving each member an opportunity to reflect on the piece of legislation.
But the chair of the committee, Fulata, decided that there was no
need for another round of debates because the bill had already been passed.
Sada Soli, who chairs the House
Committee on Water Supply, helped him.
The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, in his contribution,
cautioned the Green Chamber against circumventing its own laws.
The proposed legislation, which was defeated by the Eighth Senate, confers upon the Federal Government the
right to use, maintain and regulate surface water, groundwater beds and banks affecting more than one state.
This means that all 267.3 billion cubic meters of surface water and 51.9 billion meters of groundwater are regulated by
the central government, including all 200 damned citizens who store up to 11 billion cubic meters of water in Nigeria.
Boreholes, the Niger and Benue Rivers, the Oguta Lake, Lake Chad, the Lullemeden
Aquifer System, the Tano and Keta Aquifer System, and Lake Chad are also monitored.
Source: THE GUARDIAN NEWS