By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees(AUPCTRE); affiliated to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and organised workers in the Public Sector, has asked the National Assembly to the reintroduced controversial national water resource bill 2022.
It would be recalled that the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration first sent the proposed bill to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill on April 11, 2017 barely two (2) years into the first tenure of the Administration.
The Bill which sparks outrage amongst Nigerians who saw it as a plot to grab the water ways and other Natural Resource was thrown out by the 8th Assembly.
On Tuesday, 7 July, 2020, the Bill was reintroduced into the 9th Assembly by Hon. Sada Soli from Katsina State.
It was reconsidered on 23rd July, 2020 pursuant to Order Twelve (12), Rule 18 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, but was again thrown out for its obnoxious, suspicious, and anti-people posture.
The same Bill that was rejected by this same 9th Assembly was reintroduce again on the floor of the House of Representatives for the third time on Wednesday, 29th June, 2022 by the Chairman House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli from Katsina State.
The Union in a statement issued yesterday by its Secretary General, Sikiru
queried the desperation of the initiators of the Bill and wonders why a Bill that was rejected twice by the National Assembly was still reintroduced for possible passage into law.
The Bill seeks to bring all Water sources (surface and underground) as well as river banks, river basins, adjacent marine land and coastal environment among others under the control of the Federal Government which is grossly at variance with the land use Act, 1978 which vest all lands in a State in the hands of the Governor of that State to hold in trust for the use of all the citizens of the State.
The Union wish to alert all Nigerians that if the Bill is passed into law, the right of citizens over fresh water resources – ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, dams, boreholes, and spring water will be eroded and taken away completely.
It will deny States and local Government authorities as well as individuals right to make use of water in their backyard until they get permission from Abuja.
The Union calls on State Governments and indeed all Nigerians to rise and resist this anti people Bill and further calls on the National Assembly to once again discard the Bill in the interest of all the Nigerian people they represent.