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SERAP Asks Lawan, Gbajabiamila To Stop Water Resource Bill 2020 Or Be Sued

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an urgent appeal to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, urging them to “immediately drop the illegal Water Resources 2020, which requires Nigerians to obtain a permit before sinking a borehole in their homes.”

The Bill seeks to bring all water resources (surface and underground) and the banks of the water sources under the control of the Federal Government through its agencies to be established by the Bill.

Section 13 of the Bill, says, “in implementing the principles under subsection (2) of this section, the institutions established under this Act shall promote integrated water resources management and the coordinated management of land and water resources, surface water and ground water resources, river basins and adjacent marine and coastal environment and upstream and downstream interests.”

Section 2(1), states: “All surface water and ground water wherever it occurs, is a resource common to all people.’’

The Bill is primed for passage by the House on their resumption from recess next month, which is September.

Reacting to the secret plot to pass the bill, SERAP, in a tweet via its Twitter handle, @SERAPNigeria, on Friday, said “We’ll challenge this illegality in court should the bill ever be passed into law.”

The tweet reads: “We call on the leadership of @nassnigeria to immediately drop the illegal Water Resources 2020, which requires Nigerians to obtain a permit before sinking a borehole in their homes.We’ll challenge this illegality in court should the bill ever be passed into law.

“The bill also states, among others, that “the use of water shall be subject to licencing provisions”. The licence can be withdrawn on flimsy grounds.

“Rather than addressing severe water crisis and improving access of Nigerians facing daily challenges just to access safe water for drinking and hygiene, the National Assembly is pushing to take away Nigerians’ fundamental human right to clean water.

“Yet, Nigeria has ratified numerous human rights treaties that contain obligations related to water and sanitation, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
@MBuhari @DrAhmadLawan @femigbaja”

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