National Water Resources Bill: Lawmakers Withdraw Bill

The House of Representatives has withdrawn the controversial National Water Resources Bill, 2020 which it passed two months ago.

A shouting bout ensued during plenary on Tuesday, after lawmaker representing Makurdi-Guma Federal Constituency in Benue, Hon. Benjamin Mzondu moved a motion questioning the procedure followed in the passage of the bill.

He argued that the bill was not gazetted and that clear copies were not circulated to all members.

The lawmaker said a 2020 bill should have passed first and second reading, be subjected to public hearing before its consideration at the Committee of the Whole and passed.

“My privilege has been breached because I was denied the opportunity of seeing the bill before it passed.

“The House Rules is clear and unambiguous, Order 12 Rule 16, 17 and 18 is expressly clear on the gazetting Bills.

“I therefore, move that the bill be completely expunged or be gazetted and subjected to public hearing,” he said.

However, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Water, Rep. Sada Soli (APC-Katsina), said that the right process was followed before the bill was passed.

He said that clean copies of the bill were distributed to members who were at the plenary.

After a prolonged debate, Mzondu’s prayers were granted.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabimila, then asked the Chairman of the House on Rules and Business to withdraw the bill and re-gazette it before presenting it before the House for consideration.

Among other things, the National Water Resources Bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the management and use of water resources in the country with the view to generate revenue for government at all levels.

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