The controversial National Water Resources Bill 2023 has been rejected by the Senate after it was listed for concurrence on the Order Paper for consideration and passage on Tuesday.
The bill was turned down after Senator Gabriel Suswam raised a Point of Order pointing out that the proposed legislation contained some obnoxious provisions that remained unclear just like the 2020 version.
According to him, the 2022 draft of the bill still vested the control of ground and surface water in the hands of the Federal Government.
The proposed legislation seeks to concentrate the control of water resources around Rivers Niger and Benue which cut across 19 states in the hands of the Federal Government.
If passed, states that would have be affected are Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Edo, Delta, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Anambra, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Taraba, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Plateau, and Kebbi.
The proposed legislation also makes it mandatory for one to obtain a license before using water that is considered public for domestic or commercial purposes.
The House of Representatives had passed the bill in 2020 amidst suspicion by some federal lawmakers.