Francis Waive, member representing Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu Federal Constituency of Delta State at the House of Representatives, has described the Water Resources Bill as a northern agenda against the south.
Waive, who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in a statement over the weekend, expressed concerns about the bill, Critical Voices reports.
The lawmaker said the bill will “further tighten the noose” in the region, because majority of the states from the middle belt down to the south are surrounded by water.
Waive noted that the bill has some elements of the unsuccessful Rural Grazing Area, popularly referred to as RUGA, which was rejected by Nigerians.
He explained that though some provisions in the bill are welcome because of the nature of governance and the tendencies to misuse powers in the country, adding that “we cannot at this point in time properly handle this kind of a law without causing more harm than good”.
According to him, “One will be tempted to ask, what is the intention behind this law? Is it really for the general good of the Nigerian people as it states? How well has the various natural resources been managed for the general good?”
He further said: “The oil from the Niger Delta region has not positively impacted the life of the people from the Niger Delta and the one who bears the impact of the exploration activities.
“The various River Basins which are currently under the control of the government, has not been properly managed; instead it has been grossly politicized, how then can the government manage and control all the water bodies in the country.
“According to public opinion this law is a Northern agenda to further tighten the noose on the South, because obviously the majority of the states from the middle belt down south are surrounded by water. There is also a high resemblance of intentions of some provisions of this act with that of the unsuccessful RUGA bill.
“In my opinion, the bill is of no immediate benefit to the generality of the populace at this point in time, plus we have not developed enough as a country to be able to properly manage all the resources we have to now begin to look at water. Water is the least of our problems as a country.”