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Govs take the bull by the horn, set to review controversial National Water Resources Bill

From NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja

The 36 State Governors, under the aegis of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), have resolved to subject the controversial National Water Resources Bill to fresh reviews by their Attorneys General and Executive Councils of States after which a common position of States will be presented to the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

The Governors took the decision after being briefed by the Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu, on the National Water Resources Bill 2020, at the 17th teleconference meeting of the Forum yesterday.

In a communiqué after the meeting, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the NGF, while commending the Minister for taking an integrated approach to water resource management as a national good, resolved that the Bill and other related laws would be reviewed and only then would a common position of the Governors on the Bill be made known.

“Forum members while commending the Minister of Water Resources for taking an integrated approach to water resource management as a national good, resolved that the proposed Bill and other relevant laws including the River Basins Development Authorities Act 2004; the Natural Water Resources Act 2004 and the Nigeria Hydrological Resources Act 2004, will be reviewed by their Attorneys General and Executive Councils of States after which a common position of States will be presented to the Ministry of Water Resources,” the communique read in part.

According to the communiqué which was made available to newsmen earlier today in Abuja by Mr. Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, Head, Media and Public Affairs, NGF Secretariat, the Forum also resolved to schedule a more intensive session on economic management with their Commissioners of Finance and Budget and Planning following a presentation by Mr. Bismarck Rewane member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

Fayemi also disclosed that NGF had resolved to partner with KAINOS Edge Consulting to conduct a household survey designed to gather data, analyze, generate and publish insights intothe household economy across the 36 States of Nigeria and the FCT, adding that the survey would cover household demographics, decision-making and wellbeing characteristics.

Earlier, the NGF boss had provided updates on the plan of the Forum to play a strategic role in the forthcoming 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES #26) which is designed to focus on the sub-nationals as the frontiers for economic growth and development in the country.

According to Fayemi, at least 18 Governors will take part in physical and virtual high-level panel dialogues from 26th – 27th October 2020 Summit, which will bring together local and global policy-makers, business leaders, development partners and scholars to lead and participate in sessions that would focus on building strategic partnerships and cooperation among governments, business enterprises and civil society.

The NGF Chairman also disclosed that the Technical Committee of the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) has already be inaugurated, adding that the committee, which was inaugurated last Tuesday, that September 14, would be responsible for coordinating the activities of the NGF-NESG partnership based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed between both institutions in 2017 to facilitate joint programmes aimed at promoting sub-national competitiveness.

He further noted that the 2019 Annual Performance Assessment (APA) for the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme conducted by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAuGF) would be completed this week.

While disclosing that the exercise had already been completed in 32 States, Fayemi assured that States remained committed and would continue to work assiduously to meet the requirements and Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) of the programme.

He said that updates were also provided on ongoing health-related interventions across States, including the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE).

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