House of Reps withdraw controversial water resources bill

House of Reps withdraw controversial water resources bill

- The Nigerian House of Representatives has withdrawn the National Water Resources Bill

- The controversial bill caused a shouting march in the green chamber during the plenary on Tuesday, September 29

- Benjamin Mzondu, a member of the House requested the withdrawal of the Bill, owing to the public outcry against it

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The House of Representatives has withdrawn the water resources bill which the lower chamber passed two months ago.

The controversial bill on Tuesday, September 29, caused a row during the plenary of the House as members of the green chamber strongly opposed the procedure adopted in passing the bill, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The shouting march between the lawmakers began when Benjamin Mzondu representing Benue state moved a motion under Matter of Privilege.

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The PDP lawmaker argued that the procedure for the passage of the bill was faulty, adding that the House unanimously resolved to gazette the bill for reconsideration but it wasn't.

House of Reps withdraw controversial water resources bill
The House of Reps has withdrawn the controversial water resources bill. Photo credit: HouseNGR
Source: Twitter

While noting that clear copies of the bill were not circulated to all members, Mzondu added that a 2020 bill before its consideration at the committee and passed should have passed the first and second reading and be subjected to a public hearing.

He said:

“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.”

Though Idris Wase, the deputy Speaker of the House, stated that members were given copies of the bill before it was considered at the committee of the whole, the remaining lawmakers, however, shouted in disagreement with his position.

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Femi Gbajabimila, the Speaker of the House, in his ruling, said that the bill be withdrawn and gazetted for fresh consideration.

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Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the federal government insisted that it will not back down on enacting the proposed Water Resources Bill.

Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture on Tuesday, September 22, dismissed the suggestions that the bill was designed to cause conflict.

The minister made the statement at a joint briefing with the minister of water resources, Suleiman Adamu in Abuja.

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