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Pass Water Resources Bill, 1993 Act obsolete – Don urges NASS



A Don, Prof. Toochukwu Ogwueleka, has called for passage of the National Water Resources Bill by the National Assembly to address the growing water management challenges in the country.

Ogwueleka, who is a Lecturer with the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, University of Abuja, made this call on Friday while delivering the University’s 42nd inaugural lecture.

The lecture had the theme, “Water and Waste Shaping a Sustainable and Equitable Future.”

According to Ogwueleka, the Water Act of 1993 cannot address the growing water management challenges, which necessitates the passage of the water resources bill by the National Assembly.

The don said that access to clean and safe water was not only essential for human well-being but also a human right.

He said that implementing sustainable water management practices that focused on the efficient use, conservation, and protection of water resources would address the challenges of water scarcity and contribute to sustainable development.

“There is need to have a second look at the water resources bill. The bill was before the 9th assembly, so the 10th assembly should look at the bill and pass the bill into law.

“The 1993 Water Act is obsolete, so it can’t handle the present challenges of water.

“There is need to put more funds into water infrastructure and capacity building. There is need for government and universities in particular to invest in building the capacity of the workers and researchers.

“The universities remain the hub for innovation. The issue of gender mainstreaming also is key, they should consider the issue of gender in waste-water engineering, solid waste engineering and water supply.

“The legal framework and policies should be reviewed and water recognised as human rights, especially of the marginalised group. Hence, the marginalised group should be part of policymaking,” the don said.

Ogwueleka noted that proper management of wastewater was crucial to protect public health and the environment.

He said that this must be done by adopting integrated approaches that encompassed wastewater treatment, reuse, and resource recovery.

According to him, we can not only mitigate environmental pollution, but also harness the potential for water conservation, energy generation, and nutrient recycling.

“This holistic approach to wastewater management contributes to sustainable water use and environmental sustainability,” the don.

He added that in striving for sustainable and equitable access to water, wastewater, and solid waste management services, it was crucial to address the needs of marginalised and vulnerable populations.

“The scarcity of water is not only in Nigeria, it is a global phenomenal because when you look at the available fresh water in the whole world, you see that it is only three per cent that is available and 97 per cent is just ocean water.

“And from our three per cent, we have between 0.9 per cent and one per cent that is fresh water. Others are in polar regions or ground water.

“Water is a finite resource which we must manage well. About 80 per cent of global waste water are being discharged without treatment.

“If you look at Abuja and its environment, people are discharging waste water not only from the factories but also domestic. So there must be a policy framework for water.

“The bill should be approved because once you have taken care of the policies, all other issues will be taken care of because in policy lies the issues of mainstreaming, funding and so many other issues,” Ogwueleka said.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, commended the exceptional contributions of Ogwueleka to knowledge.

According to Na’Allah, the university is not just to produce people with certificates.

“Yes, we need to produce young people who will graduate and move on to do something else but indeed, university is created to make major pathways for development.

“He has constantly been bringing out his contribution in different areas. He is not just presenting papers.

“The lecture actually focuses on waste research. Some people take water for granted but over the years, it has been proven that we have little percentage of drinkable water available in the world.

“And even in this percentage of drinkable water, there are areas in our world where they lack water and they are in difficulty and his point is that water is actually a human right matter.

“So, the idea of having individuals without water is actually abusing their human rights, and we must constantly look at the best way to make drinkable water possible,” the vice-chancellor said.


Nigeria committed to ensure security, peace in West Africa – Akpabio



The President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has restated Nigeria’s commitment to ensuring peace and security in West Africa.

Akpabio said this on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the international roundtable on Parliamentary Security Sector Governance.

The roundtable was organised by National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

The roundtable drew lawmakers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.

Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Daniel Gbenga, Akpabio recommend synergy among countries in the sub-region to address insecurity.

“Nigeria is a country that is willing and determined to ensure that the West Africa sub- region enjoys peace, security, shared prosperity in our developmental goals.

“In order to mitigate the challenges already identified, it is important to properly address insecurity in the West African sub region.

“This can be done through deep cooperation and deliberate policies and laws by our parliament, as well as empower the parliament to assume full legislative powers,” he said.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, said the security sector plays a pivotal role in ensuring peace, stability, and development within any nation.

Represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, Abbas said effective governance and reform of the security sector were essential for upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights, and safeguarding democratic principles.

“In this regard, the role of parliament is indispensable as it serves as a key institution for oversight, legislation, and budgetary control over the security sector.

“I urge all stakeholders present to consider practical strategies for enhancing parliamentary engagement in security sector governance.

“This may involve developing specialised training programs for parliamentarians on security related matters, establishing robust mechanisms for information sharing between security agencies and parliamentary committees.

“Also for fostering a culture of dialogue and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches on security policy formulation,” he said.

The Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman said that in recent times, West Africa faced a scourge of terrorism, insurgency, and transnational crime.

He said that the menace presented formidable threats to the collective peace and stability of the region.

According to him, security issues, including illicit trafficking and the movement of armed groups, further compound the complexities.

“We must confront these urgently; internal conflicts, driven by various factors, pose additional challenges that require our immediate attention.

“More recently, the series of military coups that have taken place in and around our region which remains a threat to peace, the rule of law and democratic stability within the region.

“As legislators, you stand at the forefront of crafting responses to these challenges.

“The laws and policies you shape must not only address the immediate threats but also lay the foundation for sustainable security sector governance and reform,” he said.

Sulaiman said the roundtable provided an opportunity to pool insights, share best practices, and develop legislative frameworks that are responsive to the unique security dynamics of West Africa.

Peran said that there has been a spread of terrorism and violent extremism with terrorist groups becoming more and more sophisticated.

“Wave to try to understand better why the security situation is so complex and what can be done to improve it in a sustainable fashion said the Resident Rep of KAS, Ms Marija Peran.

According to her, security sector reforms and governance plays a vital role in stabilising the region.

She said they had also been recognised as an essential precondition not only for conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building but in general for good governance.

“Security sector reforms, repurposing of security institutions and agencies, improved interagency cooperation and effective oversight of the security sector are critical enablers to create the peaceful and secure Africa,” she said.

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Senate threatens to step down NCoS budget over insufficient information



The Senate has threatened to step down consideration on the 2024 budget of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) over insufficient information

Sen. Adams Oshiomhole, the Chairman,Senate Committee on Interior, Sen.Adams Oshiomole, said this said this at the 2024 budget defence of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Interior on Thursday in Abuja.

Oshiomole said he was unhappy with the services being rendered to inmates by the NCoS.

“Your organisation has transformed from Nigeria Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service but you have yet to change in your attitudes toward inmates.

“It’s not just your fault because the government appropriates little money for you, it is either you don’t feed the inmates or you feed them only once and even at that, very miserable food.

“This is why they have completely emaciated and some can never live a decent life again even when they did not commit an offence.

“You all know the price of food items in the market, so how can you look us eye to eye and tell us that you feed a man in Nigeria with N750 a day, how much is a bottle of water,” he said.

He said that the committee would not be in a haste to approve any budget for the service until it received satisfactory answers.

He requested for a breakdown of the number of inmates and security dogs at the correctional centers and how they were fed daily.

“I would like to see a breakdown of how you feed the inmates. If you say you feed inmates three times a day with N250 each.

“How many dogs do you have and how much does it cost to feed them daily,” he said.

Responding, the NCS Comptroller General, Alhaji Haliru Nababa, said the service had a total of 81,358 inmates nationwide, saying that 53,362 of the inmates were awaiting trial.

“We feed each inmate with N750 daily and they are fed three times daily (N250 for each square meal).

“We have 900 security dogs and to feed a dog each day we spend N800,” he said.

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Army Chief tasks NASS on funding



Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, has appealed to the National Assembly to review the current envelope budgeting system of the Federal Government to ensure adequate funding for the Nigerian Army.

Lagbaja said this when he appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Nigerian Army on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the envelope system had led to inadequate funding for the Nigerian Army, especially its anti terrorism operation and other operations across the country.
Lagbaja also called on the national assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund Bill, saying that the passage would enhance the operations of the Armed Forces, through improved funding.
The Chairman, of the Joint Committee, Sen. Abdulaziz Yar’ adua assured of transparency in the handling of the Nigerian Army 2024 budget.

He comended Lagbaja for taking responsibility for the bombing of Kaduna villagers and taking steps to investigate the matter.

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