NLC declares nationwide protest over fuel price hike; despite protests, FG forges ahead with Water Resources Bill

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has said that protests and strike action will on Monday commence across the country over the refusal of the federal government to reverse petrol prices and electricity tariff.

The announcement was made known to the public by the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, after the National Executive Council of the congress, comprising the chairmen of the NLC in the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, met in Abuja on Tuesday.

You could recall, that the organisation had earlier issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government to reverse the increase in prices, but this ultimatum was met with the government’s inaction.

The pump price of petrol was increased earlier in the month while a new electricity tariff was implemented around the same period. While marketers are currently selling petrol between N158 and N162 per litre, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) increased electricity tariff from N30.23 to N62.33 per kwh.

The Federal Government has however, said that there’s no going back in the passage of the National Water Resources Bill, currently before the National Assembly.

Lai Mohammed, who is the Information and Culture Minister, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja during a press briefing he addressed with his counterpart, the Minister for Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu.

The controversial Bill had been rejected in the 8th Assembly but has now been reintroduced in the 9th National Assembly, and is again receiving backlash from stakeholders who believe there are sinister motives behind it. Mohammed reassured Nigerians at the briefing saying that those criticising the Bill were either ill-informed, haven’t read it or do not understand its provisions.

“There is nothing new about the National Water Resources Bill. This is because it is an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence for a long time. These are, Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004, The River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004, The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A, LFN 2004 and National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004.

”So, why are the laws being re-packaged as the National Water Resources Bill 2020? The answer is that they are being re-enacted with necessary modifications to bring them in line with current global trends as well as best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). The overall objective of this amalgamation is the efficient management of the Water Resources Sector for the economic development of Nigeria and the well-being of its citizens,” he added.

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