Exclusive: Presidency might re-introduce controversial Water Bill in June – Investigation

Exclusive: Presidency might re-introduce controversial Water Bill in June – Investigation 2By Tordue Salem

The Presidency plots to reintroduce the contentious National Water Bill, 2020, which was thrown out by the House of Representatives, a senior workers of the Business and Rules Committee of the House, advised VANGUARD on the weekend.

The Bill was gazetted in October by the House, preparatory to its second presentation for reconsideration, the supply on the Committee, disclosed.

The workers of the Committee advised VANGUARD that “The Bill (National Water Resources Bill), has now been gazetted to be presented again”, he mentioned”.

He mentioned “the Presidency is considering bringing it back in a matter of weeks”. He additionally disclosed that “The Northern caucuses of the House and the Senate, herdsmen groups and other Northern leaders, are pushing for the Bill”.

The Bill was rejected on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, by a majority within the Green Chamber, however the co-sponsor of the piece of laws, Rep. Abubakar Fulata(APC-Jigawa) who doubles because the Chairman, Committee on Rules and Business, rapidly set again to enterprise, to transform and reintroduce the Bill. One of the important thing sponsors, is Rep. Sada Soli (APC-Katsina).

The Legislative instrument which has confronted a stiff opposition from teams throughout the nation, it was learnt a months in the past, to be pushed by the Northern Caucuses of each Houses of the National Assembly, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, related herder teams, Ministry of Water Resources and largely Northern leaders.

The House was thrown right into a turmoil earlier, , whereas contemplating a Matter of Privilege, raised by Rep. Benjamin Mzondu(PDP-Benue) to be heard on the contentious National Water Resources Bill, 2020.

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Mzondu’s movement sought the withdrawal of Bill, owing to the general public outcry towards it and its breach of House’ Rules, in presenting his Matter of Privilege, Rep. Mzondu cited Order 6, Rule 1(1), 2 and three, as he argued forcefully, towards the transmission of the Bill to the Senate and its lastly changing into regulation.

According to him, “I want to seek advice from Order 6, Rule 1(1), 2 and three and Order 12, Rule 18 to state that I used to be disadvantaged of my legislative Privilege of sighting gazetted copy of the National Water Resources BillHB 921, and such couldn’t take part within the consideration of the report by the Committee of the Whole, which additionally disadvantaged me of my rights and privilege of illustration to my folks.

“Mr. Speaker, Hon. Colleagues, it is in the effort to eliminate the “Element of Surprise”, that the House in its knowledge, included in its Standing Rule, thF each Bill, should be gazetted or clear copies circulated. It is vital to notice that the phrase emphasised right here, is “gazette”, which suggests showing within the Bills Journal of the House.

“The phrases used are clear and unambiguous, they should be given their odd which means, as said.

“Mr. Speaker, Hon. Colleagues, I used to be misled by means of order 12, Rule 18 of our Standing Orders. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Colleagues, it is a matter of regulation and process and Hon. Speaker, the onus of interpretation, lies with you. Where the Bill was labeled as Bill 2020, it was not thought of at such.

“The legal guidelines lay, in your shoulder to interpret these guidelines as said in Order 7 Rule 1(7). It is vital to emphasise that I’ve painstakingly searched by all of the journals of the House, and can’t discover the place the Bill is gazetted and I stand to be challenged or corrected.

“The next question for your consideration, Hon. Speaker, deals with jurisdiction, whether the House such powers to entertain a bill, such proceedings become a nullity, ab initio no matter how conducted and decided”.

” So having not met this situation, I want to transfer, counting on Order8 Rule 8 and the above said guidelines, that “The House do rescind/expunge its decision of 23rdJuly, 2020, which adopted the National Water Resources Bill, 2020 HB921 to have been read the Third time from our records”.

His latter prayers had been granted, after a chronic debate from each side of the legislative divide, because the Speaker ordered for the withdrawal of Bill.

“Fundamental issues have been raised by Hon. Mzondu. He has backed them up, with a clear language, that such bills, must be re-gazetted”, Gbajabiamila mentioned.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Idris Wase who argued towards Mzondu’s place, careworn that the Bill adopted due course of in its passage.

Wase’s argument, was buttressed by the sponsor of the Bill, Rep. Sada Soli(APC-Katsina) and the Chairman of the Rules and Business Committee, Rep.Hassan Fulata(APC-Jigawa).

Lawmakers, led by Rep. Kingsley Chinda(PDP-Rivers), nonetheless put up a robust defence for Mzondu’s submission, resulting in the choice of the Speaker to Order for the withdrawal of the Bill, for a contemporary gazetting.

Recall that the identical Bill which was earlier launched as Executive Bill, was killed within the Senate, however handed within the House. The instrument, nonetheless couldn’t be retransmitted  to the Senate for Senate’s concurrence, earlier than the eighth Assembly lapsed.

The House resumes plenary on Tuesday to contemplate pending Bills.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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Exclusive: Presidency might re-introduce controversial Water Bill in June – Investigation

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