The bill was met with stiff criticism since it was brought back at the House of Representatives.
Among other things, the bill seeks to place the control of all water, usage and its resources solely at the hands of the Nigerian Government.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the government will not back down but continue with its plan on the bill.
He accused critics of the bill of being mischievous, saying there was nothing new about the bill.
He said, “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).
“Critics contend that the bill is aimed at taking the resources of a certain part of the country for the use of herders. In other words, the Federal Government is seeking to implement RUGA by subterfuge.
“We also want to state that the bill is for the good of the nation, and has no hidden agenda whatsoever.”
He posited that the bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of the people.