The Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission has issued licences to 125 applicants for the construction of hydropower generation plants, irrigation and water supply projects, among others.

According to the commission, when the projects are completed, they will boost the country’s power supply, improve access to portable water, and ensure adequate irrigation facilities for farmers in selected areas of the country.

The Executive Director, NIWRMC, Reuben Habu, who disclosed this at a conference on water use regulations, compliance, monitoring and enforcement framework in Abuja, stated, “We have issued 125 licences for irrigation, hydropower generation, thermal water generation and water supply.

“We are monitoring the activities of the licensees in order to ensure that they operate within the terms and conditions of the licences given them, and we believe that this will impact greatly on the Nigerian economy.”

Habu said the Federal Government had approved the licence regulation that gave the NIWRMC the mandate and powers to issue licences to prospective applicants for various water uses.

“It is worthy to note that this regulation derived its origin and power from Section 19 of the Water Resources Act Cap W2, Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. Thus, the Water Resources Act has been in existence since 1993 as Decree 101,” he stated.

Habu noted that there was nothing new in the National Water Resources Bill currently before the National Assembly, adding that it was an amalgamation of all the laws on water in the country.

He also stated that the commission, in the course of carrying out its statutory mandate, observed that there were some function overlap among different agencies of government under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

This, he said, was why the NIWRMC decided “to bring together all relevant stakeholders to discuss and understand each other’s distinct roles and responsibilities, and form synergy that will lead to greater efficiency for the good of water regulation in Nigeria.”