Welcome to NIWRMC

Background Information

The paradigm shift in approach to the management of the nation’s water resources, from the traditional to the global best practices of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), also requires that appropriate legal and institutional framework and policies are put in place to drive the process. Integrated Water Resources Management Approach seeks to promote the availability of sufficient water quantitatively and qualitatively, and in both temporal and spatial context for all uses and users. Other underlying objectives of the IWRM approach include social equity and enhancement of access to the resource by the different strata of the populace as well as the protection and sustainability of the environment. A key component of IWRM is the institution of a regulatory regime to control the abstraction of and discharges into both surface water and groundwater and, to promote the efficient and sustainable use of the resource. The most generally acceptable mode of exercising Regulatory oversight over water abstraction and water affecting activities is the Water Allocation and Water Use Permit or Licencing System.

The Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission

The Federal Executive Council, pursuant to the Government Reform Agenda for the nation’s Water Resources Sub-sector, in May, 2007 created the Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission. The Commission is charged with a primary mandate of making and implementing Regulations for the control and management of water abstraction, and discharges into Federal watercourses, water use and a host of water affecting activities in Nigeria. The Bill for an Act for the establishment of the Commission, though successfully scaled through necessary legislative processes at the 7th National Assembly, did not receive Presidential assent before the expiration of the last Administration in May, 2015.

A revised National Water Resources Bill, which seeks to streamline and harmonise the responsibilities and functions of various water and related agencies, among other reforms, is now expected to provide necessary legal framework for the effective operation of the Commission. The draft Bill is presently awaiting transmission to the National Assembly for necessary legislative processes before enactment into law.

Delegation of Regulatory Power

The Provisions of Sections 9, 10 and 11 of the Water Resources Act empowers the Honourable Minister in charge of Water Resources to undertake Water Resources allocation and issue licenses for the diversion, storage, pumping or use on a commercial scale, of any water or the construction, maintenance, operation, repair of any borehole or any hydraulic works in any of the Federal water courses in Nigeria. Pursuant to the provision of Section 17 of the Act, the Honourable Minister, vide letter No: FMWR/PS/14/Vol.1/150 of 11th  June, 2012 has delegated the authority to issue licenses to Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission. As part of efforts to further deepen the Water Resources regulatory regime, the Federal Executive Council has approved the Water Use and Licence Regulations, 2016, which has been gazetted and became operational nationwide.

Administration Of The Relevant Provisions Of The Water Resources Act

In pursuance of the authority delegated to the Commission, the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission has taken charge of the administration of the relevant provisions of the Water Resources Act. In particular, the Commission now undertakes the following functions, among others:

  • Processing of Application for water rights and water use licenses;
  • Inspection, Supervision and Monitoring of Works;
  • Settlement of disputes between licensees and Arbitration on water related conflicts;
  • Assessment, Collection and Recovery of Fees, Levies, Rates and Charges, in line with extant Regulations and Administrative Guidelines.