Challenges and contradictions in Nigeria’s water resources policy development: a critical review
AbstractThe paper is an exploratory review of Federal Government of Nigeria’s gazettes, agencies reports, intergovernmental documents on water resources policy as primary data source and publications by academia; with the aim to contribute insightfully in the ongoing effort of the government and stakeholders in designing a comprehensive water resources policy. The paper identified contradictions and overlapping statutory responsibility that constituted policy implementation impediments’ and galvanized discourse toward effective implementable policy. A paradigm shift is advocated by making the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) the center stage of the nation’s water resources policy development and implementation. But considering the underdeveloped status of Nigeria, there are three critical sectors whose effective functionalities are synergistic for accomplishing the RBDAs vision. These are Energy, Food and Public Health. It is imperative to temporarily focus the nation’s water policy on them for a period of at least ten years through enactment of “Dedicated Water Resources Bill”. The Bill should only address (1) institutional framework (2) Energy, Food and Public Health security and (3) Integrated water resources management. Work should continue on the comprehensive Water Resources Bill through the process of consultation that promote inclusion, accountability, transparency, and the needs of the vulnerable.
Keywords: Nigeria, Policy, Water resources, RBDAs, Development
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