I will oppose water resources bill if returned for debate ― Rep Jimoh

•water resources a domestic matter, he says •2023 presidency should be about merit not zoning'

A member, House of Representatives, Hon. Jide Jimoh has said that the issue of water resources remains a domestic matter that the Federal Government should not be allowed to take over control from local and state governments, declaring that he would still oppose the bill if brought back on the floor of the National Assembly as he formerly did during the 8th Assembly.

Jimoh, representing Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency said this on Wednesday at a press conference in Ikeja, while speaking on his scorecard in the chamber in the last one year.

This is just as the lawmaker canvassed that merit should be the yardstick to select the next president for the country after the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

Hon. Jimoh, who served as a member of Committee on Water Resources in the 8th Assembly and also a member currently in the 9th Assembly, while noting that the contentious bill contained some good clauses, however, said the clauses that people would oppose were those that would take the power of local government and that of states, to the Federal Government.

He declared his opposition, saying power should be devolved to the grassroots and not to the centre.

“Well, I want to tell you this, in the 8th Assembly, I was a member of House Committee on Water Resources, I am happy, I have been added again, in this 9th Assembly.

“In the 8th Assembly, when that Bill came up, I stood up and opposed it vehemently, and said that the issue of water is domestic, it has to go to the grassroots.

“But some people were saying we have Water Resources Ministry, at the Federal level. I said and so what? If we have Water Resources Ministry at that level, that does not mean it should take the power of local government or that of the state government away from them even though, it is concurrent, let us tie it together and do necessary things.

“In the Water Resources Bill, there are so many numbers of clauses that are very good, but the clauses that people will oppose are the ones that will take the power of local government and that of states, to the Federal Government, we don’t want that. We want the power to be devolved to the locality and not to the central level.

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“If they bring it again, even for the fact that I am still a member of Waters Resources Committee, I will oppose it, I can assure you on that. We are still waiting, that’s is what we are looking for,” Hon. Jimoh said.

On the 2023 race, the lawmaker said merit should be considered as a yardstick to selecting the next president who would take over from incumbent President Buhari, after his tenure must have ended, declaring that merit should be considered above zoning “for better things to happen in this country.”

Jimoh, while justifying merit above zoning, pointed at occurrence in Lagos State since 1999, with quality leadership fostered by the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, followed by Babatunde Fashola, Akinwunmi Ambode, and now Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

According to him, other qualities that would flow with merit, include maturity, wisdom and last but not the least is integrity, arguing that were the criterion to be based on zoning, it was possible for a zone at a particular point in time not to have someone who is competent to be in the race.

“I stand on merit, merit. But when that merit is being considered, other things would follow because we want better things to happen in this country.

“Look at what is happening in Lagos State since 1999- Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu came, after eight years Fashola came on board, Ambode came on board, and then the incumbent, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is now working. Is that not on merit?

“If we are to talk about zoning, do you think that would work? If I say something should come from Zone A, they might not have somebody that’s competent. Merit is the card, the individual is another one, maturity is the next, wisdom follows and finally, integrity, that’s all,” he said.

“We are still in 2020, you are talking of 2023, and I have told what you should expect, merit, maturity, wisdom and integrity. Just wait for people that have those ones and I have told you what happened in Lagos, I have referred to somebody, I mentioned that name, you should know where we are going. That’s my concern, that’s my card, and I am waiting for that time to come by God’s grace,” he reiterated.

Speaking on his scorecard, Hon. Jimoh said he had sponsored 10 bills, including Weight and Measure Bill, Nigerian Tourism Development Authority Amendment, Passport Miscellaneous Act Amendment Bill, Employee’s Remuneration Bill and National Urban Development and Regional Commission Bill.

The lawmaker said he had been able to facilitate several projects as part of extra legislative programmes/activities, including the provision of a motorized borehole at Otumara, Apapa Road, Ebute Metta West, ongoing road construction at Nubi Close, Apapa Road, Ebute Metta, ongoing construction of classrooms at Iponri Primary School, Ebute Metta, ongoing construction of Health Centre at Makoko, Yaba, among others.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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