The Federal Government on Monday has pledged to provide public toilet facilities across the nation, as a means to free Nigeria from the menace of open defecation.
Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources made the disclosure when he formally inaugurated the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat in Abuja.
Adamu said that the clean campaign “is a national programme to re-strategise on ways to do away with the menace of open defecation in Nigeria.”
The minister, who decried the level of the practice, said the Federal Government had already committed itself to the task when President Muhammadu Buhari declared the state of emergency on water, sanitation and hygiene sector.
He said that the task was one of the major focuses of the present administration.
“This national transformation campaign is aimed at addressing the unfortunate position in which Nigeria finds itself as the first country in Africa and second globally behind India in the practice of open defecation,“ he said.
Adamu also performed the inauguration of the Planning Committee for Presidential Launch of Clean Nigeria Campaign.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Comfort Ekaro, commended the minister for his remarkable achievements in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in the country.
Ekaro said the ministry had made progress with focused reforms in all the sub-sectors in the ministry`s agencies including WASH.
“For the first time in the history of the water sector, the ministry collaborated with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Development Partners notably UNICEF and World Bank to develop dedicated tools towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said.
Mr Zaid Jurji, Chief of WASH in UNICEF, commended Adamu and the Federal Government for its commitment toward eradicating the practice in Nigeria.
Jurji said that UNICEF in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and National Bureau of Statistics with support from other development partners took drastic steps in 2018 to assess the state of WASH.