Posted by Charles lwuoha, Enugu | 20 November 2019 | 753 times
Nigeria loses a hefty N450 billion annually to poor sanitation, with open defecation accounting for one third of the amount, Vice- President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said yesterday.
He spoke while launching the National Action Plan to put an end to the practice of open defecation in the country.
The Action Plan is aimed to effectively mobilise the entire Nigerians towards ending the practice of open defecation across the country.
The programme tagged: “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign”, was launched in Abuja by Vice-President Osinbajo, who declared that poor sanitation has adverse economic impact.
He lamented that recent report indicated that only 14 out of 774 local government areas in the country had been declared open defecation free, a situation which he said was a far cry from the nation's target of making the country open defecation free by the year 2025.
The VP called on governments at all levels, non-governmental organisations and traditional rulers to key into the initiative to improve the health status of Nigerians.
In his speech, the Minister for Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, said that over the years, Nigeria has been globally rated as one of the countries with highest practice of open defecation.
The minister disclosed that only about 11% of Nigerian populace has integrated access to water and sanitation services, hence the decision of the federal government to declare a state of emergency on the water and sanitation. “This campaign is aimed at mobilising high level political support, resources and the entire populace towards building a new culture of safe and sustainable sanitation,” he said.
On behalf of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum and governor of Plateau State, Mr Simon Lalong, commended the initiative and assured that governors will show reasonable commitment towards the success of the plan
The event was attended by stakeholders in water and sanitation as well as state governors including the Ebonyi State Acting Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, and Commissioner for Water Resources, Chief Sunday Inyima.
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