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VP Osinbajo Calls for Increased Efforts to End Open Defecation

By Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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Ongoing efforts to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025 has received a boost with the approval of measures to accelerate access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH by the Clean Nigeria Steering Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

A meeting of the committee presided over by Professor Osinbajo virtually, approved prayers contained in the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign”, 2022 mid-year report.

Earlier, the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamuhad in a presentation on the ongoing Clean Nigeria campaign, noted slow advancement in the finalisation and roll out of the Tax Credit Scheme and Blue Bond Programme as part of challenges affecting the country-wide campaign.

A release signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice President), Laolu Akande said that the steering committee approved prayers tabled before it at the meeting.

Support Advocacy

The committee pledged to support strong advocacy to policy makers at sub national level for prioritisation and funding of campaign implementation and to support strong advocacy on public private partnership for sanitation services improvement in public places.

Others were support of Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on the finalisation of the issuance of the Blue Bond and support of Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Inland Revenue Service on the finalisation of Tax Credit Scheme under the Executive Order 009.

School and Health WASH Programme

The Ministries of Education, Environment and Health are to accelerate the initiative of Schools WASH and Health WASH programme towards improving access to Sanitation and Hygiene facilities in schools and Healthcare centres.

Members of Steering Committee will champion the delivery of their respective Local government Areas as Open Defecation Free, in collaboration with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.

Speaking while approving the prayers contained in the report, Professor Osinbajo said the recommendations “capture where the gaps are and the sort of support required.”
 
“I think that we are making steady progress but there is need for us to do a bit more because only 18% of our people have access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in public places.”

VP Osinbajo noted that performances in schools and public places must improve.

He called on stakeholders “to do more with our sub-nationals. The states hold the aces to make the required efforts to make substantial progress. The fact that more states have Open Defecation Free (ODF) status means we are on course.” 

The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu will be making the presentation at Thursday’s meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC  to seek the council’s endorsement.

Confidence Okwuchi

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