The Minister of Water Resources Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, (FNSE), has said that sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria, should be everybody’s business.
The Minister said this recently, in Abuja, when he paid a courtesy visit to Minister of the FCT, Mallam Mohammed Bello, as part of the robust National Action Plan to secure the buy – in of all stakeholders including State Governors; which is hinged on governance, sustainability, sanitation, funding monitoring and evaluation.
In his address during the visit, Engr. Adamu reiterated the approval by the Federal Executive Council to carry out a Clean Nigeria-Use The Toilet Campaign, with roles and responsibilities assigned to States and FCT, which include in part, developing and implementing a National campaign/transformational sanitation promotion agenda, to end Open Defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
The Minister however, appealed to the FCT Minister to “declare State of Emergency with clear communication of state – specific plans, create the required enabling environment and build sector capacities and ensure establishment of a regulatory mechanism for the local monitoring of WASH activities and subsequent reporting to Area Councils”.
In addition, Engr. Suleiman Adamu requested that the FCT Administration, should commit to investing a minimum of three times the current WASH investment level and improve revenue collection to ensure that institutions pay tariffs owed for water supply and sanitation services.
He also opined that FCT Government should key into programmes and initiatives of the Water Ministry, participate in programmes such as Global Hand washing Day Commemoration and World Water Week which the Ministry recently participated in, in Stockholm, Sweden. The Minister further urged the FCT Administration to mobilize Civil Society Organizations to develop an effective policy, and to legislate against Open Defecation and reckless urination practices, as Nasarawa State had done.
Adamu stressed that with dedicated effort, Nigeria would be able to reduce the high statistics of being the country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation as India, which is 99.9% ODF exits, the first position in the world of those practicing open defecation.
FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello while commending the Water Minister for his re – appointment and his giant strides in the Water Ministry, noted that his Ministry had always been partnering with Federal Ministry of Water Resources. Malam Bello equally noted that FCTA had keyed into this sanitation agenda and had gone ahead to identify locations in the FCT for the establishment of toilets, powered by solar energy in partnership with the Private Sector.
In attendance at the advocacy visit were the Minister of State FCT, the Permanent Secretary, FCT Administration, some Directors and members of staff of Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Kenechukwu Offie (Mrs.)
Director (Information Department)