Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN on Thursday said the Federal Government is expanding access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities as one of Nigeria’s most effective weapons against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the virtual inauguration of the Steering Committee of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign”.
The event was attended by members of the committee drawn from the Federal Executive Council, States, Local Government Areas, Civil Society and the organised private sector.
According to the Vice President, “we are embarking upon this initiative at a most auspicious time. As our nation confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that expanding access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities is our most effective weapon against the scourge of infectious diseases.
“Ensuring the provision of adequate WASH facilities in our communities is the cornerstone of our efforts to strengthen the resilience of our public health structures beyond the present challenge of COVID-19. This is the basis of our commitment to ending open defecation and more broadly to raising the standards in the WASH sector.”
Speaking on the progress made since the adoption and implementation of the national road map for WASH in 2016, the Vice President said more LGAs across the country have so far been certified as Open Defecation Free according to the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Protocol.
Continuing, the Vice President noted that “the key objectives of this effort include the implementation of a campaign to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
Speaking further on the importance of the campaign on sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria, Prof. Osinbajo said “it will create a pool of resource persons to support local actors to implement this nationwide transformational sanitation agenda.
According to him, “the committee will oversee and advise on the implementation and strategic orientation proposed by the Clean Nigeria Secretariat to execute the campaign.”
He also commended the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and other partners for the engagements towards achieving the campaign objectives as approved by the Federal Executive Council, and in line with the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) for Water and Sanitization.
Chaired by the Vice President, members of the committee include, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Mr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Sen. Bello Mandiya and Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Hon. Sada Soli.