The Federal Government has said it will inaugurate the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign on November 19 as efforts towards achieving the national target of ending open defecation in the country by 2025.
The Acting Coordinator, Clean Nigeria, Mrs Chizoma Opara said this yesterday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
NAN reports that “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC)on May 8 to ensure all households are mobilised to provide their sanitation facilities.
According to Opara, President Muhammadu Buhari will perform the national inauguration and kick-start the campaign.
“In preparation for the inauguration, a date has been fixed and we have got confirmation from the State House that it is November 19 at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
“We are hoping that the date does not change as we are working towards that. This is because that day happens to be World Toilet Day. So, it will be a great opportunity to celebrate the campaign with that,” she said.
The Acting Coordinator also said that in preparation for the inauguration of the campaign, the Minister of Water Recourses, Mr Sulieman Adamu, had begun an advocacy visits to state governors.
She explained that the advocacy visits would ensure that the governors buy into the Clean Nigerian campaign.
“What the minister wants to do is to have the opportunity to engage with all the governors to get them to buy into the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ campaign.
“It is also to open up the statistics of the states with respect to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector, letting them know how the states are faring, within the country as a whole,” Opara said.
According to her, part of the advocacy visit by the minister will ensure that states know their statistics in relation to open defecation.
“It is also to let them know that Nigeria, being number two, is about to take up the number one position as the largest country with people defecating in the open.
“I hope when governors start seeing these figures on open defecation in their states, it will trigger them to take action and to say they need to stop open defecation.
“So, letters have been sent out to all governors for the advocacy visits that have commenced in August and will end in October.
“The minister has also said any governor who wishes to actually pay him a visit in his office in Abuja can also do so. This is what Kaduna and Nasarawa states’ governors have done when they were within the FCT,” she said.
NAN also reports that the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign is aimed at mobilising high-level political support, resources and populace towards building a new culture of safe defecation.
It is also to ensure that relevant government institutions and the private sector must provide sanitation facilities in public places such as schools, healthcare centres, parks and markets to realise total coverage and sustainable access for the populace.