By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday signed Executive Order 009, which tends to stop open defecation.
The Executive Order is titled, “The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order, 2019.
A statement by the President’s Special Adviser (SA) on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, broke the news in Abuja.
The Order declares as follows: “That by this Order, Nigeria is committed to being open defecation-free by 2025.
“That the National Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Roadmap developed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from other key sector players across Nigeria be put into effect.
“a. There is established in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources a National Secretariat called ‘Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat’.
“b. The secretariat is authorised, on behalf of the President, to implement this Order by ensuring that all public places, including schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, hospitals and offices, have accessible toilets and latrines within their premises.”
All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government are also mandated to cooperate with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.
“The National Assembly and the states’ Houses of Assembly shall enact legislation on the practice of open defecation with appropriate sanctions and penalties.
“All development projects shall include construction of sanitation facilities as an integral part of the approval and implementation process.
“The secretariat shall terminate when Nigeria is declared Open Defecation-Free.
“All enforcement authorities are hereby directed to diligently collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in implementing this Order.”
This Executive Order, according to the statement, takes effect from November 20, 2019.
Also, Nigeria needs to build 9.5 million toilets in the next five years to end open defecation, experts have said.
They said two million toilets should be built every year for the next five years and 10,000 sewage treatment plants are required across the country.
The experts spoke yesterday at a technical session at the 26th National Council on Water Resources in Minna, the Niger State capital.
The Managing Partner/Chief Executive Officer of Mangrove and Partners Limited, Timeyin Uwejamomere, spoke on the topic: Inclusive Water Resources: A Panacea To Job Creation.
He said it is only by building this number of toilets – for public and private use – that Nigeria can end open defecation across the country.
“Nigeria needs to build about two million (2,000,000) toilets every year for the next five years. This means about ten thousand (10,000) toilets every day for improved sanitation and proper hygiene.
“In all, in the next five years, we need nothing less than 9.5 million toilets and about 10,000 sewage treatment plants across the country,” Uwejamomere said.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources Mrs. Comfort Ekaro said sanitation and hygiene are essential on the strategy of the federal government.
“We are not happy with being number one, globally, in open defecation. That is why we are doing our best to ensure we leave that position. It is not good for our image,” she said.
Mrs Okaro urged everyone to work with government to end open defecation in Nigeria in the next few years.