Clean Nigeria Steering Committee, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, approves steps to enhance access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

The Clean Nigeria Steering Committee, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has approved steps to speed access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), hence bolstering ongoing efforts to abolish open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.

On Wednesday, a committee meeting presided over virtually by Prof. Osinbajo approved prayers included in the mid-year report for the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign” for 2022.

In a previous presentation on the current Clean Nigeria campaign, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, cited poor progress in the finalisation and rollout of the Tax Credit Scheme and Blue Bond Programme as one of the obstacles hurting the countrywide effort.

The authorised prayers for the steering committee at the meeting were:

  1. Support proactive advocacy with subnational policymakers for the prioritising and financing of campaign implementation
  2. Support proactive advocacy for public-private partnerships to enhance public sanitation services.
  3. Support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning for the completion of the Blue Bond issuing
  4. Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Finance, and Federal Inland Revenue Service support the completion of the Tax Credit Scheme under Executive Order 009
  5. The Federal Ministries of Education, Environment, and Health should expedite the Schools WASH and Health WASH programmes in order to increase access to sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools and healthcare institutions.
  6. Members of the Steering Committee will promote the elimination of open defecation in their respective LGAs in conjunction with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.

Speaking while approving the prayers contained in the report, Prof. Osinbajo said the recommendations “capture where the gaps are and the sort of support required.”

The Vice President said “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,” noting 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.”

At today’s meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, will make a presentation requesting council approval.

Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, Minister of Environment; Dr. Folashade Esan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation; representatives of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON); UNICEF, the Organised Private Sector Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (OPS WASH); and the Diaspora Commission were also present at the meeting.