Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon issue an Executive Order to all federal agencies to key into sanitation in the country.
Adamu said this when he met with the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS) in his office on Friday in Abuja.
He said that the Federal Government had expressed strong support in addressing the challenges in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector of the country.
“I will like to say that there is going to be an Executive Order by Mr President that all federal agencies must key in to sanitation.
“All institutions must have proper toilets facilities and at the state levels, we are trying to get all state governors to also meet the requirements.
“This will ensure that commercial buildings open up toilets facilities; this includes working with the private sector to achieve this very goal.
“Also our problem is, we need to get the National Assembly to be involved to ensure that they give particular attention to sanitation budgets as they are not really interested in it,” he said.
Adamu said that with the support from the NTGS, the efforts that had been made through the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH), WASH Action Plan and the campaign against open defecation would specifically yield the desired results.
He commended the NTGS members for their efforts and support for the past three years.
“I have at different occasions interacted with you over the last three years. These interactions have led us to where we are today at a level now where we are stepping up the campaign for WASH across the country.
“Also for remaining through to the course, not losing hope and not losing steamed on the account of the fact that over the years there has not been strong political support the way we would have wanted it.
“But I will like to assure you that as this issue of WASH is concerned, moving forward there is will be strong support at the highest level.
“That is to say that your work has been duly recognised and the efforts of what you are doing are very important to the country. We really hope that you will keep up tempo,” he said.
The minister therefore urged the group to continue to put in more efforts, while assuring them of the ministry’s support at all times.
He noted that the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign that would soon be inaugurated was aimed at ending defecation in the country.
“And that an advocacy visits to state governors have commenced in that aspect,’’ he said.
He expressed the hope the campaign would be successfully launched on the World Toilet Day being Nov. 19.
Adamu said that the ministry was also strengthening its inter ministerial cooperation with ministries of health, education, finance, women affairs, works and housing, among others to be involved and support the process.
“I also want to say that I am happy with the kind of calls that I have been getting, it is like a wakeup call and I hope once the campaign starts, they will also be able to sustain it,’’ the minister said.
Mr Zaid Jurji, the Chief of UNICEF Nigeria called for proper coordination of activities by all stakeholders in the WASH sector.
“We must try to avoid duplication of activities to avoid stepping on each other’s toes. Let us ensure best practices in monitoring, evaluation and build on existing policy document for the WASH sector, ” he said.
Mr Benson Attah, the National Coordinator, Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) expressed the need to ensure that heads of agencies in key sectors such as education and health properly sensitised and carried along in the campaign.
“They should be made to be present at the presidential launch to really get them to realise the importance of the campaign and attach value to it.
“This is in view of the fact that most primary health clinics and centres in the rural areas and schools across the country areas are without toilets facilities including schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“As this will give proper focus and give priority attention to WASH across the country,” he said. (NAN)
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