NIGERIA is on course to be crowned the official open defecation capital of the world after a recent Unicef report revealed that 47m Nigerians still defecated out in the open which will make the nation overtake India by October 1.
According to a recent report presented by Bioye Ogunjobi a United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (Wash) expert, on independence day, Nigeria will overtake India as the country with the highest number of citizens who do not use toilets. Revealing the details while flagging off a Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet campaign, he explained that India which at the moment held top position would relinquish it in October when the Asian giant outlaws open defecation.
Mr Ogunjobi said: “By October 1, 2019, India which at present occupies that position will ban open defecation and Nigeria which currently occupies the second position will take over from India as the number one open defecation country.”
Yemi Akpa, the chief scientific officer in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, stated that the federal government had approved the sum of N10bn to fight the menace across the country in 2019. She added that it was expected that the federal government would release the said sum annually until the year 2025 when it was expected that the country would be free from the practice of open defecation.
Mrs Akpa said: “This will sustain the campaign against the practice and for the campaign to be successful in Nigeria everyone must be involved. If India can take over 550m people out of open defecation in four years, Nigeria can also take 47m people out of it between now and 2025.”
Speaking on behalf of the private sector, Nicholas Igwe spoke on the topic the link between the rural sanitation and urban sanitation. On what can the private sector do, he said the fight against open defection must take a multi-sectoral approach to succeed.