Written by Sarah NEGEDU

ODF 2025: Minister calls for private sector participation

The FCT Administration has called for more private sector participation to enable the country achieve its Open Defecation-Free, ODF, goal by 2025.

FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, called for greater commitment especially at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari's administration has flagged off the Clean Nigeria Campaign with use the toilet initiative.

Speaking at an event to mark the United Nations World Toilet Day, Aliyu decried the rate of Nigerians with inadequate or total lack of access to toilets.

She said that the Federal Capital Territory has a fair of the over 47 million people lacking access to sanitation and hygiene.

“Nigeria currently has over 47 million people with inadequate or total lack of access to toilets and another troubling 57 million lacking access to potable water. The FCT has its fair share of this disturbing figures.

“Therefore, the 2019 World Toilet Day is coming at a time that the federal government is reviving the political will to combat this scourge through a number of tools and instruments, programmes and initiatives that include partnership with the organized private sector in other to reverse the scourge and build a healthier Nigerian population.

“It saddens my heart to note that currently 102, 000 children die annually due to diseases related to sanitation. We must join hands to reverse this ugly trend.”

She called on traditional rulers and all residents of the territory to see themselves as ambassadors and embark on the crusade to educate others on the need to desist from actions such as open defecation and indiscriminate dumbing of refuse.

The minister affirmed that if the respective authorities fail to resolve this menace, the target to end open defecation in the nation's capital by 2025 may be unrealistic.

Aliyu vowed that henceforth, the FCT Administration will work closely with the six Area Councils and other Agencies of Government to scale-up commitment to implement the National WASH Action Plan to end open defecation across the territory.

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