Stakeholders urge private sector to actualise ‘Clean Nigeria’ roadmap         

Participants at the just concluded National Retreat on “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ Campaign on Tuesday called on the private sector to assist in actualising the Clean Nigeria campaign roadmap.

This, they noted, would help towards ending open defecation practice in line with the country’s 2025 target.

They made this known in a communiqué issued at the end of the National Retreat and signed by Mr Emmanuel Awe, Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in Abuja.

They noted the need for all states to accelerate action and raise the profile of the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet campaign, if Nigeria is to achieve Open Defecation-Free (ODF) status by 2025 as planned.

“We understood that the Government does not have all the required resources to move Nigeria to become ODF but rather need the support of the private sector and other stakeholders.

“We Agreed that the ODF plan should include measures to strengthen communication strategy of the campaign and address sustainability issues around the ODF LGAs.

“We understood that Sanitation and Hygiene has a lot of business opportunities that need to be explored to boost local economies while fast tracking the attainment of ODF in Nigeria through engagement of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs’’’.

According to them, synergy is required between State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene/ RUWASSA and Ministry of Local Government Affairs for resource allocation for WASH interventions in the LGAs.

They recommended that the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASHNORM) should be used by States as a National instrument for development of work plan in the sector.

They also said there was need for states with roadmaps to review their ODF plan and develop a costed work plan while those States that do not have should develop an ODF roadmap to guide implementation.

The communique quotes the participants recommending the development of a state-specific framework supporting private sector partnership, saying this would help to establish and strengthen relationship with the private sector and garner support for their ODF plan.

“The participants all agreed the establishment of WASH Steering Committee at the State level with members drawn across the line Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs), private sector and CSOs.

“They also recommended the establishment of a reward system for Local Government Areas in recognition of Open Defecation Free (ODF) attainment and sustainability.

“Also, we recommended that all Local Government Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Units be upgraded to departments, as this would allow proper allocation and disbursement of funds for effective implementation’’.

They however added the need to engage Local Government Chairmen, Councilors and Traditional Rulers in driving the Clean Nigeria Campaign in their respective LGAs.

It may be recalled that the Retreat was organised to appraise the progress made so far on the Clean Nigeria Campaign; identify gaps hindering the acceleration of the campaign in states and to create a platform for cross learning.

The retreat brought together a cross section of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practitioners from the Government, the Private Sector, Development Partners, the Media, Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Nigeria Governors Forum Secretariat and Civil Society Organizations amongst others.

A total of 42 participants attended the retreat consisting of Honorable Commissioners/Special Advisers responsible for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs/representatives; heads of RUWASSA, across 17 States which constitute the South-East, South-South and South-West geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

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