President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, signed Executive Order 009 entitled, The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order, enforcing the country’s commitment to end open defecation by 2025.
The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the Order declares as follows:
1. That by this Order, Nigeria is committed to being open defecation free by 2025.
2. That the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap developed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from other key sector players across Nigeria be put into effect.
3. (a)There is established in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources a National Secretariat called “Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat”.
The Secretariat is authorized on behalf of the President to implement this Order by ensuring that all public places including schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, hospitals, and offices have accessible toilets and latrines within their premises.
4. All Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government shall cooperate with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.
5. The National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly shall enact legislation on the practice of open defecation with appropriate sanctions and penalties.
6. All development projects shall include the construction of sanitation facilities as an integral part of the approval and implementation process.
7. The Secretariat shall terminate when Nigeria is declared Open Defecation Free.
8. All enforcement authorities are hereby directed to diligently collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in implementing this Order.
The presidential aide said the Executive Order 009 came into being against the background that:
“Nigeria is ranked second amongst the nations in the world with the highest number of people practicing open defecation estimated at over 46 million people – a practice which has had a negative effect on the populace, and has contributed to the country’s failure to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
“President Buhari had described the statistics on open defecation and access to pipe-borne water service and sanitation as disturbing, and had declared commitment to implement the National Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Plan;
“The President had declared the State of Emergency on Nigeria’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector, the action being imperative as it will reduce the high prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country which have caused preventable deaths;
“Nigeria has committed to ending open defecation throughout the country by 2025 in consonance with her commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
According to Adesina, the Executive Order takes effect from Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.