On Wednesday, 20 November 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed an Executive Order entitled on Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order.
The National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap was developed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, with support from other key sector players across Nigeria.
The order was established in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources as part of a National Secretariat called “Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat”.
The Secretariat is authorized, on behalf of the President, to implement the 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.
All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government shall cooperate with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.
The National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly shall enact legislation on the practice of open defecation with appropriate sanctions and penalties.
All development projects shall include construction of sanitation facilities as an integral part of the approval and implementation process.
The Secretariat shall terminate when Nigeria is declared Open Defecation Free.
All enforcement authorities are hereby directed to diligently collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in implementing this order.
Nigeria is ranked second among-st the nations in the world with the highest number of people practicing open defecation, estimated at over 46 million people.
The practice 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 described the statistics on open defecation and access to pipe borne water service and sanitation as disturbing, and declared commitment to implement the National Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Plan.