Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has lamented that Nigeria loses so many lives and billions of naira to preventable water and sanitation-related diseases.
To corroborate his claims, Osinbajo quoted a report by the World Bank on the economic impact of poor sanitation, saying that Nigeria loses a total of N455 billion annually.
According to the report, open defecation accounts for a third of the said amount.
“The World Bank report on the economic impact of poor sanitation due to use of unsanitary or shared toilets and open defecation, estimates that Nigeria loses N455 billion annually, with open defecation accounting for a third of this amount. These costs include health care, loss of productivity, premature deaths, poor educational outcomes, among others,” the Vice President was quoted as saying in Abuja on Tuesday at the official rollout of the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ Campaign under the National programme to End Open Defecation in Nigeria.
Speaking further Osinbajo reiterated the plan of the Federal Government to bring an end to the menace by the year 2025.
He, however, noted that in order to be achieved the goal has to be a collective responsibility.
“Although we all know that the primary responsibility for provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services lie with the States and Local Government Areas, the Federal Government remains committed to supporting the States initiatives aimed at improving access to these services for the populace,” he said.
“To this end, States and the Federal Capital Territory should consider common-sense policy measures such as ensuring that construction sites are equipped with toilet facilities.
“Property development control regulators can also make it mandatory for buildings to include external toilet facilities for staff such as security guards.
These and other such measures will reduce the incidence of public defecation”.