The Federal Government has commended Real Madrid defender David Alaba, for donating a biodegradable toilet to Ogere Remo community in Ogun State. The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, in a statement on Friday, said private sector involvement was critical if Nigeria would end open defecation practice by 2025.
According to him, private sector and Diaspora engagement and support through accelerated provisions of toilets by philanthropy will go a long way. The commissioning was made possible through collaboration with Organised Private Sector in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (OPS- WASH), Clean Nigeria Campaign (CNC) and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.
The minister reaffirmed that Clean Nigeria Campaign was targeted at mobilising high-level political support, resources and the entire populace towards building a new culture of safe sanitation. He added that such commendable project by Alaba and his foundation was worthy of emulation, saying the quest to end open defecation required the contribution and commitment of all stakeholders. The minister urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to mobilise support for the campaign through private sector engagement, adding that under the Clean Nigeria Campaign, 84 LGAs were now Open Defecation Free (ODF).
“Jigawa is on the verge of achieving a state-wide ODF status with just one more LGA to go, Nigeria has been given the hosting rights for the 2022 World Toilet Summit and we want active participation,’’Governor of Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun, said Alaba was a true Nigerian, saying the gesture was a new dimension in community development for a better society. Abiodun, represented by his Commissioner for Special Duties, Olufemi Ilori-Oduntan, appealed to the people to always incorporate toilets into their building plan. He, however, pledged the state government’s resolve to maintain toilets in public places such as parks and markets.The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the initiative was in tandem with NiDCOM’s mandate of harnessing the potentials of Nigerians in Diaspora for national growth and development Dabiri-Erewa, represented by Mr Oladipo Odebowale, urged other Diasporans and Nigerians to emulate the worthy gesture, as a support to national development efforts.
The Coordinator, OPS-WASH, Dr Nicholas Igwe, emphasised the significance of collaboration and partnership, saying the private sector would continue to work with and all stakeholders to achieve the 2025 ODF target. Clean Nigeria Campaign Coordinator, Mrs Chizoba Opara, said ODF Nigeria was achievable with the right political will and collective support of all stakeholders.
High points of the occasion were the unveiling of the toilet facility and the distribution of autographed Real Madrid Jerseys to three successful winners by the David Alaba Foundation.