The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) infrastructure policy commission held a stakeholder’s roundtable on sustainable access to water and Sanitation (WASH) on the 12th of March, 2020. The theme of the event is “The nexus between WASH and business” and the session sought to find ways to ease accessibility to clean water and toilet facilities for Nigerians.
Speaking at the event, the acting head of think tank operations at the NESG, Ms. Titilope Oni who represented the chief executive officer of the NESG Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola said that the NESG will continue to look for opportunity to aid water sanitation and good hygiene.
Director of water supply and public private partnerships (PPP) at the Federal ministry of water resources represented by Mr. Timeyin made it known that to address the prevalence of water-borne diseases and low access to water supply, the federal government launched a WASH action plan. He revealed that the federal government is committed to pursuing sustainable development goal (SDG) 6 which is clean water and sanitation and it was to this end, that President Buhari signed an executive order to discourage open defecation and aid water and sanitation hygiene. He also revealed that Nigeria has Africa’s largest WASH level gaps and it was important for everyone to recognize the importance of WASH, given the spread of COVID-19 virus.
The country director of WaterAid Nigeria, Mrs. Evelyn Mere said that Nigeria failed in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and that there is a need for the private sector to come on board and partner with the public sector for the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) to become a reality.
Mr. Adedayo Alao of WaterAid during his presentation said that the organization currently works in three states in Nigeria; Bauchi Enugu and Plateau states and they work with the government and the private sector to deliver the WASH. He said 47 million Nigerians still defecate in the open and 60 million lack access to water. He said 150 million Nigerians lack basic handwashing facilities with soap and water.
During the private business experience interactive session, Mr. Soji Akpampa mentioned that there is a failure of regulation and the remedy to it is to create a standard setting, information gathering and behavior modification. Thereafter, there were interactive breakout sessions were stakeholders discussed and fashioned out ways to ensure sustainable access to water and sanitation.