The Minister for Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has said Nigeria is set to become world’s leader in open defecation.
Adamu stated this on Saturday while speaking on the theme:Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Sustained Development at the 3rd Founder’s Day ceremony of Edo University, Iyamho.
The minister, who was represented at the event by the Managing Director of Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, Ahmed Saliu, said Nigeria was unable to attain the Millennium Development Goals targets for water supply and sanitation because of poor investments, low capacity and other challenges.
According to him, the challenges are not limited to rural areas.
Adamu said, “Nigeria will become the No. 1 open defecation practising country when India becomes open defecation free in October.
“Access to sanitation has been on the decline from 30 per cent in 2010 to 28 per cent in 2015. Open defecation has been on the increase and there was not a single LGA in Nigeria that is open defecation free.
“It is estimated that more than 48 million Nigerians practise open defecation and that placed Nigeria as the second in the world (behind India).
“So far there are 10 LGAs in the country that have attained open defecation free status.”
The Visitor to the university, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, praised the university for the event.
He said, “This was a goal we set out when we established this university. They’ve done well, but there’s still a lot to be done. Our goal is to make this university a global university, a university that can compare with anyone anywhere in the world. The benchmark is not Nigeria, it’s the world.”