The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, says the Federal Governments has resolved to use the nation’s educational institutions to enlighten Nigerians against the hazards of open defecation.
This resolve was in pursuant of the attainment of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Declaration that called for access to clean water and sanitation by the year 2030.
Echono disclosed this when he led a delegation of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) to the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, on a working visit in Abuja on Friday.
The permanent secretary, who is also the President of the NIA, said that the Education Ministry was willing to partner with public and private institutions, including the NIA in sensitising Nigerians on the effects of poor hygiene and sanitation on public health.
He subsequently declared the willingness of the institute of architects to partner with the government and other stakeholders in attaining the goals of the agenda 2030 sustainable development declaration to which Nigeria is a signatory.
Echono pledged that the institute would come up with functional and durable solutions to the issue sanitation-related issues, especially that of open defecation.
In his remarks, Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, commended the institute for supporting the campaign against open defecation.
Adamu, who revealed plans to provide sanitation facilities in the nation’s public schools, urged the architects to design prototypes of functional and durable toilets that would help curb the menace of public defecation and other sanitation issues.
He said that these toilets would not only serve public schools but other public institutions and recreational centres.
The minister added that these toilets would serve as revenue generators for the government, thereby ensuring its sustainability.
Dr Bassey solicited for the support of the Minister and other stakeholders to facilitate the passage of the bill establishing the National Environmental Institute into law.
In her words, “We as a group have over the years sponsored the bill to establish a National Environmental Institute of Nigeria in the National Assembly without success. We recently represented it for consideration’’.
The bill according to the President of NES, is to ensure that only those with requisite skills and expertise should be allowed to take part in Environmental issues and consultancy.
The Permanent Secretary, Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan in his remarks, commended the Society for taking interest in the ministry’s activities and their commitment to environmental issues and welcomes the offer for partnership.
“I can only assure you that the ministry is ready and desirous of partnering with a serious, credible and well-organised entity, society and groups to drive the agenda of making our environment more conducive and sustainable in line with the socio-political mandates of this administration and other levels,’’ he emphasized.