By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
The Chairman, House Committee on Environment and Ecology in the Oyo House of Assembly, Hon. Olusola Owolabi has assured the people of the state that open defection in the state will soon become a thing of the past when the Open Defecation Bill 2020 in the Assembly becomes law.
The legislator gave the assurance at a public hearing on the Bill, adding that the state House of Assembly had taken a giant leap towards enacting necessary legislation towards eradicating open defecation practice in the state.
He said: “in recent times, it was discovered that Nigeria was among nations of the world with the highest number of people practicing open defecation with an attendant negative effect on the populace, especially children in terms of health, environment and others which contributed to the failure to meet the Strategic Development Goals (SDG) target on sanitation.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in November, 2019 signed an Executive Order titled, “The Open Defecation Free Nigeria in 2025 and other Related Matters”, to ensure public places including hotels, fuel stations, hospitals, market and worship places have accessible toilets within their premises.
He said: “I commend the sponsors of the Bill, the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Mohammed Fadeyi and my humble self for this laudable development because it will bring about sanitation and make us to live in safe and hygienic environment.”
Stakeholders who contributed to the issue described the Bill as a welcome development since it will address the problem of open defecation in the state.
They also suggested stringent penalties or fines on those caught in the act when the bill becomes law.
While commending sponsors of the bill, they urged the state Assembly to give the bill an accelerated passage in order to put an end to the menace and restore sanity across the state.