Cleaner Nigeria key to poverty reduction, others, says Osinbajo
• Courts private sector for successful AfCFTA engagement
Besides ending open defecation, the Federal Government is also prioritising the Clean Nigeria Campaign because of its importance to ongoing efforts to ensure poverty reduction, business growth, entrepreneurship, as well as better access to quality education and affordable healthcare, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed.
He made the submission in his speech delivered yesterday virtually at a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign.”
His words: “We are aware that access to adequate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services is a critical factor in the socio-economic development of any nation and contributes to human capital outcomes such as early childhood survival, health and educational attainment.
“Access to WASH services is also one of the key preventive measures in the raging global COVID-19 pandemic.”
On the role of the private sector in the actualisation of the objectives, he said: “The initiative of the Organised Private Sector in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (OPS-WASH) tagged ‘FLUSHIT’, which aims at promoting private sector-led innovative financial strategies in WASH, is a welcome development.”
Osinbajo stressed that “the role of the private sector is critical in building a virile sanitation economy which will drive the sustenance of the results being achieved under the Clean Nigeria Campaign.”
Restating the commitment of the current administration to the success of project with the appointment of campaign ambassadors to drive the process, the vice president noted: “In our desire to aggressively mobilise the entire country towards ending the practice of open defecation, we have identified Campaign Ambassadors to support the national drive towards open defecation-free status.
“Clean Nigeria Campaign Ambassador will be required to provide leadership in advancing the objectives of the campaign and engage in campaign activities as may be initiated by you or other stakeholders.” He added that the crusade is backed by Presidential Executive Order 009.
MEANWHILE, the nation’s second citizen has sought participation of the private sector in achieving successful Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) negotiations.
He said it was important that Nigeria continues to lead deliberations as the pact’s second phase, which focuses on intellectual property, competition and investment policy, approaches.
Osinbajo, who spoke on “Nigeria and Manpower Preparedness for AfCFTA” during the opening of the 52nd Annual National Conference of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) yesterday in Abuja, maintained that Nigeria’s ability to negotiate effectively and knowledgeably in different aspect of trade was pertinent.
Acknowledging that AfCFTA was to be largest free trade area in the world, he said for Nigeria to play a leading role in harmonisation and effective integration of borders on the continent, talks were important.
Earlier, President and Chairman of Council, CIPM, Wale Adediran, said the theme of the conference, “Reinvent: Exploring New Frontiers”, was informed by the need to change the norm, with a view “to reform our establishments, institutions, and companies; to revive multilateral, multi-industry and cross organisational agreements that are essential for our growth.”
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