Stakeholders from different sectors converged on the House of Chief in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital to discuss and submit inputs on a bill for a law to prohibit open defecation in Oyo state and for connected purposes.
Insideoyo.com reports that the bill is being sponsored by the Speaker, Rt Hon Adebo Ogundoyin, the Deputy Speaker, Hon Muhammed Abiodun Fadeyi and the House Committee on Environment and Ecology.
While speaking, the Chairman of the committee, Hon Olusola Owolabi said Nigeria is among the nations of the world practicing open defecation and it ha negative effect.
Owolabi said the essence of the public hearing is that it will help the lawmakers in the passage of an enforceable and people oriented law on open defecation prohibition.
His words: “In recent times, it was discovered that Nigeria is among the nations of the world with highest number of people practicing open defecation with its negative effect on the populace and especially children in terms of health, environment and education and also contributed to our failure to meet the Strategic Development Goals (SDG) target on situation.
“The Oyo state House of Assembly had taken a giant leap towards enacting necessary legislation towards eradicating open defecation practice in Oyo State in order to improve our sanitation and for us to live in safe and hygienic environment via the first, second readings committal to the committee on Environment and conduct of an on going public hearing that will culminate in the passage of an enforceable and people oriented law on open defecation prohibition.”
In his contribution, the Executive Secretary of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr Adeniyi Joel said more toilets should be provided in public primary schools. He suggested aggressive public enlightenment and sensitisation on the danger of open defecation and provision of water supply. He also suggested regular sanitary inspection and enforcement of sanitation and hygiene laws in the state and local government areas.
Representative of the Ministry of Environment, Mr Stephen Adedigba said the bill should mandate hotels, schools fuel stations and others to make provision for toilet facilities. He said that organisers of events in open places should be made to make provision for mobile toilets. He concluded that any person who owns toilet facilities in public places should be made to register with the ministry.
In his contribution, the Chairman of Waste Management, Prince Morounfolu Adelore called for recruitment of environmental officers. He also said penalty for defaulters in the bill is too small. He suggested that a house without toilet facilities should be made to pay N200,000 or 6 months imprisonment.
Lawmakers present at events were the Deputy Speaker, Hon Muhammed Abiodun Fadeyi, Hon Olusola Owolabi, Hon Bimbo Olawumi Oladeji, Hon Adebayo Babajide Hon Femi Julius and others.