A modern toilet facility in the town of Ogere Remo in Ogun State, Nigeria, was opened with fanfare on Thursday.
The facility, which serves a community market, is a gift from the Austrian football star David Alaba to support Nigeria’s efforts to attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 15.3 million-Naira project was commissioned by the Federal Minster of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, who was joined at the event by the Ogun State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Mr Olufemi Ilori Oduntan, the coordinator of the Organized Private Sector in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (Opswash), Dr Nicholas Igwe, and other dignitaries.
The gesture of the footballer, whose father Prince George Alaba hails from Ogere Remo, is to support the “Clean Nigeria” campaign, an initiative to end open defecation in the country by the year 2025.
Presently, Nigeria is ranked number one on the list countries where open defecation is still rampant in the world.
The project, which was facilitated by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), comprises of 4 units of toilet each for both male and female users including washing facilities, running water and other amenities.
In his remarks at the event, Dr Igwe thanked President Muhammad Buhari for his support and leadership on the “Clean Nigeria” campaign and for offering to host the next World Toilet Conference in Nigeria. He also thanked Minister Adamu for his support and for embarking on the long journey from Abuja to Ogere Remo to commission the project.
The Opswash coordinator appreciated the support of Hon Abike Dabiri Erewa, CEO/Chairman of NIDCOM, in making the project a reality. He was also full of praise for the people of the community for their support and cooperation.
Finally, Igwe thanked the David Alaba Foundation and David Alaba for his generosity. He prayed for God’s protection and blessings over him and his family. He also thanked Engr Oluyemi Ogundele, Vienna-based Nigerian community leader, who initiated the project and doubled as the David Alaba Foundation representative on the project, for his patience and good work.
Dr Dabiri-Erewa, who was represented by the NIDCOM Lagos office representative, Mr ‘Dipo Odebowale, at the event thanked President Buhari and Minister Suleiman Adamu for the “Clean Nigeria” initiative, which is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 6.
She also thanked Opswash and all other actors who made the project a reality. Finally, she applauded David Alaba for his generosity, pray to Almighty Allah to grant him good health and wish him a very successful 2022/23 football season.
The planned virtual participation of David Alaba and his father in the event was not possible due to connectivity issues. In an interview with this author, father and son were thankful to God Almighty and full of praises for the federal government and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for providing them the opportunity to contribute their own quota to the laudable initiative. David Alaba also thanked the Ogun State government, the Ikene local government authority, Opswash, NIDCOM, Ecobank and many others who made the project a reality.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Austria and Slovakia, His Excellency Dr Suleiman Dauda Umar, commended David Alaba for his generosity and encouraged others to emulate him by supporting the Nigerian government in such manner.