The Federal Government weekend said Nigeria was unable to attain the Millennium Development Goals targets on water supply and sanitation owing to poor investments, low capacity and other challenges.
The Minister for Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this at Iyamho, Edo State, during the third founders' day of the Edo University, Iyamho.
According to the minister, whereas the current level of investment is less than half a billion dollars, an estimated $5 billion annual investment will be required to meet the MDG targets.
Adamu, who was represented by the Managing Director of Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, Ahmed Saliu, said the challenges of sanitation were not limited to rural areas, "but equally a huge challenge in the urban areas, especially in public places and urban slums."
He said: "It is estimated that more than 48 million Nigerians practice open defecation which placed Nigeria as the second in the world, following India, which plans to stop open defecation by October 2019.
"Access to sanitation had been on the decline from 30 percent in 2010 to 28 in 2015. Open dedication had been on the increase and there was not a single local government in Nigeria that was open dedication free."
Adamu said to address the situation, the ministry planned from 2016 to 2018 to build a total of 3,000,000 house hold toilets (at an average of 1,000,000 per year) and a total of 3,300,000 (an average 10,000 toilets per year) reducing open defecation from 25 to 22 percent during the period.
"In 2019 to 2025, a total of 20,600,000 house hold toilets (at an average of 2,942,857 toilets per year) and 7,700 public toilets (at an average of 10,000 toilet per year) would be buit, thereby reducing open defecation from 22 to 0 percent during the period."