Tourist toilets clean up Nigeria


A new range of public toilets has been launched in Nigeria in a bid to clean up the country for tourists.

The toilets will be stationed at markets, public transport hubs and mobile ones used for festivals.

At 20 naira ($0.16) for each visit, the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation hopes the promise of “money for muck” will create thousands of jobs.

Due to the lack of public toilets and sewers, people are often forced to relieve themselves by the roadside.

“I was passing through Heathrow airport and I spoke to the manager of the toilets there. He’s an educated man, and he told me there was a lot of money to be made in that line of work,” Otunba Olusegun Rwusewe the director general of the NTDC said.

Attractive prospect

When the NTDC advertised the contracts to manage the new toilets, hundreds of people – including 21 university graduates – wrote in keen to take them on.

Each loo costs 60,000 naira ($500) to make.

Sanitation in Nigeria is a giant problem.

In towns and villages without sewers, people use “the flying toilet” – defecating in a bag and then throwing it out of the window.

“Its really embarrassing to see people easing themselves in public,” said Grace Nkechi Ibendiogwu, a civil servant.

“Everyone knows what its like to be pressed like that, and public toilets here are disgusting.”

Nigeria will have to overcome many other problems if it is to attract more tourists from Europe or America.

Prospective visitors need to have a letter of invitation to get a visa, and they must prove they can pay their way around the country by showing travellers cheques.

But no bank in the country will accept them, because of widespread forgery.