FG moves to implement chemicals’ management
Ahead of International Conference on Chemical in Bonn, Germany by 2020, the Federal government has put in place structures aimed at implementing sound management of chemicals (SMC) in Nigeria.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this during a workshop organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Abuja.
He said that chemicals have formed an integral and very valuable part of our lives and lifestyles, explaining that SMC is a tool to achieve sustainable development.
Based on this, he said that the development of dangerous chemicals has led to severe pollution problems with profound impacts on human health, wildlife, and the environment, instead of saving the lives of citizens.
He said: “We need to work more beyond sectoral mandates to achieve the objective of sound management of chemicals in our country as well as develop long term plans that will shift to greener and circular economies, sustainable chemistry and cleaner development.”
According to him, hazard caused by inappropriate handling and uses of chemicals has never been worse than now, stressing that the impact, especially on the children has never deadlier in the country.
He, therefore, said that the government intended to strengthen and enhance institutional capacity for chemicals and waste management with a view to facilitating the implementation of Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and others at the national level.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote explained, this project could not have come at a better time than now, considering the renewed global efforts towards sound management of chemicals and waste in the post-2020 era.
Odusote also noted that at the regional level, ECOWAS summit in 2018, Decision No.18 on the establishment of a coordination mechanism for the management of chemicals and hazardous waste is currently implementing the decision.
In a goodwill message, Nelson Manda of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), expressed delight to be part of the moves for the implementation of chemicals management in Nigeria.
He equally commended the government for taking an active part in the negotiations on chemicals management, urging her to scale up investment in the sector in order to deliver the mandate for citizens.
Also speaking, an official of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation(UNIDO), Oluyomi Banjo argued that chemicals are very useful to humans, but how to manage them become so problematic, commending the government for establishing centres to control the substance in Nigeria.
“We have worked with the federal government for 20 years and many African countries are deploying Nigeria’s model on chemical management. We want the country to industrialise an acceptable manner,” he added.
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