Reactions have trailed Nigeria’s ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) promising assistance, and a civil society operative urging greater national consultation and awareness.
The UNIDO Representative and Regional Director, Regional Office Nigeria, Jean Bakole, in a reaction, described the development as an achievement for all.
Speaking on his behalf, Environmental Expert, UNIDO Nigeria Regional Office, Abuja Industrial Development, Oluyomi Banjo, told EnviroNews on Sunday, February 4, 2018 that “work has just started, and we must all continue to make concerted effort to protect our health and the environment”.
His words: “Now that the country is fully bound by the obligations of the Convention but also eligible for the policy and financial benefits, actions should now be geared towards national and regional cooperation. “On behalf of the UNIDO Regional Director, UNIDO will actively support the country for the implementation of Nigeria’s Minimata Initial Assessment which has been completed and endorsed.”
Executive Director of SRADev Nigeria, Leslie Adogame, on his part, underlined the need for greater national consultation and awareness on products to be phased out or phased down by 2020.
He said: “My first reaction is that of great elation about the ratification development. We must congratulate ourselves and the Nigerian government for keeping to their promise the journey that started about 10 years ago.
“The Nigerian government must from this time stay true to the spirit and intent of the Convention. In reality, the implementation process is just about to begin with domestication. It is time for National Action Plan (NAP), the enabling laws and regulations urgently need to be reviewed or promulgated.
“It is an era for deeper government transparency on who is exporting or importing from which countries for instance mercury products before phase out by 2020.”
Nigeria on Thursday, February 1, 2018 deposited its instrument of ratification, thereby becoming the 88th Party to the Minamata Convention.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury (“Minamata Convention”) is an international environmental convention for global community to sswork collaboratively against mercury pollution. It aims at achieving environmentally sound mercury management throughout its life cycle.
The Convention was adopted at the diplomatic conferences held in Minamata City and Kumamoto City in October 2013.