FG receives plan for hazardous chemicals’ elimination

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The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has submitted the reviewed and updated National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on the elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants to the Federal Government.

The Stockholm Convention is an international treaty developed to protect human health and the environment from Persistent Organic Pollutants. The treaty was adopted in 2001, but came into force in 2004, with Nigeria ratifying it the same year, thereby becoming a member of the Conference of Parties.

It aims at eliminating or restricting the production and use of all POPs, transition to safer alternatives and cleaning up old stockpiles among other things.

Speaking during the presentation of the NIP in Abuja, the United Nations Deputy Secretary General and Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, commended UNIDO for working with the Global Environmental Environment Facility and other stakeholders to produce the NIP, noting that the plan would enable Nigeria to access international technical support and meet her obligations, while integrating POP management into the country’s national development plans.

She said, “I am most delighted and appreciative of UNIDO’s continuous support and for a job well done. The updated NIP being unveiled today is a product of an inclusive stakeholder participation and serves as the renegotiated and reinforced national policy framework for addressing priority POP issues in Nigeria, in line with her obligations under the treaty.

“With the reviewed and updated NIP, Nigeria will now focus on short, medium and long term strategies for developing programmes and partnerships on POP management aimed at safeguarding human health and the environment.”

In his remarks, the representative of the UNIDO Regional Office in Nigeria, Dr. Chuma Ezedinma, said the presentation of the updated and reviewed NIP to the Federal Government marked another milestone in the history of Nigeria-UNIDO collaboration for building a sustainable environment for its people, industries and the global community.

Ezedinma said, “I want to commend the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Environment and the team within the ministry who worked tirelessly with UNIDO to ensure the success of this plan for Nigeria. We hereby reaffirm UNIDO’s commitment to working closely with the government of Nigeria. In respect of this, UNIDO will continue to support the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Environment to promote sustainable activities for our environment as we match towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

“UNIDO is currently in partnership with 48 countries, assisting them in reviewing and updating their NIP, developing and implementing projects. We are working with the Federal Ministry of Environment in the areas of protecting the ozone layer, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, national policy development and dialogue, development of bio-pesticides as a response to the EU ban on some food exportation, water stewardship and management, mining, resource efficiency and cleaner production and other areas of environmental sustainability and development.”

As a party to the Stockholm Convention, it is obligatory for the country to develop enabling activities of NIPs for enablement to identify and develop structures for implementation of programmes towards the convention requirements.

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