The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has urged the Nigerian government to support the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) which the global organisation has presented to it on the elimination of mercury.
Regional Director and UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS, Mr Jean Bakole, who described the partnership between Nigeria and UNIDO for decades as excellent, expressed gratitude to the federal government for the continuous support extended to the UNIDO Regional Office Hub on the Country Programme 2018-2022 for inclusive and industrial development in Nigeria, which according to him, was enjoying active implementation.
“UNIDO counts on its excellent cooperation with the federal and state governments of Nigeria and other key development partners to support the implementation of this plan for the reduction and eventual elimination of mercury use in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector in Nigeria,” he said.
The regional director gave the charge recently at the public presentation of the NAP for the reduction and eventual elimination of mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Nigeria and the unveiling of the National Policy on Solid Waste Management and National Policy on Plastic Waste Management documents organised by the Ministry of Environment in Abuja.
UNIDO worked in collaboration with the Federal Ministries of Environment, Mines and Steel Development, Health and the World Health Organisation and a few other stakeholders to produce the three documents on NAP, solid, and plastic wastes management.
In his goodwill message, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, who was represented by the director, special duties in the ministry, Mr Yisao Adegboje, reiterated his ministry’s determination to continue from the current effort to work with all relevant stakeholders in implementing the strategies and activities articulated in the Nation Action Plan on Mercury in the ASGM sector.
He said the event was important to his ministry, “especially as the intervention complements our efforts in reforming the ASGM sector to vibrant and robust livelihood strategy capable of contributing to national growth and development”.
In his opening remark, Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, who was represented by the director, pollution, C. K. Ikea, said given the numerous challenges that have stunted growth in the mining and waste sectors, developing the NAP on mercury for the ASGM sector and the national policies on waste being is a right step in the right direction.
“When these documents are implemented by government, they will significantly help protect the environment, reduce the risk of communicable and non-communicable diseases and promote health and well-being in all sectors and settings,” she said.
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