Nigeria set to ratify Minamata Convention on Mercury

Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed

Following human activities in the recent times that increased exposure to high level of mercury, Nigeria has move to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury by 2020.

Nigeria signed the Minamata Convention on October 10, 2013 the day it was adopted and opened for signature by the global community at a Diplomatic Conference in Kumamoto, Japan.

As at February 15, 2017, 128 countries have signed it while 38 countries have ratified it including 17 African countries. Nigeria is currently working towards the ratification and implementation of the Convention.

Speaking in Lagos, Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, who declared open and awareness workshop on the Minamata Convention on Mercury, organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), said that mercury poisoning and effects in the environment.

She noted the global concern as a result of its nature and behaviour in the environment including its abilities for long-range transport in the atmosphere, persistence in the environment, and more importantly its ability to bio-accumulate in the ecosystem leading to significant adverse effects on both human health and the environment.

The Minister, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Pollution Control and Environmental Health Department, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Idris Goji, said the role of policy makers, academia, private sector, media and non-government organisation cannot be overemphasised in ensuring that Nigeria takes a lead in facilitating necessary capacity within its territory and the African region as whole in addressing mercury issues and the effective implementation of the Convention.

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