Sunday, July 23, 2017

Human Activities Increase Mercury in Environment – FG
By Chidimma C. Okeke
Nigeria Daily Trust
Jul 19 2017 2:00AM

Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril
The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, has stated that aside natural occurrences, human activities have increased the concentration of mercury in the environment, which is detrimental to health.

 Jibril stated this yesterday in Abuja while inaugurating the National Steering Group for the National Action Plan on the use of mercury in the Nigerian Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector.

Represented by the permanent secretary, Shehu Mahmud Unman, the minister said Nigeria signed the Minamata convention in 2013 and the Federal Executive Council in April 2017 approved the ratification of the convention and that it will come into force on August 16, 2017.

He noted that Nigeria does not have a well-developed large-scale gold mining sector and artisanal and small-scale miners carry out the majority of the gold mining in the country.

 “As a result, preliminary inventory of mercury releases in Nigeria was carried out by the Federal Ministry of Environment in 2012 using the UNEP Toolkits for identification and qualification of mercury releases and level 1 showed that ASGM processing in Nigeria is more than significant,” he added.

 While noting that based on the report Nigeria applied and got approval for development of the plan, he said, the National Steering Group would provide the guidance and technical support for the effective implementation of the project activities.

The Regional Director and Country Representative of UNIDO,  Mr Jean Bankole, represented by the Industrial Development Officer, Rodica Ivan, said countries that have signed under the Minamata Convention, which is the latest chemicals management convention with the objective to reduce or possibly eliminate the effect of mercury on environment, are expected to develop act plan on mercury.

No comments: