Minister of Environment Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has said that to achieve the objective of sound management of chemicals in the country, the ministry will come with the plan to shift Nigeria to greener economies, sustainable chemistry, circular economies and cleaner development.
He stated this at a workshop on ‘Strengthening of Legal and Institutional Infrastructure for Sound Management of Chemicals in Nigeria’ organized by the ministry in partnership with UNEP and UNITAR,stressing that sound management of chemicals is a tool to save lives and part of the means to achieve sustainable development.
The minister explained that while the development of chemicals has led to many positive aspects of economic growth throughout the 20th and much of the 21st centuries, it has also led to severe pollution problems with profound impact on human health, wildlife and the environment.
“To protect ourselves and the environment from the hazards of misuse, the quest for sound management of chemicals throughout life cycle in a safe manner is of importance to us now than ever and its achievement requires the participation of all in a synergetic manner, he said.
Dr Abubakar said: “We must de-couple, de-carbonize and detoxify our economies to improve the quality of our lives.We need to network more with each other in order to explain the positive effects that sound chemicals management will have for all sectors of the Nigerian economy and overall economic growth.”
The minister further noted that the hazard caused by the inappropriate handling and use of chemicals has never been worse than now, saying, “the impact especially on our children has never been deadlier.We have a moral responsibility to protect the planet and future generations.”
Earlier the Permanent Secretary, Ibukun Odusote, said the increasing attention to sound management of chemicals and waste is attracting attention at global and regional levels.
“It is a very strong signal to us as a country that we cannot continue with business as usual in our management of chemicals and hazardous wastes, hence this project presents us a unique opportunity to work on our legal institutional infrastructure in order to effectively face the challenges of the post 2020 era,” she said.