ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION IN NIGERIA: ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS
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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In Nigeria, for example, environmental issues were not formally highlighted until the Koko toxic waste saga of 1988, which highlighted the need to establish the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), the Federal Ministry of the Environment and other agencies. ostensibly to tackle environmental issues in the country. These include problems such as environmental pollution, sanitation, depletion of the ozone layer, desertification, floods, erosion, poverty, bush, deforestation, soil conservation, etc. which forms the basis of this document has taken center stage in the nation’s development process (Nigeria).
Nigeria, located in West Africa, has a total area of 983,213 square kilometers. Currently, its estimated population is more than 150 million people (World Bank population figures), giving an average density of more than 120 people per square kilometer. Industrial activities, in their modern forms, are relatively recent in the history of economic development in Nigeria. During the pre-colonial period, Nigeria involved considerable cottage industry while the modern factory activity was then unknown. With the advent of the Second World War and its aftermath, Nigeria’s economy changed dramatically and Europe demanded industrial raw materials. Over time, due to the weak technological base, industrial development has taken the form of an import-substitution assembly (Wikipedia, 2015). However, political self-determination since 1960 has provided an opportunity to improve its import substitution strategy and develop its potential for real industrial takeoff through the capital goods industry. Before the discovery of crude oil at Oloibiri, Rivers State in 1956, agriculture (before 1970) was the mainstay of the Nigerian economy. The oil boom observed in the 1970s led to a considerable increase in industrial activities. With financial resources available from oil and no development policy, unguided urbanization and industrialization took place. As desirable and necessary as this development is, he has become an albatross not by himself but because of the lack of proper environmental protection policies to guide him. The result has been the indiscriminate implementation of industries, deforestation and desertification, without taking into account the need for environmental concern. Process technology in some of these industries has often resulted in unacceptable levels of toxic and hazardous industrial waste and effluent emissions. These have resulted in environmental degradation and devastating ecological and human disasters. As a result, the need to combine industrial development and environmental protection has emerged. Environmental protection laws, known as environmental laws, were then promulgated. However, the researcher seeks to highlight the various environmental pollution problems and the challenges faced in the implementation of an effective program of environmental protection and the solutions proposed by the government to solve these problems ( Wikipedia, 2015).
Oil is the primary base of the Nigerian economy and is also the cause of major environmental and social problems in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Over the years, oil exploration, production, and refining in Nigeria have resulted in a variety of environmental and environmental problems such as oil spills, gas eruptions, habitat destruction, air and water pollution. and soil degradation. In addition, much of the oil pollution in the same region is also due, to a large extent, to the illegal activities of oil refineries and illegal refineries operated by natives and some senior government officials. The chemical properties of spilled oil often affect soil productivity and pollute water bodies, causing irreparable damage to farmland and aquatic organisms. Gas flaring is a major environmental and economic problem and Nigeria emits around 70 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year (US EIA 1999). This negatively affects the socio-economic assets of local communities, which are mainly based on fishing and agriculture (Egunjobi1993). It is estimated that in one region of the Niger Delta, flaring is likely to cause 49 premature deaths, 5,000 respiratory diseases in children and some 120,000 asthma attacks and 8 other causes of cancer each year (Environmental Rights Action and Climate Justice Program).
Another major environmental problem that ravages Nigeria is water pollution. According to Anukam (1997), the main source of water pollution in Nigeria relates to forestry activities. Deforestation and inadequate tillage practices increase the concentration of soil particles that enter the water bodies and increase their sediment load. The dumping of industrial waste into water bodies is another major source of pollution in Nigeria. Discharges from industries such as oil, mining, iron and steel, pharmaceuticals and textiles have increased sulphate and nitrate levels in water bodies and impaired properties such as color and color. smell (Adelegan 2004). These metals and other chemicals increase the toxicity of water bodies and soils. A large percentage of Nigerians derive most of their domestic and drinking water from ponds, streams and shallow wells. As a result, water pollution is a major health problem that puts the health of about 40 million people at risk for diseases such as cholera, dysentery, diarrhea and typhoid (Anukam 1997, Adelegan 2004, Orubu 2006).
Domestic and industrial waste has also been a major source of environmental pollution in Nigeria. Inadequate disposal and inefficient management of municipal solid waste and industrial waste create major environmental and aesthetic problems in most urban areas of Nigeria. Due to overpopulation and slum creation, most municipal areas currently generate more waste than they can manage (Ogbonna and Ekweozor, 2002). This has led to the accumulation of piles of waste in “several areas, blocking highways and making it difficult to pass along paths and pavements” (Ajayi and Ikporokpo 2005). The most common method of waste disposal in Nigeria is the transfer of waste from one region to another and incineration. The first involves the transfer of waste from one region considered to have an aesthetic value superior to another whose value is lower. The waste incineration method used for waste disposal often results in air pollution due to the release of gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, halogenated carbons and other particles.
The government needs to adopt and enforce the environmental laws needed to tackle environmental pollution problems, which can be done by putting in place the necessary structures to combat environmental pollution in order to reduce environmental pollution in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In addition to the many environmental laws promulgated to protect the environment, environmental degradation has continued unabated. Oil spill and gas flaring activities are still common in Nigeria, particularly in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Gas flaring also continued unabated despite the Nigerian government’s directive to stop flaring in 2010 (Kalu, 2009). The impact of the Idoho oil spill in 1997 dumped 40,000 barrels of crude oil into the environment. He traveled all the way from Akwa Ibom State to Lagos State dispersing oil across the coastal states, up to the coast of Lagos. According to the Petroleum Resources Department, between 1997 and 2001, Nigeria recorded a total of 2,097 oil spills representing 1,947,600 barrels of crude oil. Thousands of barrels of oil have been divided in the environment by our oil pipelines and reservoirs in the country. Enforcement of environmental regulations is still weak as industries continue to discharge untreated wastewater into the environment. Heaps of garbage are always a constant sight to see in Nigerian streets and markets. More recently, in December 2011, the SPDC’s Bonga offshore platform released approximately 40,000 barrels of crude oil into Nigerian waters. On January 16, 2012, a gas explosion occurred on the Finuwa oil field owned by Chevron Nigeria Limited. The Nigerian government was extremely shocking about both incidents. This study, however, wants to identify the problems of environmental pollution and propose a solution to this problem.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To identify the issues of environmental pollution in Nigeria.
- To analyze the impact of environmental pollution in Nigeria.
- To determine the solutions to the challenges of environmental pollution in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the issues of environmental pollution in Nigeria?
- What is the impact of environmental pollution in Nigeria?
- What are the solutions to the challenges of environmental pollution in Nigeria?
HO: Environmental pollution is not a major challenge in Nigeria
HA: Environmental pollution is a major challenge in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- The outcome of this research will educate the general public on the issues and the adverse effect of environmental pollution in Nigeria.
- The findings from this study is going to necessitate measures that will lead to demand for improved implementation of environmental pollution control laws in Nigeria
- This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied, it will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on environmental pollution in Nigeria will cover all cases of environmental pollution ranging from air and water pollution due to oil exploration and refining, effluent waste from industries, dump sites all over Nigeria market and streets and even noise pollution.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Amukam, O., (1997). Pollution control regulation the Nigerian oil industry (Lagos: N.I.A.L.S.1997).
Ogbonna, E.A., and Ekweozor, P., (2000): The Adverse Effects of Crude Oil Spills in the Niger Delta. Urhobo Historical Society.
Ajayi, A. & Ikporokpor, D., 2002. International Environmental law (Ardley son: Transnational Publishcrs).
Orubu, E.A. (2006) The Community of Oil Exporting Countries New York: Cornell University Press).
Kalu V. E., LL.M, BL, (2009): Toxic Wastes And the Nigerian Environment; Dept. Of Private &Property Law, University of Benin: An Appraisal.
Adelegan, M.M., 2004: Nigerian Petroleum Law and Practice (Ibadan. Nigeria: Fountain Books).
Pearson, S.R., Petroleum in Nigerian Economy (California: Stanford University Press,1970).