A Policy Brief For The Minister Of Environment Environmental Sciences Essay

The extended economic value and importance of the oil industry with a national part of 96 GDP coupled with over-exploration, and development causes terrible environmental debasement.

Even though the policies in topographic point ( being based on the RIO earth acme ) are limpid and applicable, the failures in implementing these policy consequences in several pollution issues by the oil industries and community.

Frequently, the environmental job caused by the oil industries generates other socio economic issues such as struggle. The changeless oil pollution causes the poverty of the autochthonal people therefore result into the vandalization, larceny, sabotage of oil grapevines and the formation of assorted violent groups such as MEND

The purpose of this policy brief is to stress the urgency which these issues need undertaking, every bit good as to sketch the farther effects and consequence of the oil pollution. It lays accent on the importance of authorities intercession in extenuating the environmental jobs.

This brief suggests a different attack to policy execution and enforcement through public consciousness and thoughts into determination devising thereby assist undertake the immediate environmental issues faced in the Niger delta part.

Finally, possible solutions to the socio economic issues and environmental jeopardies caused by oil pollution are recommended.

index.jpgSource: 2011 United Nations Environment Programme ( UNEP )


Oil has been an indispensable tool for development since its find in 1956. Through the gross gotten from oil authorities have been able to supply basic substructures and societal comfortss. Although it importance, Nigeria has being faced with assorted environmental issues due to the intense usage of the environment by the oil industries ( Nwilo and Badejo, 2006 ) . The job of oil generates both, major environmental issues and socio-economic issues such as struggles, hazard and uncertainness amongst the autochthonal people and oil industries. Hence, oil which is supposed to be a gem is instead seen as a catastrophe. The changeless interlinked environmental and socio economic jobs indicate that an pressing intercession is needed to undertake the chief root cause of oil pollution which hinders societal stableness in the Niger delta part and sustainable development. However, this can merely be achieved through proper execution of policies by authorities. This policy brief focuses on the followers:

Oil industry ‘s pollution

Consequences and Conflicting issues of oil pollution

Government policies and execution challenges



Commercially production of oil started in Nigeria in 1958. Since so, the procedure of pull outing and polishing oil has lead to assorted environmental pollutions incidents. The most frequent cause of oil pollution in Niger delta is those caused by oil spill, gas leaks, runawaies, sabotage, vandalization and the discharge of wastes and wastewater from oil and gas operations ( Emoyan et al, 2008 ) . The figure below shows the tendency of oil spills in barrel from 1976 boulder clay 1996.

Beginning: Department of Petroleum Resources ( 1997 ) .

Recently Smith-Spark ( 2012 ) reported that it might take a period of 30years for the Ogoni community in the Niger delta to retrieve from the oil spills. Harmonizing to the United Nations Environment Programme study on H2O quality in ogoni land most of the imbibing H2O in the community is contaminated with benzine at a degree 900 times higher than the WHO ‘s criterions ( UNEP, 2011 ) . Gas flaring in Nigeria is on the addition, it causes about 35million dozenss of C02 per twelvemonth ( World Bank, 2000 ) . The major atmospheric pollutants from the refineries are nitrogen oxides, C, sulfur and liquid wastewaters ( Akinwumi et al. , 2000 ) . Effectss of gas flaring is tremendous, it leads to assorted hazard issues. Consequences of oil pollution are legion hence this brief will concentrate on oil pollution in the Niger delta part.


Nigeria has approximately 606 oil Fieldss, 360 are on-shore and 246 offshore in Niger delta. Most of the oil Wellss are in the rural community therefore the consequence of environmental pollution is clearly apparent within the rural country. The taint of land and H2O is more seeable than air pollution. The oil pollution on land and H2O affects farmlands, harvest outputs, H2O quality, aquatic and tellurian animate being ‘s decease, deforestation, dirt eroding, implosion therapy and lose of life ( Nwilo and Badejo, 2006 ) .

Consequences of air pollution by gas flaring in Niger delta are less seeable. Therefore, it is faced with more uncertainness. Research has shown that gas flaring causes planetary heating, acid rain which subsequently affects harvest output, dirt quality and besides H2O quality ( Okeagu et al, 2006 ) .

Oil pollution generates socio economic jobs through the devastation beginnings of the autochthonal people ‘s support ( farming and fishing ) hence causes poverty of the people. Hence, the changeless pollution by the oil industry and the maltreatment of basic human rights encourages sabotage, oil bunkering and struggles between the natives and oil industries in Niger delta. This has resulted in the formation of assorted community force per unit area groups. The most outstanding is the Movement and Emancipation of the Niger delta ( MEND ) , which is a violent group.

Current intelligence Holligan ( 2012 ) reported a recent instance survey on the contention between four husbandmans from Ogoni land who sued shell for the harm of their farming area and 47 fish pools through an oil spill in 2008 and 2009. Shell argues that most of the oil spill is caused by the vandalization of their grapevine by the community young persons. The Bodo youth President Groobadi Petta said “ it was the carelessness of Shell which compelled people to steal and that when supports are destroyed the young person go to topographic points where they learn how to bunker ” .

Statisticss shows that vandalization and sabotage histories for 28 % of oil spill and this affects Nigeria ‘s economic system. In 2001 $ 4billion was lost and in 2002 N7.7 billion was lost due to vandalization. Consequently, there ‘s been causalities caused by oil pipe vandalization, in July 2000, a grapevine detonation in Warri caused the decease of 250 people ( Nwilo and Badejo, 2006 ) .

The job of oil pollution is diverse in nature as it affects the environment, the economic system, and the people if non cover with from the root class it ‘s likely to resurface once more and thereby take to greater jobs. Therefore, authorities needs a clear cut policy with comprehensive execution program to minimise the present province of oil industry ‘s pollution and its consequence on the natives of Niger delta

Beginning: UNEP 2011 Visible hydrocarbon pollution on surface H2O in Ogoniland



The black incidence of toxic waste disposal into Koko River ( 1988 ) led to the formation of a national environmental policy known as Federal Environmental Protection Agency ( FEPA ) formed in 1988 ( Gozie, 2009 ) . In 1992 the Rio Earth acme which focused on planetary environmental issues created an Agenda 21 chiefly for turn toing the demand for the universe to travel towards sustainable ingestion forms. ( Akinwumi et al. , 2000 ) .

As a consequence, the Federal authorities of Nigeria reviewed its FEPA policy on environmental protection with the purpose of accomplishing sustainable development. FEPA distributed duties from the province down to the local authorities taking it will make the grassroots degree. The policy was a combination of comprehensive, integrated, holistic and system based attack towards work outing environmental issues.

It integrated assorted sustainable rules such as the Polluter Pay Principle into the oil and gas sector to realize sustainable development schemes, through periodic review of sites, monitoring of air, H2O oil Wellss and force per unit area gage. ( FEDA, 1998 ) .

There are several sub-policies, ordinances and technique in the oil sector under the FEPA policy to assist minimise oil industries pollution and sabotage. A few includes the followers:

NOSDRA-National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency ( 2006 ) aims to place oil spill through containment, recovery, and redress.

NDDS-Niger Delta Development Commission ( 2000 ) aims to cut down the rate of oil incidents along the Nigerian Coast peculiarly as a consequence of vandalization

DPR-Department of Petroleum Resources involves the federal and province ‘s attempt in minimising the impact of oil spill.

EIA-Environmental Impact Assessment ( 1992 ) aims at pre-analyzing the environmental impact of any new undertaking that may impact the environment and profound possible extenuation attack.

GIS- Geographic Information System enables monitoring of pollution such as oil spills through computing machine based engineering

ESI-Environmental Sensitive Index Mapping

Beginning: ( Nwilo & A ; Badejo, 2005 and FEPA 1992 )


Despite the comprehensive model of the policy the challenge of oil pollution in the Niger delta is still outstanding. This is attributed to the deficiency of proper execution and enforcement of environmental ordinances ( Nwilo & A ; Badejo, 2005 ) . Hence, the demand to re-evaluate the execution schemes and ordinance is necessary.

This brief focal point on four chief factors for policy execution failure

Past records shows that 75 % of oil spills resulted from oil industries failures and merely 5 % was a consequence of sabotage. Today, they claim of oil spill caused by sabotage is 60 % ( Okenabirhie, 2010 )

From the above point it shows that there is no valid informations on who causes the most oil spill and that has given most oil company the chance to deny most the oil spill.

Lack of control steps: It is believed that authorities carelessness has created an avenue for the oil companies to go on to destruct the Niger Delta environ and deny duties for oil spills.

Lack of equal engineering, expertness ‘s and equal fund in guaranting that policy ‘s and schemes such as EIA, GIS, RSM, are non actualized. This leads to miss of equal information of the graduated table and magnitude of the job.

Communication and corruptness issue: deficiency of equal consciousness of the policy lead to low degree of engagement. The degree of bureaucratism from top down prevents the policy from making the grassroots level therefore the merely a peculiar group make determinations.


By and large, people are likely to adhere to policies that they contribute to ( Akinwumi, 2007 ) . The top down attack of FEPA policy execution makes it less effectual therefore it is necessary reevaluate the scheme of execution. A underside up attack has been applied on the environmental sanitation policy which has been effectual in Nigeria. I thereby suggest that authorities should integrate the underside up scheme in policy execution procedure. Consequently, I would wish to urge three basic attacks towards deciding the issue of pollution in the Niger delta. They include:

IDENTIFYING THE ROOT CAUSE: Land renewal should be made compulsory for oil industries and environmental interest holders due to failure of defiler

Deal WITH THE Present SITUATION: Invest more financess in research plans related to EIA, GIS and RMS therefore create a valid bank of accurate information on all oil pollution.

Empower the impoverished through the creative activity of alternate occupation chances, proviso of societal comfortss, subsidising instruction, edifying the autochthonal on assorted policies and prosecuting the young person in determination devising sing environmental issue through underside up attack.

AVOIDING Future RE-OCCURRENCE: There should be changeless preparation of regulative forces and environmental experts, standard lab and equipments should be created around the Niger delta part for EIA, the wages of regulators should be good plenty to forestall and minimise graft and corruptness.


In decision, authorities should recognize that every environmental issue generates other issues as such they should prioritise deciding environmental issues through the three attacks suggested so as to achieve the ultimate end of sustainable development.