This study was intended to evaluate the effect
environmental pollution in Nigeria: there issues and solutions. This study was
guided by the following objectives; 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.
study employed the explanatory design; questionnaires in addition to library
research were applied in order to collect data. Primary and secondary data
sources were used and data was analyzed using the chi-square statistical tool
at 5% level of significance which was presented in frequency tables and percentage.
The respondents under the study were 60 staff of Lagos state ministry of
environment. The study findings revealed that there are several issues of
environmental pollution in Nigeria. The impact of environmental pollution is
high. Environmental pollution is a major challenge in Nigeria. Environmental
pollution is hazardous to health.
The outcome of this research will educate the
general public on the issues and the adverse effect of environmental pollution
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
located in West Africa, has a total land area of 983,213 square kilometres.
Presently, its estimated population is over 150 million people (World Bank
Population figures) yielding an average density of more than120persons per
square kilometres. Industrial activities, in its modern forms, are relatively
recent in the history of Nigeria’s economic development. During the
pre-colonial period, Nigeria featured considerable craft industry as modern
factory activity was then not known. With the advent of the Second World War
and its aftermath, the economy of Nigeria changed tremendously and there were
demands from Europe for industrial raw materials. With time, due to the low
technological base, industrial development took on the assembly-type pattern of
import substitution (Wikipedia, 2015). However, political self determination
since 1960 did provide the opportunity for improving on its import substitution
strategy as well as developing its potentials for real industrial take off
through capital goods industry. Prior to the discovery of crude oil in
Oloibiri, Rivers State in 1956,agriculture (before 1970) was the mainstay of
the Nigerian economy. The oil boom witnessed in the 1970s led to a tremendous
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 was, it became an
albatross not of itself but because of the lack of appropriate environmental
protection policies to guide it. The result was the indiscriminate siting of
industries, deforestation and desertification, disregarding the need for
environmental concern. The process technology of some of these industries often
resulted in unacceptable levels of toxic and dangerous industrial wastes and
effluent emissions. These culminated in the degradation of the environment and devastating
ecological and human disasters. As a result of these, the need to combine
industrial development and environmental protection arose. Acts of legislation
for environmental protection, known as environmental laws, were then enacted. However,
the researcher is seeking to provide an highlights on the various issues of
environmental pollution and the challenges encountered in establishing an effective
environmental enforcement programme and the solutions proffered by the
government in tackling these problems (Wikipedia, 2015).
is the primary base of Nigeria’s 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 refinement in Nigeria has resulted
in various environmental and ecological problems that range from oil spills,
gas flares, habitat destruction, air and water pollution, and land degradation.
Also, a major cause of oil pollution in that same region is also to a great
extent, from the activities of illegal oil bunkering and illegal refineries
operated indigenes and some highly placed individuals in government. The
chemical properties of spilled oil often affect the productiveness of soil and
pollute water bodies, thereby causing irreparable damage to agricultural lands
as well as aquatic bodies. Gas flaring is a significant environmental and
economic problem in and Nigeria emits approximately 70 million metric tons of
carbon dioxide annually (US EIA1999). This adversely affects the socio-economic
actives of local communities, which is primarily based on fishing and farming
(Egunjobi1993). It is estimated that in one region alone in the Niger Delta,
flaring is statistically likely to cause 49 premature deaths, 5000 respiratory
illnesses among children and some 120,000 asthma attacks and 8 additional
causes of cancer each year (Environmental Rights Action and the Climate Justice
Another major environmental issue ravaging Nigeria
is water pollution. According to Anukam (1997), the main source of water
pollution in Nigeria has to do with forestry activities. Deforestation and
improper soil tillage practices increase the concentration of soil particles
that make their way into water bodies and in turn increases their sediment
loads.. The discharge of industrial waste materials into bodies of water is
another major source of pollution in Nigeria. Discharges from industries such
as petroleum, mining, iron and steel, pharmaceuticals, and textiles among others
have increased the contents of sulfates and nitrates in water bodies and has
altered properties such as color and odor (Adelegan 2004). These metals and
other chemical substance increase the toxicity of water bodies as well as soils.
A large percentage of Nigerians derive most of their domestic and drinking
water from ponds, stream, and shallow wells. Hence, water pollution is a major
health concern that places the health of about 40 million people at risk of
diseases such as cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, and typhoid (Anukam 1997,
Adelegan 2004, Orubu 2006).
and industrial waste has also constituted a major source of environmental
pollution in Nigeria. The improper disposal and ineffective management of
municipal solid waste and industrial waste creates major environmental and
aesthetic problems in most of Nigeria’s urban areas. Due to overpopulation and
the creation of slums, most municipal areas currently generate more waste than they
can manage (Ogbonna and Ekweozor, 2002). This has led to the accumulation of
waste heaps in “several areas, blocking motorways and making passage along
alleys and pavements difficult” (Ajayi and Ikporokpo 2005). The most common
method of waste disposal in Nigeria is waste transfer from one region to
another and incineration. The first involves the transfer of waste from a
region that is considered to have a higher aesthetic value to one that has a
lower one. The waste incineration method of waste disposal often results in air
pollution due to the release of gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide,
oxides of nitrogen, halogenated carbons, and other particulate matter.
There is need for government to enact and
implement necessary environmental laws to control the issues of environmental
pollution and this can be done by putting necessary environmental pollution
enforcement structures in place to curb the spate of environmental pollution in
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Irrespective of the numerous environmental laws
enacted to protect the environment, environmental degradation has continued
unabated. Oil spillage and gas flaring activities are still commonplace in
Nigeria, especially in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Gas flaring has also continued
unabated irrespective of the Nigerian government’s directive to end flaring by
2010 (Kalu, 2009). The Idoho oil spill incidence of 1997 spilled 40,000 barrels
of crude oil into the environment. It travelled all the way from Akwa Ibom
state to Lagos state dispersing oil through the coastal states, up to the Lagos
coast. According to the Department of Petroleum Resources, between 1997 and 2001,
Nigeria recorded a total number of 2,097 oil spill incidents amounting to
1,947,600 barrels of crude oil. Thousands of barrels of oil have been split
into the environment through our oil pipelines and tanks in the country. Enforcement
of environmental regulations is still poor as industries continue to discharge
untreated waste water into the environment. Heaps of refuse are always a
constant sight to behold in Nigerian streets and markets.
Most recently, in December 2011, the SPDC’s Bonga
offshore platform spilled about 40, 000 barrels of crude oil into Nigerian
waters. On January 16 2012, a gas explosion occurred at the Finuwa oil field
owned by Chevron Nigeria Limited. The Nigerian government was shockingly silent
about these two incidents. This study however wants to identify the problems of
environmental pollution and proffer solution to the issue.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
identify the issues of environmental pollution in Nigeria.
analyze the impact of environmental pollution in Nigeria.
determine the solutions to the challenges of environmental pollution in
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
are the issues of environmental pollution in Nigeria?
is the impact of environmental pollution in Nigeria?
are the solutions to the challenges of environmental pollution in Nigeria?
Environmental pollution is not a major challenge in Nigeria
Environmental pollution is a major challenge in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
outcome of this research will educate the general public on the issues and the
adverse effect of environmental pollution in Nigeria.
findings from this study is going to necessitate measures that will lead to
demand for improved implementation of environmental pollution control laws in
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
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.