Brochures

'THE IMPACT OF OIL PRODUCTION IN THE NIGER DELTA

Description
The production of oil in the Niger Delta has had mixed consequences on agriculture and crop production. Whereas MNC’s have partnered with the Nigerian government in large scale investments in social services, agricultural inputs, manpower and
Categories
Published
of 11
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Share
Transcript
  1 This essay was presented and submitted by Anotida Chikumbu to the Department of Economic history at the University of Zimbabwe for discussion in the Advanced Seminar Series on Agrarian Developments in Independent Africa, MEH-509.  ‘‘  A   SOURCE   OF    AGONY     AND    ANGUISH ’’  :   THE   IMPACT   OF   OIL   EXTRACTION   ON   LIVELIHOODS    AND   CROP   PRODUCTION   IN   THE   NIGER    DELTA. Anotida Chikumbu DPhil Candidate University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA   achikumbu@umass.edu  There is only so much land that can be sustainably cultivated. Nevertheless, reckless oil exploitation is homicidal in effect. Human life, flora, fauna, the air, fall at its feet and finally, the land itself dies. Ken Saro Wiwa 1988   1.   Introduction The production of oil in the Niger Delta has had mixed consequences on agriculture and crop  production. Whereas MNC‟s 1  have partnered with the Nigerian government in large scale investments in social services, agricultural inputs, manpower and infrastructural development, oil extraction has led to pollution of the environment with serious threats to livelihoods in the Delta zone which constitutes the major income source for the majority of the local population inhabiting the region. In general, the assessment of many researchers into this topic acknowledges that oil extraction has unquestionably brought meaningful development to Nigeria but has left a trail of environmental pollution problems with visible  physical destruction 2 .   Oil extraction has virtually affected livelihood outcomes such as low  productivity, reduced food security, low income and severe health hazards among farming communities 3 . This essay examines the uncertainties, paradoxes and dilemmas that confront the dysfunctional Nigerian governance institutions in administering the lucrative natural resource effectively. It argues that oil extraction has done „ more harm than good ‟ . It attributes this recurrent phenomenon to the somewhat deceptive and insurmountable State- MNC‟s 1 In this essay, the acronym ‘MNC’s is used to refer to Multinational Oil Companies in Nigeria. 2 See also, M, Oruwari, et al, Gender, ethnicity and violence and effects on livelihoods in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria: the case of Keegbara-Dere (Ogoni) and Bolo (Okrika) in Rivers State.  Journal Africa Media Review Vol.12, No.1, (2004); J, Pitkin, Oil, Oil, Everywhere: Environmental and Human Impacts of Oil Extraction in the Niger Delta" (2013). Pomona Senior    Theses. Paper 88. http://scholarship.claremont.edu/pomona_theses/88; A, Kadafa, Oil Exploration and Spillage in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.  Journal Civil and Environmental Research  Vol 2, No.3, (2012); A, Celestine, Hydrocarbon Exploitation, Environmental Degradation and Poverty  : The Niger Delta Experience. Diffuse Pollution Conference, Dublin, 2003. 3 O.C OpukrI and I.S Ibaba I.S. Oil Induced Environmental Degradation and Internal Population Displacement in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta.  Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa ,10(1) (2008)  2 This essay was presented and submitted by Anotida Chikumbu to the Department of Economic history at the University of Zimbabwe for discussion in the Advanced Seminar Series on Agrarian Developments in Independent Africa, MEH-509. alliance that considers livelihood sources derivable from agriculture and the physical environment as inconsequential 4 . The position of agriculture as a source of livelihood in the Delta communities thus plays second fiddle to petroleum extraction. This is so because the  Nigerian Federal government is financially dependent on the investments of oil MNC‟s and the activities of the companies are protected by favourable regulations from the government. 5  Thus, the state-company alliance continues to perpetrate unbridled ecological terrorism in the Delta region. 2.   Theoretical Framework Oil extraction in the Niger Delta has not significantly benefited the local communities. It has rather been a „source of agony and anguish ‟ . Nigeria currently lies at an unfortunate nexus of  paradoxes with dazzling penalties. According to development theorists, the most fundamental is the „  Resource curse ‟  phenomenon, in particular, and its partner in crime the „  Dutch disease ‟ , as the culprit, where resource rich countries are plagued by governance deficit thwarting effective administration to harness resource exploitation to meet national development agendas 6 . In the Nigerian case, the exclusive focus on oil extraction has created a rapidly growing oil sector while the rest of the economy is plagued by stagnation, unemployment and decline 7 . Investments in agriculture and other tertiary industries nationwide would ease this problem, but the government has not invested oil revenue in other sectors of the economy which has generated an unprogressive cycle of dependence on oil exports. 8  According to Sanusi Lamido 9 , „Nigeria is not an oil rich country. It is an oil  producing country. That you have oil does not mean you are an oil rich country. Wealth or  poverty is relative‟. This is so true because despite the abundance of natural and human 4 See also C, Thomas, The Environment in International Relations. (The Royal Institute of International Affairs, London 1992); A, Adeyemo, The Oil Industry Extra-Ministerial Institutions and Sustainable Agricultural Development: A Case Study of Okrika L.G.A. of Rivers State, in Nigeria.  Journal of Oil and Politics , 2(1) (2002). Nigeria has been a member of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since 1971. It has the largest natural gas reserve in Africa, has the second largest oil reserve in Africa and is the African continents primary oil producer. Oil revenue provides 90% of Nigeria foreign exchange earnings and 85% of the government revenue, with estimated reserves extending beyond 20-30 years. 5  See also, E. Olawari, Nigeria: State Violence against Agriculture in the Niger Delta.  American International Journal of Contemporary Research  Vol. 2 No. 3; March (2012); S.I Omofonmwan, and L.O Odia, Oil Exploitation and Conflict in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.  Journal of Human Ecology  , 26(1):25-30, (2009); A.O Tolulope, Oil Exploration and Environmental Degradation: the Nigerian Experience. International Information Archives, International Society for Environmental Information Science. EIA04-039, 2: 387-393 (2004); O.C Opukri and I.S Ibaba, Oil Induced Environmental Degradation and Internal Population Displacement in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta.  Journal of Sustainable Development in  Africa ,10(1) (2008) 6 A. Kadafa, Oil Exploration and Spillage in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.  Journal Civil and Environmental Research Vol 2, No.3, 2012; (see Corden and Neary, 1982; Gelb and Associates, 1988; Sachs and Warner, 1995; Auty, 2001; Stevens, 2003; Turshen, 2003; Wright and Czelusta, 2004; Karl, 2007; Lederman and Maloney, 2008). 7   See also   M. Ross, The political economy of the resource curse.  Journal of World Politics . Volume 51, (1999); A, Kadafa, Oil Exploration and Spillage in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.  Journal Civil and Environmental Research Vol 2, No.3, (2012) 8  Julia Pitkin, " Oil, Oil, Everywhere: Environmental and Human Impacts of Oil Extraction in the Niger Delta" (2013).Pomona Senior Theses.Paper 88. http://scholarship.claremont.edu/pomona_theses/88.  9  Sanusi was a banker and former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank . He was appointed on 3 June 2009 for a 5 year term but was suspended from office by the then President Goodluck Jonathan on 20 February 2014 after a $20 Billion fraud case.  3 This essay was presented and submitted by Anotida Chikumbu to the Department of Economic history at the University of Zimbabwe for discussion in the Advanced Seminar Series on Agrarian Developments in Independent Africa, MEH-509. resources in the Niger Delta, the reg ion‟ s potential for not only viable but also sustainable development remains unfulfilled and its prospects threatened by environmental degradation and deteriorating economic conditions which are not being addressed by government  policy 10 . Several years of oil extraction have not brought significant benefits to the region. Resource use decisions are being driven by a lack of development, poor health care and social facilities, stagnant agricultural productivity, and rapid population growth 11 . As Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the renowned 16 th  century Spanish author of Don Quixote de la Mancha (in Ebrahim-zadeh) once asserted that “the gratification of wealth is not found in mere  possession or in lavish expenditure, but in its wise application”. 12   3.   Oil Extraction and Livelihood Sources The extraction of crude oil in the Delta States is a major economic activity for Nigeria but its adverse effects have resulted in the destruction of delicate ecology, which is a main source of livelihood for the communities. Oil extraction ‟ e ffects, especially oil spillage and gas flaring are a common feature in the Niger Delta 13 . According to the Department of Petroleum Resources, over 6000 spills are recorded in every 40 years of oil extraction in Nigeria, with an average of 150 spills per annum. In the period 1976  –   1996, 647 incidents occurred resulting in the spillage of 2,369,407.04 barrels of crude oil. With only 549,060.38 barrels recovered, 1,820,410.50 barrels of oil were lost to the ecosystem 14 . According to UNDP reports there have been a total of 6,817 oil spills between 1976 and 2001, which account for a loss of 3 million barrels of oil, of which more than 70% was not recovered. 69% of these spills occurred offshore, a quarter was in swamps and 6% spilled on land 15 . Nwilo and Badejo purports that some of all the spills occur due to pipeline and tanker accidents approximately 50% whereas others occur due to sabotage, a staggering 28%. Oil production operations themselves account for a 21% whereas 1% of the spills are accounted for by inadequate or non-functional production equipment. 16  These oil spillages have caused some serious destruction of livelihood sources. Spills in populated areas often spread out over a wide area, destroying crops and aquacultures through contamination of the groundwater and soils. Bronwen notes that an estimated 5 to 10% of Nigerian mangrove ecosystems have been 10 I. Odafe and O, Bolarin Titus, Implications of Oil Exploration on Agricultural Development In Delta State, Nigeria. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention . Volume 2 Issue 4 April. (2013). 11 Ibid. 12  C. Ebrahim- zadeh, “Back to basics; Dutch disease: too much wealth managed unwisely”. Finance and Development  , Vol. 40, No.1 (2003) 13 O. Tolulope, Oil Exploration and Environmental Degradation: the Nigerian Experience. International Information Archives, International Society for Environmental Information Science. EIA04-039, 2: 387-393, (2004). 14 Department of Petroleum Resources, Annual Reports. Abuja, Department of Petroleum Resources, 1997, pp.191 15 The United Nations Development Program. Niger Delta Human Development Report  ,. Lagos, Nigeria, (2006). 16  Dr. P.C. Nwilo & O. T . Badejo: Impacts of Oil spills along the Nigerian coast  (https://web.archive.org/web/20080430164524/http://www.aehsmag.com/issues/2001 /october/impacts.htm)The Association for Environmental Health and Sciences, (2001).  4 This essay was presented and submitted by Anotida Chikumbu to the Department of Economic history at the University of Zimbabwe for discussion in the Advanced Seminar Series on Agrarian Developments in Independent Africa, MEH-509. wiped out by oil and the rainforest which previously occupied some 7,400 km² of land in the Delta has disappeared as well 17 . The environmental consequences of oil extraction on the Delta communities are enormous. Oil spills have not only destroyed most agricultural lands in the state but have turned hitherto  productive areas into wastelands. They have also caused soil infertility due to the destruction of soil nutrients and declining productivity. Because of this, farmers have been forced to seek alternative non-agrarian means of livelihood. 18  Oil spillages have also destroyed aquatic with the pollution of traditional fishing grounds leading to poverty and hunger in fishing communities 19 . In a study of the socio-economic impact of oil pollution, Worgu notes that crude oil extraction has had adverse environmental effect on soils, forests and water bodies in Delta communities. He argues that due to oil spillages in particular, farmers have lost their lands, and are consequently forced to emigrate to other communities in search of livelihood exerting additional pressures on natural resources in such areas 20 . According   to   Stanley in a study made on   „ Environmental Degradation and Poverty in the Niger Delta Region of  Nigeria ‟ , 67.7% of 797 respondents interviewed on the socio-economic impact of oil  pollution identified farmland degradation as a major problem 21 . Inoni et al notes that oil spills in the case of Delta state only have reduced crop yield, land productivity and greatly depressed farm income as a 10% increase in oil spill reduced crop yield by 1.3% while farm income plummeted by 5% 22 . Oil extraction consequences especially oil spillages have also affected the wildlife of Delta the ecosystem. Tawari argues that the consumption of dissolved oxygen by bacteria feeding on the spilled hydrocarbons has also contributed to the death of fish. 23  For example, he notes that clean-ups after oil spillages occurring around or flowing into nearby streams/rivers are never carefully done, as untold quantities of spilled oil settles on the river floor. Such spilled oil kills fishery breeding and entire fish production 24 . The Federal Ministry of Agriculture   statistics indicated an unsteady fish production among Niger Delta states 25 . It notes that during this period fishing outputs dropped sharply by a 34.6% in the Delta communities 26 . 17 Bronwen Manby: The Price of Oil https://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/nigeria/. Human Rights Watch. 1999. Retrieved by the researcher on November 9, (2017). 18   E, Inoni et al, The Effect of Oil Spillage on Crop Yield and Farm Income In Delta State, Nigeria.  Journal of Central European  Agriculture. Volume 7 No. 1 :41-48, (2006).   19 Ibid.   20 S, Worgu, Hydrocarbon Exploitation, Environmental Degradation and Poverty in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, Lund University Lumes Programme, Lund, Sweden, (2000), 2  –  11pp. 21 W, Stanley, Socio-economic Impact of Oil in Nigeria, Geography Journal, Vol. 22 (1): 51  – 68pp, (2007). 22 E. Inoni et al, The Effect of Oil Spillage on Crop Yield and Farm Income In Delta State, Nigeria.  Journal of Central European  Agriculture. Volume 7 No. 1 41-48, (2006).   23 C. Tawari, and O, Davies, Impact of multinational corporations in fisheries development and management in Niger Delta, Nigeria.  Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America, Vol.1, No.2, (2010). 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid. 26 Ibid .  5 This essay was presented and submitted by Anotida Chikumbu to the Department of Economic history at the University of Zimbabwe for discussion in the Advanced Seminar Series on Agrarian Developments in Independent Africa, MEH-509. Petroleum extraction has soared the scale of preference so much so high to the detriment of agriculture and livelihood sources of rural communities in the Niger Delta. It has exposed the region to constant natural seismic operations and gas flaring with tremendous effects on men and aquatic 27 .Olawumi argues that Nigeria flares more natural gas associated with oil extraction than any other country, with estimates suggesting that of the 3.5 billion cubic feet 100,000,000 m³ of associated gas AG produced annually, 2.5 billion cubic feet 70,000,000 m³, or about 70%, is wasted by flaring 28 . Flaring is done because it is costly to separate commercially viable a ssociated gas from the oil. MNC‟s  operating in Nigeria also extract natural gas for commercial reasons but prefer to extract it from deposits where it is found in isolation as non-associated gas. Thus associated gas is burned off to reduce costs. Gas flaring is however dangerous as it releases toxic components into the atmosphere and large amounts of methane that contributes to global warming 29 . Further, gas flaring has been identified as the major cause of respiratory infections among the Niger Delta people including the farmers as well as the cause of reduced growth potentials of farm crops 30 . Practical action research field survey of gas flaring effects on plants in Ondo, Delta and Rives States revealed that „ there is evidence to   support farmers‟ belief that gas flaring in the study areas adversely affects their crop yields 31 . The effects are of two kinds: direct and indirect. The direct effects are that, gas flaring induces unfavourable environmental conditions, which lowers the potentiality of plants to yield well. Indirect effects involve the predisposition of  plants to higher pests and disease attacks, the attraction of grasshoppers and yam beetles to the area which attack crops, and the enhancement of some weeds which are tolerant to gas flaring. Generally, the nearer plantains and oil palms are to gas flares, the poorer is their plant aspect 32 . Moreover, gas flares have terribly affected the health and livelihood of Delta communities, as they release poisonous chemicals including sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxides, volatile organic compounds like benzene, toluene, xylene and hydrogen sulfide, as well as carcinogens like benzapyrene and dioxins. 33  People in the oil producing regions are exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals from the air, water and soil. Julia Pitkin notes that, in 2010, life expectancy in the Niger Delta region was 49 years which is the lowest in Nigeria although the average life expectancy is only 52. A study done by the US depicted in 2010 that 27 F. Omorodion, “The impact of petroleum refinery on the economic livelihoods of women in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria”.  A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies No. 6,  (2004). 28 A. Olawumi, Environmental considerations in Nigerian agricultural policies, strategies and programmes. Federal Ministry of Environment (Nigeria) Nigeria Strategy Support Programme (NSSP), NSSP 004 , (2009). 29 Ibid. 30  See also, E, Inoni et al, The Effect of Oil Spillage on Crop Yield and Farm Income In Delta State, Nigeria.  Journal of Central European Agriculture. Volume 7 No. 1 41- 48, 2006; D, Kalio and S, Braide, “ E  ffect of gas flaring on plants in a tropical fresh water swamp forest in Nigeria”. Ghana Journal of Science, Vol. 46, (2006) .   31 Ibid. 32 Ibid. 33  I, Brown and E, Tari, An Evaluation Of The Effects Of Petroleum Exploration And Production Activities On The Social Environment In Ogoni Land, Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research Volume 4, Issue 04, April (2015).
Search
Similar documents
View more...
Tags
Related Search
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks
SAVE OUR EARTH

We need your sign to support Project to invent "SMART AND CONTROLLABLE REFLECTIVE BALLOONS" to cover the Sun and Save Our Earth.

More details...

Sign Now!

We are very appreciated for your Prompt Action!

x