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EFFECT OF OIL POLLUTION ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC LIFE OF OGONI LAND, RIVER STATE.

CHAPTER ONE 1.1. INTRODUCTION For over five decades, Nigeria continues to experience remarkable increases in operational activities in her oil and gas exploration, exploitation, refining and products marketing (ukoli 2001). The onshore activities centered mainly in the Niger- Delta area, which have generated massive wealth for the nation. It is nationally acknowledged that the natural blessing of this area known for its difficult land terrain of swampy rain and mangrove forest have contributed most to the socio- economic development to the entire country, especially in the area of foreign exchange earnings, provision of job opportunities, physical infrastructure in education, health, communication, power e.t.c. the euphemism crude oil is to Nigeria economy as the Nile is to Egypt appropriately describes the important of this renewable resource to our nation. Behind this glossy fa├žade of financial benefit, however, the industry has created serious health and environmental pollution problems for the country in general and the host communities of the companies in particula9ukoli, 2001). The socio-economic impacts of these activities have been of concern to government regulatory agencies, oil companies as well as the host communities. Since the discovering, over 60 percent of Niger- Delta have been explored, thus Nigeria faces the problem of over exploration of the area, one of the dangers is environmental damages or degradation which has become not only an economic issues but also apolitical and socio one. Oil spillage that occurs in Niger-Delta has been known to cause damage to fauna and flora, hence constitute hazard to human life and activities. Oil production has ad damaging effect on environment of the oil producing region especially Ogoni in River State, through the extent of the damage is subject to dispute. Despite decades of oil production, there surprisingly, little good quality, independent and scientific data on the overall or long term effect of hydro- carbon pollution in the Niger-Delta, yet oil development has clearly and seriously damage the environment and the livelihood of many living in the oil communities. The oil companies operating in Nigeria environment maintain that their activities are conducted to the highest environmental standard, but Nigeria environment law in most respect comparable to their international counterparts are poorly enforce (Ken Saro wiwa, 1960) maintain that the environment in Ogoni has been completely devastated by four decades of reckless oil exploitation or ecological warfare by Shell oil producing company. An ecological war is highly lethal; the more so as it unconventional fauna, the air, rain fall at its feet and finally the land itself die. Crude oil exploration have economic impact in the form of remuneration for economic activities which was disrupted in the process of exploration compensation for economic crops damage, the employment of indigenes of the communities in petroleum activities and allocation of a proportion of oil revenue. The social impacts are in the form of provision of social infrastructure such as roads, health, education at all level at and civic centers Occasional, large oil spill fill fish and agricultural crops and polluted water with serious effects to the communities affected especially on fry or in fresh water swampy zones where spill are contained in a small area. The long term effect of these major pollution incidents regular small spill and effluent deliberately discharge to the environment is largely unevaluated, poorly designed cause away and canal used by the oil industries affect the hydrology of the seasonally flooded fresh water supplied, compensation for such damage is inadequate. Apart from gas pollution, other issues boarding on degradation of the physical environment such as oil spillage, destruction of landscape through oil drilling, laying of pipeline and low level of development of communities where these activities are carried out have generated serious acrimony and protracted crises over the year. Oil communities have grown very restive over lack of adequate compensation for the acquisition and utilization of their ancestral land. It is deeply believed in these communities that their share of the oil revenue, measure by the Federal Government revenue sharing formula and the visible development project programs and infrastructure available in the communities is not commensurate with the level of the environmental degradation, socio-economic dislocation and health hazard ensuring from oil related activities. In ability of successive regime to address these issues to the satisfaction of the indigene of the areas had led to increased violence in various dimensions ranging from vandalization of oil equipments, illegal tapping of fuel pipelines, intra-communal skirmishes, revolts e.t.c. The fatal consequences are quite obvious and evident in Ogoni and Jesse people. However, there are exiting government apparatus for compensation oil producing area. Apart from the federal government revenue allocation formula which is generally applicable, the oil mineral producing Area Development commission (OMPADEC) was establish in 1992 to specifically address the need of the oil communities and promote co-operation between such communities and various oil companies. Whether the resource channeled to these area through these avenue constitute an adequate compensation or get to the grass root is different question altogether. Perhaps, there is the need to deeply re-assess the present magnitude of environmental degradation and socio-economic injustice affecting these communities to have a more holistic view of the situation. This will put the government in a position to determine the appropriate volume of resource and the most suitable form of compensation required to meet the yearning of the people in target oil communities, such as approach will go along way in reconciling vital interest element in oil sector, halt the lingering crises boost oil sector production or revenue generation and foster realization of budgetary projection for the oil sector. 1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The study is focused on the implication of crude oil pollution on socio-economic activities in Ogoniland, specifically; the socio- economic activities addressed in this study are health, employment compensation and agricultural activities in the land. 1.3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The primary purpose of the study is to investigate issues concerning the implication of crude oil pollution on socio- economic activities in Ogoniland, Rivers state. Specifically, the investigation will; i. Determine the implication of crude oil pollution on Agriculture activities in Ogoniland. ii. Identify the implication of crude oil pollution on employment opportunities in Ogoniland. iii. Examine the implication of crude oil pollution on the health of Ogoni people. iv. Ascertain various ways in which crude oil pollution can be compensated 1.4. RESEARCH QUEESTIONS In other to achieve the objective of the study, effort will be made to provide answer to the following research questions. (i) What are the implications of crude oil pollution on agricultural activities in? (ii) What are the implications of crude oil pollution on employment generation in Ogoni land? (iii) Does crude oil pollution have any implication on the health of the Ogoni people? (iv) How does crude oil pollution being compensated to oil producing communities? 1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES Among the hypotheses to be tested include (i) There is no significant relation between crude oil pollution and agricultural activities in Ogoni. (ii) There is no significant relationship between crude oil pollution and health of the Ogoni people. (iii) There is no significant difference between crude oil pollution and unemployment generation in Ogoni. 1.6. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This study will generate some finding and conclusion which will be empirical supported. The finding and conclusion will be useful to; i. Federal government of Nigeria, if they have access to the study, it will guide them to that the implication of crude oil pollution in oil producing communities is very dangerous and also encourage them to adopt measure or policy that would provide a reasonable degree of protection of its ecological human environment from pollution. ii. Oil industries should make that oil operation are carried out in accordance with all local environment legislation in force in Nigeria or with international standard. a. The public as to play its role in preventing the accidents and therefore co-operate in conserving the environment. iii. The study will also be useful to students who may study related issues in future. 1.7. THE SCOPE OF THE SYUDY AND LIMITATION

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