Evaluation of Some Oil Companies in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: An Environmental Impact Approach (Published)
The Niger Delta region of Nigeria has no doubt played a major role to Nigeria’s growth and acted as the backbone of the Nigerian economy, hence the export of oil and gas resources by the petroleum sector has substantially improved the Nation’s economy over the past five decades. Activities associated with petroleum exploration, development and production operations have local detrimental and significant impacts on the atmosphere, soils and sediments, surface and groundwater, marine environment and terrestrial ecosystems in the Niger delta. The Niger Delta consists of diverse ecosystems of mangrove swamps, fresh water swamps, rainforest and is the largest wetland in Africa and among the ten most important wetland and marine ecosystems in the world, but due to oil pollution caused by exploration, the area is now characterized by contaminated streams and rivers, forest destruction and biodiversity loss, in general the area is ecological wasteland. This affects the livelihood of the indigenous people who depend on the ecosystem services for survival leading to increased poverty and displacement of people. Discharges of petroleum hydrocarbon and petroleum – derived waste streams have caused environmental pollution, adverse human health effects, socioeconomic problems and degradation of host communities in the oil producing states in the Niger Delta region. However, the oil industry located within the region has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country, which is a fact that cannot be disputed but unsustainable oil exploration activities has rendered the Niger Delta region one of the five most severely petroleum damaged ecosystems in the world.