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  • NigeriaWorldToday [Home] > Articles on Nigeria > As Demand for Petroleum goes into Extinction by 2040, will Niger Deltans go with it?

    As Demand for Petroleum goes into Extinction by 2040, will Niger Deltans go with it?


    Niger Delta facing land, water and air pollutions
    Nigerian Niger Delta facing land, water and air pollutions from oil exploration

    As it has been signaled that demand for petroleum will die out by 2040 and with irreversible environmental degradation and hazards to human health from the oil exploration, will Nigeria Niger Deltans not go with it?

    Nigeria oil best buyers – China, U.S.A, UK, and other countries of the world are queuing up month by month for complete ban of diesel and petrol engine vehicles.

    While these nations are planning to make their airs as clean and save as possible by banning petrol and diesel engine vehicles, the air and land of South South Nigeria is becoming more and more dangerous to lives day by day.

    Bans of Petrol and Diesel Engine Vehicles and Production of Electric Cars

    China and USA are the present world’s largest car markets with 25.53 million and 17.55 million cars and light vehicle respectively sold in 2016 alone according to industry analysts JATO.

    The two major buyers of Nigeria oil are researching on the production of electric vehicles and similar equipment. China is formulating a timetable to stop production and sales of traditional energy ­vehicles”, according to a report from the state news agency Xinhua.

    As a gradual step for total eradication of gas-powered vehicles, production and sales of cars power by hybrid systems has been on in China for some years. Hybrid cars are vehicles powered by both electricity and fuel.

    And since 2015, 850,000 electric vehicles have been produced and sold all over the world with china having 336,000 of them (about 40% of the global sales).

    UK government announced in July this year that complete ban of petrol and diesel engine vehicles will take effect by 2040. And even hybrid cars will not be spared.

    While Nigeria oil-buyer countries are desperate to grab the lead in the world race to design and produce electric cars, both to clean up their polluted cities and secure a leading position in the car industry of the future, Nigeria is busy looking for the way to explore more of her oil which demand will die out soon, at the risk of health and live of Nigerians in oil-producing states.

    Pollution, Environmental Degradation and Health Hazards and Threat to Lives in Niger Delta

    A research conducted by University of St. Gallen, Switzerland shows that oil spills double the infant mortality rate and the effects of oil spillage and pollutions are fairly uniform across locations and socio-economic backgrounds in Niger Delta.

    Data collected by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency shows 6,637 oil spills from 2005 to 2015.

    Crude oil consists of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights. When crude oil or other petroleum products leak into the environment, the different compounds may evaporate into the air, be absorbed by the soil, or enter ground and surface water. Oil spills also often lead to fires, which release respirable particulate matter (PM) into the air.

    Human exposure occurs mainly through skin contact with soil and water; consumption of contaminated drinking water, crops, or fish; or inhalation of vaporized product, or PM and partly burned hydrocarbons produced by fires.

    The research report shows that oil spills during pregnancy have no effect on infant and neonatal mortality rates but the ones before. In contrast, oil spills prior to conception lead to a strong increase in infant mortality. They increase the neonatal mortality rate by 38 deaths per 1,000 live births.

    Apart from the thousands of infant dying at birth, the research also shows that oil spills impair the health of surviving children. It increases the incidence of low weight-for-height, notably in the first year of life.

    Precisely, oil spills prior to conception killed around 16,000 infants within the first month of their life in 2012 which 70 percent of them, i.e., around 11,000 infants, would have survived in the absence of oil spills. This number of mortality have high tendency of increasing year after year as oil spills increases yearly in Nigeria.

    Apart from infant mortality larger percentage of Niger Deltans are at the risk of having life-threatening cancer from benzene-contaminated water and food stuffs.

    In summary, the following points prove lives might become history in Niger Delta if measures are not taken to check oil spills and other environment problems from oil exploration:

    1. High rate of infant mortality (about 16,000 recorded in 2012 alone and increasing yearly).
    2. Higher rates of spontaneous abortion in women.
    3. High rates of abnormal sperm characteristics in men.
    4. Damage of livelihood resources, such as diminished yields from degraded agricultural land, fishing grounds or wildlife habitat.
    5. High increase in various cancer cases.
    6. High mental stress.

    The Nigerian Oil Spill Monitor reports that sabotage or theft is the cause for 75 percent of the oil spills and oil companies are responsible for just 15%. No cause is reported for the remaining 10 percent. However, the oil companies may have strongly influenced this information as they misreport the true cause and give often incomplete stories if the oil spill is their fault.

    There are some part of Niger Delta where the only living thing you can find is endangered human being. Every other creatures like lizards, rats, insects, frogs and the rest have died out.

    If all these are the case, is Nigeria Niger Delta not at the risk of dying out with petroleum by the time oil becomes valueless in the world market?

    Give your comment below.


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