Since petroleum exploration began in Nigeria in 1956, Nigeria has struggled to reach the high levels of agricultural productivity that made it a net exporter of agricultural products in the past. In fact, today, Nigeria spends as much as $23.7 billion annually on food imports alone according to the Oxford Business Group. The reality of this situation is both worrisome and shameful when one considers that Nigeria’s entire budget for the year 2017 was $23.97 billion. Nigeria therefore spends as much money on importing food as it spends on all other aspects of national life such education, defense, health care, and capital expenditures combined. Crude oil has brought immense revenue to Nigeria but its discovery has been both a blessing and a curse when one considers the impact it has had on social life; the number of lives lost to violence, and fires, not to mention the massive environmental pollution resulting in loss of sources of livelihood experienced by the people of the region. The Nigerian government seems to lack the political will to tackle the environmental and developmental problems of the region while the Multinational Oil Companies, riding on the indifferent attitude of government, carry out their activities without adhering to the principles of best practices. The people, especially the youths, have taken their destinies into their own hands, resorting to sabotage and violence to get a share of “the national cake”. Using 760 recorded oil spills which occurred at Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) installations in the Niger Delta, this study highlights the history, human, and environmental effects of petroleum exploration in Nigeria. As well, this study shows the extent of the problem created by the oil industry and ultimately provides an insight into how these problems can be understood and tackled using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tools. The study advocates for a collective tripartite effort from the Nigerian government, Multinational Oil Companies, and host communities to develop an oil spill management plan through the integration of GIS and Remote Sensing tools and processes which are very useful in early warning of oil spills, determining location and trajectory of oil spills, and identifying hotspots and changes in land use. The results will show that with the right attitude and political will, there are methods and processes which, if adopted, can make pollution (something that has plagued and brought untold hardship to the people of the region) a thing of the past.
|Commitee:||Odemerho, Francis, Grossman, Michael|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 81/7(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Militant, Niger Delta, Nigerian government, Oil spills, Shell, Valdalization|
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