Nigeria is a signatory to the Universal declaration on human rights, Article 3 of which guarantees “the right to life……. and security of person”, while Article 5 states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
In failing to deal with the environmental issues of environmental degradation in the Niger Delta Region, chief of which are oil spillage and gas flaring, the Federal government of Nigeria is in clear violation of the fundamental Human Rights of the people of the region.
Oil exploitation and exploration activities continues to rob the people of the Niger Delta of valuable lives and livelihoods, as they are unable to fish their waters, farm their soil and are forced breathe unclean air which causes them to deal with strange diseases.
The city of Port Harcourt, for example, has been forced to surrender to the soot situation, while virtually every other part of the Niger Delta has to deal with the effects of gas flaring and oil spills in varying degrees.
The Niger Delta, which used to be the largest mangrove forest region in Africa, has become a shadow of itself, having almost lost all of its rich variety of both land and aquatic wildlife.
It is estimated that while European Union (which produces 1.5 million barrels of crude per day) experienced 10 incidences of oil spills in 40 years, Nigeria (whose production has fluctuated between 1.4 million and 2.2 million barrels per day) recorded 9,343 cases within 10 years.
The country has witnessed a slow poisoning of her waters and the destruction of vegetation and agricultural land by oil spills which occur during petroleum operations.
But since the inception of the oil industry in Nigeria, more than fifty years ago, there has been no concerned and effective effort on the part of the government, let alone the oil operators, to control environmental problems associated with their exploration activities.
SING NIGERIA will continue to demand that the relevant agencies of the Federal and State Governments, take concrete steps to:
- Put an end to gas flaring and oil spillage in the Niger Delta.
- Institute the assessment and remediation of polluted lands immediately.
- Compel the oil companies to be more responsible in their exploitation and exploration activities.
- Carry out a comprehensive research into the health effects of the oil industry on the people of the Niger Delta region.