The study focus on the public health risk associated with oil and gas in Nigeria. The importance of crude oil has come at a great cost. In many developing economies of the world, it can be described as the bitter-sweet crude for its double-edged impacts on the welfare, wellness and wellness of the people. Agitations and restiveness remain characteristic features of Niger Delta following claims of exploitation and neglect of the local population by the multinationals. Since living near oil spills and crude oil production sites is an environmental stressor occasioned by exposure to both chemical pollutants and physical menace that are all detrimental to health, cumulative risk assessment CRA is proposed as a viable approach for a comprehensive understanding of the size of this problem. Survey research method was adopted for the study and relevant information about corruption and social media, and questionnaire were analyzed using the graphical and percentage method with the aid of SPSS version 21. The DPH neighborhood health investigation concluded that the emissions from the AllenCo oil operations at the facility were associated with the reported health effects by community members and that conditions were unlikely to resolve without the company modifying or curtailing facility operations.
- Background of the study
As the global demand for oil has skyrocketed during recent decades (Nashawi, Malallah, & Al-Bisharah, 2010; Owen, Inderwili, & King, 2010), the commodity has increased in valuable. Often referred to as black gold (Parsons, 2010), crude oil is highly desired by many nations. Developed nations, which represent the largest consumers of oil (Amodeo, 2006), are comfortably removed from the havoc that oil discovery, drilling, and transport causes to the regions where oil is extracted. The attention that oil spills receive in developed countries is significant, but the damage caused by these spills, such as the one that affected the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2010, is disproportionate to the pollution that routinely effects the Niger Delta (Safina, 2011). Oil discovery has been viewed by poor countries as a foundation for economic and national development (Dell, 2004). In light of this perception, Dell (2004) noted, it is not surprising that many have placed their hopes in resource exploitation as the means for lifting out of poverty a large proportion of the 2.7 billion people (nearly half of the world’s population) who live on less than US $2 per day. (p. 38) Although oil has brought economic development to some nations, most oil-rich regions, such as Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, remain impoverished, corrupt, and underdeveloped (Dell, 2004). Nations rich in natural oil and mineral resources typically have more income disparities and higher rates of poverty, mortality, and malnutrition than countries that are not dependent on such resources (Dell, 2004). In addition, oil-rich countries with monoproduct economies have higher rates of government corruption, lower levels of education, substandard health care systems, larger sovereign debts, elevated military spending, and higher incidences of civil war (Kennedy & Tiede, 2013). With population of over 170 million people, Nigeria no doubt is Africa’s most populous black nation (Aminu, 1997). Again, Nigeria is ranked the highest producer of oil in Africa. Such ranking could have made sense today but for the resource curse phenomenon as advanced by pioneering works of Mahdavy (1970), Karl (1997), Auty (1997); Collier and Hoeffler (1998), Ross (2012), Morrison (2007); Cuaresma et al. (2011); and McGuirk (2013). It is simply “the damaging effects of a country’s natural resource wealth on its economic, social, or political well-being” (Sachs and Warner, 2001). Oil exploration and exploitation is the driving force of Nigeria’s economy with its attendant defects, one of which is the destruction of ecosystem (Bakare and Fawehinmi 2010). Nigeria desires a growth pattern that is aligned with sustainable ecological development. The problem of environmental degradation due to expansion of oil production activities, the depletion of ozone layer, the emission of CO2 and other poisonous gas substances on people’s health is the most challenging problem of the world today (Gul’nar et al., 2019, Anyalechi et al., 2019, Bassey 2001 and Bekturganova, et al. 2019). The question is to what extent can Nigeria talk of sustainable development in the face of avowed contradictions of oil operations in Niger Delta. Sustainable Development according to (Marop et al., 2015; UNESCO, 2015; Dernback, 2002; Ugoh, 2008) is defined as “the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainable national Development is a process of improving the range of opportunities that will enable individual humans and communities to achieve their aspirations and full their potential in a manner that sustains natural resources and the environment of the future generation (Abubakar 2013). An economy functions in the ecosystem. The connections between oil abundance and low levels of development are because oil discovery “often fuels internal corruption and conflict, encourages unethical corporate behavior, leads to the violation of human rights, and results in environmental degradation” (Dell, 2004, p 39). The human health consequences of oil-related 3 environmental degradation should be an interest of lawmakers and government officials. For example, oil pollution in the Delta region contaminates sources of drinking water and agricultural fields, which causes inhabitants to consume contaminated food and water (Jernelov, 2010). Some of the acute effects of exposure to crude oil include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and respiratory problems (Solomon & Janssen, 2010). More serious, long-term effects of exposure include cancer, respiratory diseases, skin diseases, and death (Ana et al., 2009). The health problems caused by oil pollution can take multiple forms, including air pollution from gas flaring (Abdul-Wahab, Ali, Sardar, & Irfan, 2012), water and land pollution from spills and pipeline damage (Abdus-Salam, Adekola, & Apata, 2010; Adedeji & Adetunji, 2011; Nduka & Orisakwe, 2011), and mental health problems from the stress caused by physical and economic hardships that result from living in oil polluted regions (Gill, Picou, & Ritchie, 2011; Grattan et al., 2011; Shreve, 2011). The Niger Delta has been the site of intense environmental degradation since the oil boom of the 1970s (Akpomuvie, 2011). Although research exists on the environmental consequences of oil extraction and transport in the region (Jibiri & Amakom, 2010; Linden & Palsson, 2013; Nduka & Orisakwe, 2011), few researchers have investigated the consequences of these effects on the health of local inhabitants (Ordinioha & Brisibe, 2013). Research regarding the health consequences of oil-related environmental degradation is largely limited to accidents that have occurred in developed nations (Grattan et al., 2011; Palinkas, 2012; Shreve, 2011)—the effects of which may differ significantly from those in impoverished parts of the world.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problems that I explored in this study were the detrimental physical and mental health consequences of environmental degradation among human communities in Nigeria. As the demand for oil continues to increase throughout the world, greed fuels its discovery and extraction, despite the environmental or human health implications. The literature on the effects of oil discovery, extraction, and transport in the Niger Delta has focused on environmental consequences; few researchers have studied health implications. Most of the available research pertaining to the effects on human health from oil accidents is limited to developed regions of the world, where regulations and fast, effective cleanup measures offer local residents far more protection against the dangers of oil pollution. Through this study, I addressed the gap in the literature, provided a foundation for future research on the health consequences of oil pollution in the Niger Delta, and drew attention to the problem. Further, the study gave a voice to the marginalized inhabitants of the Niger Delta through the exploration of the physical and mental health consequences of oil pollution, as perceived by villagers.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study has one main objective which is sub-divided into general and specific objective; the general objective is to focused on the assessment of public health risk associated with oil and gas production in Nigeria; the specific objectives are;
- To examine the public health risk associated with oil and gas production in Nigeria
- To examine if there is any significant relationship between public health hazard and oil and gas production in Nigeria
- To examine the effect of oil and gas exploration on environmental degradation
- To proffer suggested solution to the identified problem
- RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
- Is there any public health risk associated with oil and gas production in Nigeria?
- Is there any significant relationship between public health hazard and oil and gas production in Nigeria?
- Does oil and gas exploration have any effect on environmental degradation?
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study
H0: There is no significant relationship between public health hazard and oil and gas production in Nigeria
H1: There is a significant relationship between public health hazard and oil and gas production in Nigeria
H0: There is no public health risk associated with oil and gas production in Nigeria
H2: There is a public health risk associated with oil and gas production in Nigeria
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the management of oil and gas companies as the findings will help in management of health risk associated with oil and gas production in the study area. The study will also be of great importance to the federal ministry of environment as the study will help in the amelioration of the health risk associated with oil and gas production in Nigeria. The study will also be of great importance to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a pathfinder to similar topic. The study will also be of great important to students, teachers, academia’s, lecturers and the general public as the findings of this study will contribute to the pool of existing literature on the subject matter and also contribute to knowledge on the subject matter.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers an assessment of public health risk associated with oil and gas production in Nigeria. In the course of the study there are some factors that limit the scope of the study;
AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
- OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERM
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity
A health risk is the chance or likelihood that something will harm or otherwise affect your health. Risk doesn’t mean that something bad will definitely happen
Oil and gas production
Production is the process of extracting the hydrocarbons and separating the mixture of liquid hydrocarbons, gas, water, and solids, removing the constituents that are non-saleable, and selling the liquid hydrocarbons and gas. Production sites often handle crude oil from more than one well.
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.