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Gas Flaring, Environmental Pollution and Abatement Measures in Nigeria, 1969 – 2001

SO Aghalino


The environmental impact of gas flaring on the oil bearing enclave of the Niger Delta, Nigeria, was examined with a view to evaluating the abatement measures put in place by the Federal government of Nigeria and the oil producing companies. Primary and secondary information and data were analyzed during the study. We found that the ecological costs of gas flaring on the inhabitants of the oil bearing region of the Niger Delta in particular and the nation in general are searing. There were strong indications that the implementation of regulations and incentives to abate gas glaring in Nigeria have not gone far enough. Thus, there is need for an upward review of the current tax/charges paid by defaulting companies who still engage in gas flaring. In practical terms, there is need for a change in property rights in Nigeria to encourage sustainable development and community participation. Such participation and community involvement can be effective in enforcing sustainable use of resources where institutions are weak or enforcement is expensive.

Keywords: Degradation, ecological cost, Niger Delta, oil-bearing enclave, gas exploitation.