Nigerian youths / Non-Profit Organization Present Resolution on the discovery of Oil in Lagos
Youths, environmentalists, civil society groups, government representatives and the media attended the Oil in Lagos: What’s in it for the Planet workshop organized by Bailiff Africa, which held at The Center for Management and Development, Magodo, Lagos State, Nigeria on Friday April 11, 2014. The workshop which is in line with Bailiff Africa’s mission to foster the development of successful environmental projects and organizations in African contexts through the provision of comprehensive environmental education and resources to young people, was convened to address the environmental issues posed by the discovery of crude oil within Lagos State.
Four speakers from a diversity of relevant backgrounds made presentations on the topic, and this led to a lively conversation with the participants. The speakers include Nnimmo Bassey of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Engr. Titilope Fadipe representing the Commissioner of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Dr. Adeolu Olusodo and Mr. Ayodele Fanida. These presentations were followed by apt interrogations from the workshop participants.
The following are some points covered in presentations from the workshop:
- Oil exploration causes loss of land for agriculture, pollution of the ecosystem, forceful land acquisition by government and displacement of individuals.
- Over 10 million barrels of crude oil have been spilled since its discovery and exploration in Nigeria.
- The discovery of crude oil in Lagos will not be exempt from the usual occurrences associated with the discovery of oil in any region.
- The impact of oil exploration on the environment depends on the stage of the process, size and complexity, nature and surrounding as well as the effectiveness of the planning.
- The impact of oil exploration has various societal impacts including but not restricted to: human, socio-economic, atmospheric, aquatic and terrestrial.
- Our over dependence on crude oil is critical to the problem of over consumption and therefore, exploitation.
- The collective welfare of humans and other species is more important than the rights of a single individual.
- Oil spillages do not go away, irrespective of the amount of ‘clean-up’ that follows.
- Technological advancements do not nullify the potential long term damage being done to the environment.
The workshop also resolved that false solutions to environmental catastrophes caused by oil exploitation exist and include carbon capture and underground storage.
The workshop resolved as follows:
- There is need for more effective knowledge-sharing on local, national and international levels.
- On the discovery of Oil in Lagos, the Lagos state government should always call on stakeholders in the event of any policy review issues relating to safety, advocacy and environmental waste.
- Creating a sustainable environment is our collective civic responsibility hence environmental awareness needs to be created to urge youths to be more innovative in finding green solutions to environmental issues.
- Both government and private interests must constitute an integral part of the development process before the exploration of oil commences in Lagos state.
- Resources must be mobilized to mitigate the negative impacts of oil exploration, thus there is need for serious commitment from the government, oil companies and host communities to ensure that a sustainable environment is left behind.
- There is an urgent need to curb our dependence on fossil fuel.
- Oil has been a blessing as well as a pitfall for Nigeria and continues to pose challenges to sustainable development.
- Enforcement of policies is crucial; as a result, policy makers need to be up to par in order to mitigate the adverse effects of oil exploration.
- Government should empower the existing parastatals in charge of the oil sector as well as encourage Stakeholders Management Committees.
Bailiff Africa recognizes that a healthy and sustainable environment is important to our citizens, our economy, and our future. The organization continues to develop programs aimed at solving environmental problems in Africa.