Impact of Oil Pollution on Livelihood: Evidence from the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Ikenna V. Ejiba *

Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Simeon C. Onya

Department of Agricultural Economics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Nigeria.

Oluwadamilola K. Adams

National Defence College Abuja, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


This paper highlights the negative impact of oil pollution in Nigeria with particular reference to the Niger Delta region. For a region that provides a majority of Nigeria’s revenue and foreign exchange earnings to bear an exclusive brunt of oil exploration and exploitation is quite an irony. Oil spillage and gas flaring over the years has been at the heart of environmental degradation in the Niger Delta with an average of about 700 spills recorded annually; while gas flaring has continued unabated in spite of been an illegal activity as prescribed by law. In spite of the report(s) by oil companies that majority of oil spills in the region is due to sabotage; neglect on the part of IOC’s and ageing infrastructure have equally contributed to the high incidence of oil spill and gas flaring as experienced in the region. Oil spillage and gas flaring have continued to impact negatively on the people of the region causing destruction of the environment, while causing significant damage on livelihood of mostly farming and fishing communities. This situation has increased the vulnerability of households thereby affecting their wellbeing adversely, with a threat on the region’s future means of sustenance; while governments response and remediation efforts aimed at restoring the regions ecosystem have not being very effective. This paper therefore calls for strengthening of the appropriate federal laws relating to oil exploration to ensure that oil companies operating in the region do so in compliance with proper environmental standards and international best practice.

Keywords: Oil pollution, environment, livelihood, response, Niger Delta.

How to Cite

V. Ejiba, I., C. Onya, S., & K. Adams, O. (2016). Impact of Oil Pollution on Livelihood: Evidence from the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 12(5), 1–12.


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