Natural resources are material provided by nature. Oil and gas are among the various resources produced by nature. They are used by human to satisfy their need such as transportation, cooking, electricity power supply and others.
Olojoba (2009), stated that gas flaring is the burning of natural gas during oil during exploitation and it has been a major problem in the Niger Delta since the discovery of crude oil in 1956. Gases that are flared are produced as by-product in association with oil during production. Oil and gases are produced in the process of refining of crude oil and are transported to flow station through flow pipe for separation into various component. This could be useful as petrol, looking gas, kerosene and diesel, etc. (Chijoke, 2012).
Mike (2012), stated that aggregate of gas and particulate matter from burning oil have begun to alter the world’s climate system as well as implicating human health, agricultural productivity, ecosystem and social infrastructure. Pollution due to the oxide of nitrogen and sulphus as well as lead in fuel, contributes significantly to cause lung cancer, asthma and other dangerous and deadly diseases. This in turn posed serious threat to the socio-economic activities of various oil producing communities since the subsequent impact of oil exploitation on human health has resulted to slow down in business and other activities due to ill health of most inhabitants of the regions.
The environmental impact of petroleum is often negative because it is toxic to almost all forms of life and it is toxic to almost all forms of life and its extraction fuels climate change petroleum, commonly referred to as oil, is closely linked to virtually all aspect of present society especially for transportation and heating for both homes and for commercial and industrial activities (Prasad and Kamari, 2015).
Previous studies have focused mainly on oil exploitation and gas flaring activities and its environmental impacts in Nigeria especially oil producing states but none have laid emphasis on the socio-economic impact of crude oil exploitation in Warri and its environ. This study therefore seeks to fill the gap that exist in literature on the topic under consideration.
Since the discovery of oil in Oloibiri in 1956, the attendant problems of oil exploitation and exploration cannot be overlooked. Oil exploitation has not only developed the region but has also affected the socio-economic activities of the people since their source of livelihood has been destroyed during oil exploitation activities. The environment is also threatened and constantly degraded. The exploitation of natural resources is the use of natural resources for economic growth, of sometimes with a negative connotation of accompanying environmental degradation (Cronin, 2009). It started to emerge on an industrial scale in the 19th century as the extraction and processing of raw materials (such as in mining, steam power, and machinery) developed much further than it had in pre-industrial eras. During the 20th century, energy consumption rapidly increased.
Today, about 80% of the world’s energy consumption is sustained by the extraction of fossils fuels, which consists of oil, coal and gas (Planas, 2012). Another non –renewable resource that is exploited by human’s, is the sub-soil minerals such as precious metals that are mainly used in the production of industrial commodities. As the world population rises and economic growth occurs, the depletion of natural resources influenced by the unsustainable extraction of raw material becomes an increasing concern (Mcnicoll, 2007).
The effects of the exploitation of natural resources in the local community of a developing country are exhibited in the impact from the Warri Refinery in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. After the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), Seplat, Nigeria Limited, Nigerian AGIP Oil Company Ltd (NAOC), Chevron Nigerian Plc and other multi-natural oil companies entered into Warri to exploit crude oil, the economy of the indigenous people’s boomed. Although their quality of life has improved, initially disputes are common among the local terms of land rights and who should be getting one benefits from the mining project. The consequences of environmental degradation explains the potential negative effects from the exploitation of natural resources. This is especially the case of crude oil mining in Warri.
When a mining company enters a developing country to extract raw materials, advocating the advantages of the industry’s presence and minimizing the potential negative effects, they gain the co-operation of the local people who are ignorant of the negative effects of oil exploitation. Advantageous factors are primarily in economic development, so services that the government could not provide such as health centers, police departments and schools can be established (Pedro, 2015).
However, with economic development, money becomes a dominant subject of interest. This can bring about major conflicts that a local community (such as Warri) in a developing country (Like Nigeria) has never dealt with before. These conflicts emerge by a change to more egocentric views among the locals influential by consumerist values (Pegg, 2001; Weber-Fahr, et al, 2015).
The resulting oil pollution includes toxic contamination of the natural water supply for communities along the Warri River, causing wide spread killing of aquatic life. When a mining company ends a project after extracting the raw materials from an area of a developing country (Like Nigeria, Libya etc), the local people are left to manage with the environment damage done to their community and the long run sustainability of the economic benefits stimulated by the mining company’s presence becomes a concern (Bray, 2015; Brereton and Forbes, 2014).
It is against the background that this study is carried out to examine the socio-economic impacts of the petroleum industry on Warri and its environs.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
Oil exploitation in recent times has posed serious threat to the socio-economic activities of various oil producing communities especially in Warri. These socio-economic activities ranges from trading, farming activities, to various businesses. It is of no doubt today that, oil exploitation has hindered socio-economic growth in various oil producing areas (community) since most people depend on the natural resources for their source of survival and major means of livelihood. Also the exploitation of oil in Warri have negative socio-economic impact leading to housing problems, increase in crime rate in the core city, health issues, educational decay and insecurity as a result of various conflict that emanate from oil exploitation activities especially among the youths.
Oil exploitation and gas flaring activities have implication on human health, agricultural productivities, ecological system and social infrastructures (Olorunda et al, 2007). Generally there is evidence of global warming through heat wave resulting from oil exploitation activities such as gas flaring. Petrochemical industry has been known for releasing toxic substance into the environment and this have led to serious health diseases, bronchitis, irritation of eyes, brain damage, and nervous system (Olojoba, 2009). He further added that gas flaring increases the rate of deterioration of material such as fading away of paint in building, damage of concrete structures and causing corrosion of iron roofing sheet.
Many of the same problems associated with natural petroleum exist with waste oil. When waste oil (in form of motor oil) from vehicles drips out from engines over streets and roads the oil travels into the water table bringing with it such toxins as Benzene. This poisons both soil and drinking water. Run off from storms carries waste oil into rivers and oceans, poisoning them as well (U.S.E.P.A, 2015).
Oil exploration and exploitation has been on-going for several decades in the Nigeria Delta. It has had impacts on the environment in the region and has adversely affected people inhabiting that region. The Niger Delta region especially Warri and its environs consists of diverse ecosystems of mangrove swamps, fresh water swamps, rainforest and is the largest wetland in Africa and among the ten (10) most important and marine ecosystems in the world (Bray, 2015), but due to oil pollution the area is now characterized by contaminated streams and rivers, forest destruction and biodiversity loss in general, the area is an ecological wasteland. This affects the livelihood of the indigenous people who depend on the ecosystem services for survival leading to increased poverty and displacement of people. The oil industry located within this region has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country which is a fact that cannot be disputed but rendered the Niger Delta region one of the five (5) most severe petroleum damage ecosystem in the world.
The problems associated with oil exploitation as summarized by Olojoba (2009) include; pollution, environmental degradation, damage to farm produce, loss of farmlands, economic hardship, among others. This problems have continued to affect the inhabitants of Warri and its environs especially their source of livelihood and socio-economic life. This study is therefore conducted to address the aforementioned problem(s) to the problems associated with resources exploitation and its socio-economic impact on the study area.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The main aim of this study is to examine the socio-economic impacts of the petroleum industry on Warri and its environs.
However, the specific objectives are to;
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The following null hypothesis will be tested in this study in due course;
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study is to find possible solution of reducing gas flaring within Warri community during oil exploitation activities. The rate in which the associated gas has been flared within the area, if not property checked will be worsen and it will continually give rise to socio-economic problems and environmental degradation.
It will also help to enlighten and create the awareness to the general public area about some disease that are associated with oil exploitation and some measures to check the spread of the disease and the health of the people living around the refinery on the better ways of preventing themselves and safe guarding their properties.
1.6 STUDY AREA
The study area: Warri, Delta State is located in the South-South Geo-Political zone of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.
1.6.1 Location and size
Warri is one of the most important towns in Delta state, located in the south-south part of Nigeria. Warri is located between latitudes 50 301N to 50 551N of the equator and longitudes 50 291E to 50 481E of the Greenwich meridian. It is situated 30 miles or 48km upstream from the port of Forcados and at the terminus of road from Sapele and Ughelli. It has a navigable channel of water front of about 61 meters. The region is between 300-400 meters above sea level and 96km north of Benin City. As a major industrial city in Delta State, on the Niger-Delta region bounded by Warri north in the northern part of the state, in the west by Warri-southwest in the east by Sapele LGA, while in the south by Burutu Local Government area. The area forms part of the Warri-Effurun industrial axis in Delta State. Warri is now over 307.8km2 (Efe, 2002).
The location and size of the study area is such that favours oil exploitation activities and man has through his various human and anthropogenic activities (resources exploitation) destroyed the natural environment.
1.6.2 Relief and Drainage
Warri and its environs cover an area of approximately 307.8km2 (Efe, 2002) with an indicating topography that is characterized by lowlands between 3-6m above sea level. The swampy nature of the topography hinders the flow of accumulated water formed by rains. This makes run off during the rainy season almost impossible leading to flood in most cases. There are creeks in the area such as the Tori creek, Warri creek, and the major river, Warri River which is a tributary of the Focardos River which eventually discharge into the Atlantic Ocean (Efe, 2002).
Consequently, oil exploitation activities especially oil companies have through their effluent discharged polluted the rivers and streams in the study area which most of the inhabitants depends on for their source of livelihood and has in turn hindered the socio-economic development of the study area.
1.6.3 Geology and soil characteristics
Warri is situated within the Nigeria delta region of Nigeria which has the Agbada, Akata and Benin formation. The rocks found are of sedimentary rock type, silty clay and sand clay and sand to a top layer of 4-6m. This is followed by a thick (up to 17m) layer and silt at top but coarse and pebbly at the depth (Okoye et al, 1987). Warri has a flat terrain of about 4m above sea level and located at the Shore of Warri River. The area is also characterized by hydro orphic soils, which is a mixture of coarse, alluvial and colluvial deposits (Okoye et al, 1987 and Efe, 2002). The Warri River and creeks that leads to rivers Forcads and Excravos drain the area too. The closeness to water encourages the equatorial climate which in turn determines the increase in rainfall, leading to increased underground water and infiltration of water into the soil i.e. flooding which cover most of the roads during the rainy season. The soil has a low acidic level making it fairly rich in nutrients.
Currently, oil exploitation activities in the study area has posed serious threat to the natural soil and has in turn lead to low agricultural productivity which has hindered the socio-economic development of the study area.
1.6.4 Climate and Vegetation
Warri is characterized by tropical equatorial climate according to Koppen classification of 1918. Warri is characterized by two major seasons namely, the rainy (wet) season and the dry season. The climate study area is usually described in terms of its elements such as rainfalls, temperature, humidity, solar radiation, evaporation, etc. with the low flat topography of the area; the climate of Warri is mainly a function of longitudinal location and nearness to the sea. The area experiences the southwest wind which originates from the Atlantic Ocean during the rainy season. The rainy season lasts from April to October which is a period of seven (7) months. There is however, a break in the rainy season by August (August break) after which it resumes and the rainfall becomes stronger.
The dry season (harmattan) is short and starts from November to March. During this period, the area experiences the North-east trade wind that comes from Sahara desert between December and January. The effect of the short period of the harmattan is minor and heavy down pour often occurs in the heart of the dry season.
Warri experiences high annual rainfall of over 3,000mm, which is distributed throughout the year. Temperature is uniformly high with an annual means of 280c and very low daily range of 300c with relative humidity as high as 85%.
The natural vegetation is of rain forest with swamp forest in some areas. The forest is rich in timber trees, palm trees well as fruit trees; unfortunately, much of the rain forestry has been destroyed as a result of its farming, commercial lumbering and urbanization.
Nwajei (1997) observed that the climate of the area has great influence on its vegetation. The vegetation in the area comprises of mangrove swamp, fresh water swamp and rainforest.
In recent times, oil exploitation activities in the study area have leveled the natural vegetal cover to a secondary re-growth and have destroyed the natural environment and the socio-economic life of the inhabitants of the study area.
The population of Warri has increased over the years. Warri metropolis is one of the rapidly growing cities in Nigeria with a population rising rapidly from 19,526 in 1933, 55, 256 in 1963 280,000 in 1980, 500,000 in 1991 to 632,243 in 2006 population census exercise (annual; abstract of statistics, 2008) and estimated at 730,000 by 2015 (Tamuno, 2009) it has a high population density that is concentrated in the core areas of the city. These areas includes, Warri Sapele Road, Agbassa, Okere, Okumagba Avenue, Igbudu, Iyara, Jakpa and Airport road, Udu and Ekpan.
The rise in population also implies the rise in the numbers of commuters that needs to be carried by transporters which give rise to drivers always on the rush through the use of excessive speed in order to have several trips per-day. The effect of the use of such high speed is road traffic accidents.
Furthermore, this rapid increase could be attributed to the industrial activities in the area. Also the high rate of industrialization in the study area through oil exploitation activities have in turn degraded the natural environment and had a negative impact on their socio-economic activities and other socio-economic welfare.
1.6.6 Socio-Economic Activities
Social infrastructure exists in the area. There are lots of primary and secondary schools, College of Education and Petroleum Training Institute also exist in the area. There are different categories of roads and water channels including Warri Port which exchanges transportation in the hinterland with the outside world and aid the exchange and distribution of imported and exported goods and services. Airport also exists which serves the people in the area. Particularly the various oil companies, communication systems in the area include post and telecommunication offices as well as radio and television houses. Tourism and recreation activities are also available in various schools, hotels and clubs, stadium and there are also post offices.
Most of the oil companies are located in Warri, Effurun industrial axis. They includes Chevron, Agip, Total, Halliburton, Panalpina, etc. there is also the Delta Steel Company (DSC) which produces steel at Aladja. Again in the area, there are some surveying and civil engineering construction firms like Niger cat, Setraco, Geosite surveys etc. There are also lot of prominent commercial buildings which comprises of banks, hotels insurance firms, super market, and restaurants interwoven with these commercial outlets in trading activities of local waxes and manufactured goods. The markets include main market, Udu market, Effurun market, Pessu market, etc.
The nature of socio-economic activities in the city has overall effects on the way transporters organized their daily trips and most cases part of the roads have been blocked by parked buses trying to carry market women thus leading to accidents as a result of other roads users trying to manage the other portions of the road.
Although, the various multinational oil companies have developed the communities, nevertheless, these oil companies have through their effluent discharged and emission of poisonous gases polluted the natural environment in the study area which most of the inhabitants depends on for their source of livelihood and has in turn hindered the socio-economic development of the study area.
The scope of this study is restricted to the socio-economic impact of resources exploitation: A case study of crude oil mining in Warri and its Environs. The project is also restricted to some selected areas of the study. These include the fifteen communities/quarters that make up Warri Metropolis: Uvwie, Udu, Airport road, Osubi, Jakpan, Ekpan, Deco road, PTI road. Okumagba Avaune, Okere, Ugborikoko, Ugborioke, Esisi Road, Cyril Oil field road and Ubeji.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following key terms will be defined below for clarify and simplification:-
simplicity especially something not carefully or expertly made.