Entrepreneur Raises Alarm Over The Havoc of Oil Explorations in Niger Delta
- An entrepreneur, Azibaola Robert, has decried the activities of oil exploration in the Niger Delta
- He said that the region and others like it are in dire straits due to the activities of oil companies
- He stated that there is a need for concerted efforts to fight environmental degradation in the region
Entrepreneur and founder of Zeetin Engineering, Azibaola Robert, has revealed the impact of people’s activities on the environment.
He said humanity might face severe problems if some activities are not curtailed.
He added that his assertion was informed by the discoveries he and his colleagues made during an expedition into the deep rainforests of the Niger Delta region in 2021 under the auspices of his foundation, ‘Expedition Into Deep Forests,’ an environment-sensitization and non-profit organisation.
He stated this while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Azibaola Robert’s 14-day Expedition Into Deep Forests: An Assessment of the Environmental Conditions of the Niger Delta Rainforest’ during the seventh Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Association for Environmental Impact Assessment of Nigeria (AEIAN) held at the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) conference hall, Abuja, on Tuesday, 17th October 2023.
The situation in Niger Delta is dire, Robert reveals
Robert said that the situation in the Niger Delta region, one of the vital rainforests we have in the world from where the oxygen we breathe is produced, is dire because there have been mind-boggling explorations and production of crude oil which have been over the years become the dominant source of environmental pollution to lands and waters, flora and fauna. To say that the environment of the Niger Delta is in dire straits is an understatement. It is exploited and devastated.
The environmental situation in the Niger Delta region is worse, according to Robert, due to “frequent massive oil spills resulting from negligence, or old and rusty pipelines, and intentional sabotage of crude lines for purposes of securing maintenance contracts and compensation by communities, mind-boggling deforestation for timber, firewood, canoe carving, and farming.” He added that issues of heavy rains “have caused soil erosions, flooding, and rising sea levels.
“The cumulative result of all these is the permanent effect of loss of biodiversity in the region, which is the main cause of Climate Change in our world,” he said.
It is for this reason that Robert and his team visited deep forests of the Niger Delta rainforests in late 2021 for on-the-spot assessment and shared their experience at the public lecture. He
Robert, who had his early childhood in the Niger Delta community of Otakeme in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, reminisced about witnessing the early stages of oil exploration in the region.
“I knew then how the Niger Delta rainforests environment was,” he said. “It was a beauty to behold; a most serene environment I have beholden. Full of life, varieties of fishes, innumerable species of trees, marshlands of various wildlife, beautiful and variegated birds, etc. It was a region of endless canopies of trees filled with majestic snakes, roaming, roaring animals, food, and medicine on the spot while in the forest.
14-day exploration, an eye opener to activities of oil exploration
It is against this background that he and his colleagues undertook a 14-day expedition to find out what has happened to the region’s environment and to tell the world what the actual situation is.
The team’s experience was disturbing, says Robert, the team leader. “We realized that most of their pristine forests had been depleted by wood loggers for personal gains. Timber logging is a big business that has become the bane of the people.
Bayelsa State and local and international media organizations embarked on an enlightenment program in some communities to serve as a benchmark for other communities, NGOs, and government agencies.
Nigeria prospects 30 billion oil barrels in new drilling in Borno
Legit.ng reported that President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Wadi-B oil and gas exploration drive in the Jere Local government area of Borno State on Tuesday, May 23, 22, intending to add 30 billion barrels of oil to Nigeria’s reserves in the next seven years.
Buhari said at the virtual event that it marks the formal resumption of physical activities and the exploration of crude oil and gas in the Chad Basin area.
According to the president, the search for oil began in the area in 1976, while sub-commercial gas was found in 1985.