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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2016 Jul;23(13):12880-9. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6864-1. Epub 2016 May 18.

Oil exploitation and its socioeconomic effects on the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Author information

  • 1Department of Agricultural and Animal Health, University of South Africa, Florida Campus, P.O. Box X6, Florida, 1710, South Africa.
  • 2Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
  • 3Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa.
  • 4Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.


The oil exploration and exploitation industry which is majorly centred in the Niger Delta region is without doubt currently the most important earner of foreign exchange to the Nigerian economy. The Niger Delta is home to an extraordinary variety of people; mostly fishers and farmers with a history of rich cultural heritage. However, the region is suffering from devastating oil pollution. Although the effects of oil spill depend on factors such as size or area of spill and geographical location, the socioeconomic and environmental costs of oil production can be extensive; these range from destruction of wildlife, biodiversity loss, air and water pollution, degradation of farmland and damage to aquatic ecosystems. The paper reviews the adverse effects of oil exploitation on the Niger Delta region. It researches the common belief that government and oil multinationals are negatively disposed to the socioeconomic and environmental wellbeing of host communities especially in events of oil spillage. The paper reveals that oil exploitation has increased the rate of environmental degradation and has perpetuated food insecurity as a result of death of fish and crops as well as loss of farm lands and viable rivers for fishing activities leading to loss of livelihood. The paper supports the call for multinationals operating in the region to modernise operating infrastructure and equipment in order to prevent avoidable oil spillages that often lead to community restiveness, and more so, intensification of joint efforts between oil multinationals and government in the capital development of the region is very important.


Host communities; Nigeria; Oil spillage; Pollution; Resource control

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