For The Record: The National Conference 2014 Report of Committee on Environment

Chairman, National Conference


The National Conference 2014

Report of Committee on Environment




Table of Contents


Authentication Page                                                                          3

Committee Membership                                                                    4

Committee Terms of Reference                                                         5

Methodology                                                                                     6

Consultations                                                                                    6

Executive Summary                                                                          7

Introduction                                                                                      10

Section I: Environmental Rights                                                       11

Section II: Environmental Problems, Causes and Responses            14

Section III: Recommendations                                                          26

Conclusion                                                                                        33
































Authentication Page

We, the undersigned, being the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and members of the Committee on Environment do certify that the attached Report of the Environment Committee contains an introduction, which explains the background to the Report, an Executive Summary, the main Report and an Implementation Guide.


We further certify that all the decisions of the Committee were arrived at by consensus of all the members.


























  1. Senator Florence Ita-Giwa – Chairman
  2. Yadoma Bukar Mandara – Deputy Chairman
  3. Chief. Dr Silas Eneyo
  4. Bob Kay Njemanze
  5. Alhaji Sule Iyaji
  6. Nnimmo Bassey (Rev.)
  7. Festus Okoye *
  8. Elder (Dr.) Chris Oseloka Eluemunoh
  9. Prof Chinedum Nwajiuba
  10. Mr. Kyari Bukar *
  11.  Chief John Mamman
  12. Sunday O. Salako
  13. Prof Tunde Samuel
  14. Wai-Ogosu Andah Olu
  15. H.R.H. Ibrahim Yaro
  16. Hajiya Mariya Waziri
  17. Prof Yakubu Ochefu
  18. Umaru Musa Zandam




















Terms of Reference of the Committee on Environment

The Committee was inaugurated on the 17th of April with the following Terms of Reference:

Deliberate and make recommendations on the following

  • Meteorology and Climate Change
  • Illegal Mining Activities
  • Pollution
  • Gas Flaring
  • Protection of Biodiversity
  • Afforestation and Reforestation
  • Flooding /Gully erosion
  • Environmental Degradation
    • Oil Spillage and Desertification
    • Drought
    • Waste Management and Disposal
      • Hazardous/Toxic Wastes
      • Bush Burning
      • Natural Disaster






















To effectively undertake the assignment, the Committee adopted the following framework:

¨      Discuss at Committee Plenary, the broad issues relating to environmental matters in Nigeria

¨      Invite and take presentations from public and private Sectors

¨      Break the Committee to sub-committees that were assigned subject clusters thus:

Þ    Gas Flaring, Pollution and Oil Spillage and Environmental Degradation

Þ    Climate Change, Meteorology, Flooding, Gully/Coastal Erosion and Natural Disasters

Þ    Afforestation, Drought, Bush Burning, Desertification and Protection of Biodiversity

Þ    Waste Management and Mining

¨      Utilise a template for reporting the sub-committee assignment that will identify the issues for discussion based on facts and existing scenarios, make suggestions on what should be done and indicate constitutional/legal implications of such suggestions




In the course of its sittings, the Environment Committee received presentations and documents from the following:

  1. Federal Ministry of Environment – a delegation of Departmental Directors and a former UNDP Consultant
  2. Bio Tech – a company that has developed enzyme based solution to offshore oil spill clean-up
  3. Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) – presentation on the cultivation of climate resilient sweet sorghum to tackle energy needs as well serve as fodder for livestock
  4. Nigerian Environmental Society – position paper for the National Conference
  5. Femi Falana, SAN – sent a document on relevant environmental laws
  6. Presentation by the President of Waste Management Association of Nigeria
    1. Submission by Hon. Justice B.A  Njemanze , Chief Judge of Imo State.








The National Conference 2014

Report of Committee on Environment


Executive Summary


The environment is the container and promoter of life, especially for Nigerians who depend directly on natural resources such as streams, ponds, creeks and rivers for potable water and fuel wood for energy. At the national level we depend on natural resources for the revenue with which we administer the nation. The manner of our interaction with our resources, and the global dimensions of human activities provide the template for the assignment of the Committee on Environment.


The Committee examined each of the issues under its purview in three key ways:

  • Constitutional framework: There are a number of issues that require constitutional attention. These include the justiciability of environmental rights and detailed provisions for environmental protection. The committee examined the root causes of the lax attention to protection of environmental resources and considers that should that continue, we may end up with an environment that truncates the ability of nature to maintain its essential cycles and sustain life and livelihoods in Nigeria. To avoid such catastrophic occurrences the rights of nature herself require protection.
  • Legal framework: A number of existing laws are either inadequate or require urgent review. Such laws include the NESREA Act 25 of 2007 that set up the primary environmental regulatory agency in Nigeria. The Act needs to be amended to ensure that the statutory duty of the body includes oversight over the entire Nigerian environment. In its current form the Act excludes the oil and gas sector while at the same time having that sector represented on its Board.
  • Policy options: Although Nigeria is not short of policy documents, there are issues that have been overlooked or ill defined. This section covers these.


The body of the report itself is presented in three sections of:

  • Environmental Rights
  • Environmental Problems
  • Recommendations


Environmental Rights


Although the environment is fundamental to our existence as citizens and as a nation, the 1999 Constitution made only a passing reference to the environment and environmental rights at its Section 20. For Nigerians to secure the environment and related rights this has to be placed among the Fundamental Rights section of the Constitution and made fully justiciable. A related issue is that by the multi-layered nature of the environment and its crosscutting nature in our national life, the environment is best protected when all tiers of government have clearly defined roles to play in these. Therefore, the administration of the environment should be in the concurrent list in the constitution. The 1999 Constitution did not locate the environment at all in its fiscal schedules.


Land rights affect environmental protection and to enhance this the Land Use Act should be removed from the Constitution and amended.


Environmental Problems


The terms of Reference given to this Committee was essentially a short list of environmental problems in Nigeria. They are issues that affect every part of the Nation and if fully attended to, the environment provides a good template for reinforcing national unity. The Committee notes, for example, that issue of pollution and waste management are major issues across the nation. The unmitigated disaster that is the environment of the Niger Delta due to oil exploitation is replicated in the abandoned tin mines of the plateau and the coal mines of Enugu, Kogi and others. The fact that the 1999 Constitution referred to just refuse rather than wastes leaves a lacuna in the understanding and handling of this very serious environmental problem.


Desertification threatens at least 11 States of Nigeria. Gully Erosion affects several states in the South East, South South and the North Central, while Coastal Erosion affects the entire national coastline.


The protection of our biodiversity is a major challenge due to continued habitat loss, pollution of water bodies and heavy deforestation. Remaining forests in Cross River, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and other States must be given serious attention otherwise the nation will cease to have primary forests. The loss of grasslands is equally a major environmental challenge with multiple socio-political implications.


Climate Change is a global phenomenon, but without building mitigation and adaptation strictures the impact could become catastrophic in the near future. The floods of 2010 (Sokoto), 2011 (Lagos and Ibadan) and 2012 (Niger-Benue Basins) were mere precursors of what may come. Climate Change is also a national security issue due to its capacity to displace populations, reduce crop yields and cause water stress and spread of diseases. The nation has a plan to tackle climate change, but these may not have serious impacts if the nation continues to allow illegal, harmful and wasteful gas flaring in the oil fields.




Among our recommendations is the strengthening of the Federal Ministry of Environment to ensure that it is in the driving seat of Environmental protection and defence in Nigeria. In all we believe that citizens and all tiers of government must be involved in the onerous task of stopping the loss and wastage of our environmental resources as well as in working to ensure full restoration of these resources. Details of the recommendations are listed in section 3 of the main report.










































Nigeria’s National Policy on the Environment (1999) defines the framework for environmental governance in Nigeria. The policy is presented in these words:

Nigeria is committed to ensuring that the country’s

natural and built environment is safeguarded for the

use of present and future generations. This commitment

demands that efficient resource management and the

minimisation of environmental impacts must be the

core requirements of all development activities.

Accordingly, this Policy will seek to promote good

environmental practice through environmental

awareness and education.

The policy unambiguously aims to ensure sustainability for present and future generations, efficient use of resources and minimisation of development impacts on the environment. However, our country has continually paid lip service to issues of environmental protection and management. Beyond the declaration of the National Policy on Environment, the country’s existing operational systems and methods have not given adequate recognition to the relationship between development, environment and natural resources.


Before 1988 the Nigerian environment was managed by at least five ministries. The creation of Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) in 1990 and subsequently the Ministry of Environment provided the possibility of a more coherent management of the environment in Nigeria. Although the Nigerian Policy on Environment (as amended in 1999) recognised the need for communities to participate in the process of policy formulation, implementation has remained ineffective. The defence of the environment and our natural resources can be best assured when the management of the Nigerian environment is people-centred and thus with full participation of citizens.
















Constitutional arrangements have serious implications for environmental laws and regulations as well as their contextual suitability and enforcement. The Constitution of Nigeria 1999 has only a slight reference to the environment under Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policies where it states at Section 20 that; “The State shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wild life of Nigeria”. Although detailed provisions for environmental protection are made in international treaties, conventions and bills of rights to which Nigeria is signatory, the duty to make clear provisions on this matter that governs our lives in our constitution cannot be ignored.


Sections 4 and 5 of the 1999 Constitution distribute the legislative and executive powers of the federation between the federal and state governments. “Environment” is not mentioned in either the exclusive or the concurrent Legislative List. This leads to ambiguity over whether environmental matters should be dealt with as residual matter or as incidental or supplementary matters to those listed on either the exclusive or concurrent lists. The ambiguity breeds confusion and equally promotes indifference towards environmental Issues.





Citizens go through tortuous routes to locate laws, regulations and policies with which to secure often-elusive justice on environmental issues. A set of such provisions for the right to a safe environment are made in the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Nigeria, November 2002. The Action Plan stipulates that the Federal Government has the obligations to ensure the following:

a)      An environment that is not harmful to her or his health or well being

b)      An environment that is protected for the good of present and future generations through appropriate laws

c)      Prevention of pollution and ecological degradation

d)     Promotion of environmental conservation and;

e)      Securing ecologically sustainable development and use of our natural resources, while at the same time promoting valid economic and social development


Every citizen shall have legal standing to demand environmental justice. At present citizens go through a tortuous process to secure environmental justice. Victims of environmental damage should not  bear the burden of proof  of harm or damage. Environmental rights should be fully justiciable in the Nigerian constitution and unambiguously enshrined among the Fundamental Rights of Citizens and communities in the Nigerian Constitution. Along with environmental rights for humans, there should equally be provisions outlawing the wilful disruption of the cycles of nature by human agencies and assuring the respect of the rights of nature to carry out her functions of sustaining the planet and all life forms on it.


To ensure the protection, preservation and replication of our natural resources, constitutional provisions should be made to promote and secure the principle of resource democracy or ownership. This will put the nation to work in harvesting her resource potentials in a way that is respectful of the needs of present and future generations by avoiding rapacious, mindless and damaging exploitation and at the same time ensuring inclusive development.



The fact that oil and gas are not renewable resources and will either get exhausted or the world will shift to other energy resources cannot be ignored.

Devolution of Power, true Federalism and related political architecture are essential, but these would not automatically translate into the cleanup of our environment or assurance of local livelihoods except we clearly set out a road map to protect our environment and thereby secure our lives.


The urgency for action has been underscored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the Ogoni environment that indicates that it will take a lifetime to clean up the Niger Delta. The current ecological funds, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and even funds allocated to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs are not targeted at cleaning up and restoring our severely damaged environment, yet this is a critical issue that the nation must tackle.

  1. Some of the most polluted places in the world today are found in Nigeria. They range from abandoned tin mines in Plateau State and Coal mines  in Plateau State, Enugu and Kogi States, waste pits, to the heavily polluted oil field communities of the Niger Delta.
  2. Unregulated solid minerals mining and blasting wreak havoc in our communities and also drain off revenues from the area.
  3. Deforestation is a big menace. Deforestation of our rain forests and mangrove forests has serious biodiversity loss implications. There are also issues of displacement of communities for plantations (and possibly in future for other projects including REDD- Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – and its variants)
  4. Oil pollution is so pervasive in the Niger Delta that it is estimated that an equivalent of one Exxon Valdez size of crude is spilled every year in the Niger Delta. The Exxon Valdez spill occurred in March 1989 with a discharge of 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil into the coastlines of Alaska. Scientists confirm that one pint of crude oil can spread over one acre of ocean surface and can cause serious aquatic habitat damage. Twenty-five years after, and despite serious cleanup efforts, evidence of the oil spill is still noticed in Alaska.
  5. As oil companies move further offshore, the capacity of regulatory agencies (especially NOSDRA) and Civil Society to monitor their activities reduce,  their polluting acts and other environmental harms will likely increase.
  6. The Nigerian Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Nigeria’s topmost environmental regulatory agency, established by NESREA Act 25 of 2007 does not regulate the oil and gas sector.
  7. Toxic wastes and ‘produced water’ from oil operations are dumped in our environment and waterways without adequate oversight on treatment and handling. According to the World Bank (2005 report) up to 600,000 barrels of ‘produced water’ is released into the Niger Delta environment daily.
  8. Routine gas flaring has marked impacts on our environment and on our quality of life. On the economic scale, Nigeria wastes gas worth over US$2 billion annually.
  9. Gas flares cause acid rain and impact health of citizens by way of cancers, blood disorders, breathing diseases, skin diseases, etc.
  10. Gas flaring negates efforts to halt the spread of desertification in the country by its major contribution to global warming through the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
  11. Gully erosion is a menace in Nigeria in general and the South East,  South- South and parts of the North-Central in particular.
  12. Coastal erosion is another significant problem. Salination of freshwater bodies continue due to canalization by oil sector operators.
  13. Nigeria is very vulnerable to climate vagaries. Extreme weather events and changes portend great danger for the country with regard to flooding, drought, desertification, increase in vector borne diseases and crop failures. This requires urgent action in line with existing National Policy on Climate Change.
  14. Desertification and loss of grasslands have direct impacts on our agriculture and are direct causes of conflicts and could generate future harm.
  15. Waste management continues to be a visible testimonial to our poor environmental care.
  16. Industrial pollution is high and requires strict control
  17. Rapid and unplanned urbanization pose significant environmental challenges.









The non inclusion of justiciable environmental rights in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria and the non optimum implementation of relevant environmental policies, laws and regulations have left us with the unmitigated environmental disasters that characterise our environment. In order to adequately respond to Nigeria’s environmental challenges we have to outline the problem areas, the causes of these problems and the needed responses.



Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 1990, in its section 38, succinctly states that pollution “means man-made or man-aided alteration of chemical, physical or biological quality of the environment to the extent that it is detrimental to acceptable limits.” Pollution affects the Air, the Land and the Sea. Oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the Niger Delta has occasioned the worst kinds of environmental pollution, and degradation in Nigeria. Oil drilling activities create the following environmental problems.

  1. Construction of access road and site preparation and routes for pipelines lead to deforestation and biodiversity destruction.
  2. Farmlands and cash crops are destroyed. Sometimes whole communities are displaced leading to social dislocation.
  3. Wastes such as drill cuttings, drilling fluids (“drilling mud”) are disposed into large pits (mud pits), without adequate engineering and monitoring, resulting in environmental pollution.
  4. Drilling activities sometimes lead to the contamination of surface and subsurface water by drilling fluids.
  5. Oil and gas well blowouts (uncontrolled pressure discharge from wells) result in uncontrolled fluid/gas discharge from the well bore to the environment.
  6. Blowouts lead to large-scale pollution of land and water, resulting in extensive damage to the environment, especially when accompanied by fire outbreak.
  7. Large-scale environmental pollution occurs when the pipelines integrity deteriorates and ruptures or where there are third party interferences.
  8.  Activities of thieves and other criminals as well as violent responses by security forces compound the environmental problems in the oil fields.

The petroleum industry contributes a substantial quota to Nigeria’s environmental pollution especially in the Niger Delta. To date over 5000 oil pipelines spill incidents have been reported in the country with large areas of dry land, wetland and water bodies permanently impacted. The UNEP report on the abandoned oil spill sites in Ogoniland and the neighbouring Andoni wetlands remains a negative marker in Nigeria’s environmental degradation. One of the most horrendous ecological disasters experienced in Nigeria was the pipeline fire that occurred in Jesse (Idjerhe) community near Sapele in Delta State in October, 1998. The resultant inferno caused the death of over 1,000 persons. In these massively impacted areas the result is environmental degradation, ecological imbalance, loss of biodiversity, occupational and social dislocation and poverty.


The most intractable of the petroleum industry related pollution is gas flaring, the stoppage of which has continued to remain elusive despite numerous attempts at regulation. Nigeria is ranked seventh among all countries in terms of proven natural gas reserves, and flares more gas than any other country in the world except Russia. Close to 80% of the associated gas produced from Nigeria’s oil fields is flared. The average amount of associated natural gas being flared in Nigeria can actually meet its energy needs along with those of many neighbouring African countries. Gas flaring has continued in Nigeria for over fifty years with devastating environmental consequences:

a)      It increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere with serious impact on the planet leading to global warming.

b)      The high concentration of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other toxic elements in the atmosphere has serious health impact on man, and causes acid rain.

c)      It affects the vegetation where the gas is flared.

d)     It affects livestock and aquatic lives in the vicinity of the flares.

e)      Gas flares cause loss of livelihood by reason of environmental impacts


Meteorology is the science that deals with the weather and related conditions by the study of the atmosphere. The study includes the changes of the temperature, air pressure, moisture and wind direction in the troposphere. We have weather because of the sun and weather systems start because the sun’s energy heats up some parts of the earth more than others. The fact that the land heats up faster than water sets up temperature differences between oceans and continents. This creates variations in temperature and air pressure, winds and ocean currents. The heat of the sun also helps moisture to rise and form clouds leading to rain.


The Nigerian Meteorological Agency was established by an Act of the National Assembly in 2003. The setting up of the agency underscores the seriousness the government places on the meteorological matters. The Board of the Agency is drawn from the ministries of Aviation, Agriculture, Transport, Water Resources and of Environment. Additional three persons are the Director General and two persons with relevant experience.






There are fewer functional weather stations today in Nigeria than there were in the 1960s and 1970s. This situation needs to be changed especially with increased population; urbanisation, transportation and other activities that require accurate weather information.



Meteorological education should be in the public domain on a regular basis through all organs of mass media. Educational curriculum should also include elements of meteorology from the primary school levels.




Climate Change is not a phenomenon that will take place in the future. It is already happening. It knows no national boundaries but requires actions that are taken individually and collectively. These actions must be measurable and scientifically verifiable to ensure that the aggregate impacts obviate the climate impacts. Inaction is no longer an option.

a)      The most obvious impacts of climate change are weather variability including unusual weather events such as freak storms, hurricanes, flooding and droughts. It also intensifies coastal erosion, salinisation of fresh water systems, water stress and could trigger massive extinction of species.

b)      The impact of global warming is so pervasive and interlinked that it may well be a definitive phenomenon for the survival of humans as well as other species and ultimately of our planet as we know it.

c)      Climate change has been correctly seen as a security issue and nations cannot avoid taking actions individually and collectively to avoid catastrophic unfolding of events. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has recently issued its 5th assessment report stating that the impacts of climate change will be more urgent, more intense and more devastating than earlier predictions.

d)     Climate change must be seen as an environmental and socio-economic emergency in Nigeria. Our coastlines are low-lying and a sea level rise of up to 1 metre by 2050 and 2 metres by 2100, as predicted by scientists, will make over 90km stretch of land inward from the coastline subject to submergence.

e)      Sea level rise of the magnitude mentioned above will seriously compromise the US$13billion investment in the petroleum sector in the Niger Delta

f)       Already, desertification is impacting at least 11 states in Northern Nigeria and the implication is that populations and livelihoods are being dislocated. Southward migration of pastoralists in search of grazing grounds, for example, could well be one of the key factors leading to conflicts with farmers in other areas. Ocean acidification will also destroy coral reefs and diminish fish stocks.

g)      If actions are not urgently taken to curb global warming the world will well be on its way to having up to 4 degrees Celsius temperature increase above pre industrial levels. This will be catastrophic for Nigeria and Africa as a whole as the region suffers temperature increases of at least 50 per cent above the global average. Such a catastrophic temperature increase will translate to severe reduction in capacity for agricultural production, water stress and resultant conflicts. Yields from rain-fed agriculture are projected to fall by up to 50 per cent by 2080 if urgent actions are not taken on climate change.



Global warming occurs due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Heat comes from the sun in short waves, but when bounced off the earth they go up in long waves. Whereas the short waves pass through the atmosphere without resistance, the greenhouse gases trap some of the long waves trying to exit the atmosphere. Scientists estimate that without the greenhouse effect the earth would be as cold as minus 18 degrees Celsius.  The problem starts when the concentration of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere gets higher than they ought to be.

The principal greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Its level has increased by a third since the industrial revolution while that of methane has doubled. Over the past 150 years, a period during which fossil fuels have become the main source for energy needed for electricity generation and or movement of goods and people, temperature have risen by 0.8oC and is set to gallop with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Other key greenhouse gases include methane and nitrous oxide.

The present age has been labelled as a geological epoch of anthropocene because humankind is severely altering the earth’s life support system. This altering or distortion of the natural cycles of the planet can also be characterised as ecocide, an unusual and dastardly crime.  We are living in a manmade age and we are obviously doing a bad job of it. Although there are natural causes of climate change, it has been agreed that it is caused mostly by actions of human beings. These actions such as burning of fossil fuels (especially coal, crude oil and gas) for energy and transportation intensify the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  Agriculture, land use conversions, etc. also contribute significantly to global warming.

Other causes of global warming include:

  1. Burning of fossil fuels, including for power generation and transportation
  2. Deforestation – for wood, pulp and farmland
  3. Bush burning
  4. Changes in land use
  5. Agriculture – methane from animals, rice paddies, use of chemical fertilizers, etc.



Floods occur mostly when there is a heavy rainfall or release of large quantities of water into an area and the inability of existing drainage channels, landscape and other infrastructure in that area to handle the resulting water. Floods can occur in coastal areas due to ocean surge, subsidence and high tides. They also do occur following uncontrolled or excessive release of water from dams.



Rapid urbanisation as well as self-help expansion of urban settlements without adequate master planning and compliance with codes contribute to the flooding of our communities. Urban planning agencies including those entrusted with supervision of the construction of public and private buildings and infrastructure must ensure compliance to codes and master plans.

2.06.2         MANAGEMENT OF DAMS

Dam failure would result in a release large volumes of water leading to flooding of downstream areas. Dams also cause flooding if their water levels are not adequately monitored, regulated and released at set times. The flood disaster in Nigeria in 2012 was mainly due to unregulated release of water from the Lagdo dam in Northern Cameroon and the Kainji dam in Nigeria.



Erosion is an advanced form of soil degradation. Although gully erosion is a type of erosion caused by running water, in Nigeria this type of erosion has taken on alarming dimensions due to its being combined with landslides. A large segment of the total landmass of Nigeria is under severe threat of sheet, rill and gully erosion. With over 2000 active gully erosion sites across the nation, coastal erosion eats up 2-30 metres of land each year. While gully erosion is prevalent in the South East, and in parts of South-South and North-Central, coastal erosion threatens the tidal basins, beaches and creeks. In Northern Nigeria wind erosion is a serious environmental problem. It encourages formation of sand dunes and hampers agricultural production.

2.07.1         Causes of Gully and Coastal Erosion

a)      Gully erosion can be caused by a variety of conditions relating to geology, climate and soil.

b)      These can occur naturally or as a result of human activities.

c)      Gully erosion will increase as climate change or global warming increases. This is so because intensification of rainfall will intensify the expansion of gully erosion. Climate change also affects vegetation cover.

d)     Human activities include agriculture, surface mining, urbanisation and infrastructure installations

e)      Movement of heavy marine equipment and vessels contribute to coastal erosion

f)       Dredging contributes to coastal erosion

g)      Oil and gas exploration activities

h)      Deforestation – especially the destruction of mangrove forests lead to coastal erosion

i)        Canalisation for inland access

j)        Soil material and soil cover affects the occurrence and nature of erosion of any type.



A natural disaster is an adverse event that results from natural geologic or other processes of the earth. Such disasters often lead to loss of lives, damage to the environment and related huge economic loses. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has the tasks of ensuring disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response. The impacts of natural disaster and the recovery rate depend largely on the state of resilience of impacted areas, vulnerability of the inhabitants and the environment itself as well as the level of readiness to handle emergencies.


2.08.1         Types of Natural Disasters

a)      Landslides

  • Landslides commonly occur along unstable slopes.  It could be in the form of mudflows or sometimes of rocks and debris.
  • Landslide is liable to occur in areas where ground cover had been removed due to human modification.
  • Ground water, soil structure change and erosion can lead to landslide.

b)     Floods

The most significant flooding in recent Nigerian history occurred in 2012 and displaced a reported 2,000,000 Nigerians while killing 300 others. Excessive or unusual rainstorms, surges from the sea or sudden unregulated and unexpected release of water from dams, can cause floods.

  • Floods occur when water covers the land and submerges infrastructure and other property.
  • Blockages of natural or built channels promote flooding
  • Deforestation and loss of ground cover exacerbate flooding.
  • Topography of an area, such a slow lying places, can aid flooding
  • Dam failure leads to flooding

c)      Droughts

Droughts occur when there is prolonged absence of rainfall and resulting shortage of water leading to dryness of the soil and crop failure. The northern fringes of Nigeria are most susceptible to drought.

d)     Heat waves

Unusually high temperatures are becoming common as the earth warms.

e)      Wildfires

Naturally occurring wildfires are not common in our country but with increasing global warming it is something that must be a part of our disaster readiness plans Uncontrollable fires can result from bush burning started by hunters, farmers and other persons.

f)       Windstorms

Windstorms are known to have destroyed property across the country. When coupled with heavy rainfall, the impacts of windstorms are compounded. In dryer areas, windstorms intensify the spread of sand dunes and wind erosion generally.

g)      Volcanic eruptions – including release of volcanic ash and toxic fumes

h)     Earthquakes

Although the last two have not been recorded in Nigeria it is important that we note that there is an active volcano in Cameroon, not far off our borders, and that unusual events could trigger any of these disasters.


2.08.2         Management: Disaster Preparedness and Responses

Disaster responses often require huge financial outlays. These increase where vulnerable societies are impacted and where the state of preparedness by relevant agencies of the state is poor.



Desertification is a long-standing and serious environmental problem that affects most parts of northern Nigeria. Between 50% and 75% of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara and Yobe States are under threats of desertification. These eleven states with population of about 50 million people, account for about 43% of the country’s total land area. In these areas, population pressure results in over grazing. Over exploitation for fuel wood of marginal lands and aggravated drought due to global warming have accelerated the rate of desertification.
Human activities that include deforestation, overgrazing, surface mining, and misuse of water resources among others are some of the causes of the problem. It has adversely impacted the nation in the areas of food security, fish production, hydroelectric power generation etc. The problems associated with desertification and drought are so many and varied and include:

a) Sand dunes replacing shrubs and grass land thus causing cattle rearers to move southward.​

b)      Reduction in arable land and thereby creating unemployment for about ​ 28 million farmers. It is equally noteworthy that over 58 million livestock are also endangered.

c)      There is over-grazing on delicate arid and semi-arid rangelands beyond land capacity.

d)     Employment of irrigation techniques that trigger increasing soil erosion

e)      Surface mining has led to land degradation.

f)       Lake Chad is receding at an alarming rate and has shrunk by as much as 90% of its ​1963 volume and consequently causing decline of agriculture, livestock and fisheries. This now threatens the social and economic well-being of the people living in the ​area.

g)      With the sand dunes in the north and the drying up of the Lake Chad, the Niger/Benue River Basins have become a conflict ground for herdsmen and arable farmers.

Another significant problem associated with desertification in Nigeria is the loss of biodiversity. There is an alarming rates of destruction as well as the extinction of many plant and animal species. Many are previously unknown and their benefits for our livelihood are being lost.


Bush burning is a traditional practice, especially in central Nigeria, where bush is set on fire for the purposes of hunting and for farming.  Pastoralists are also observed to set fire on the bush in order to encourage early new shoots for their cattle.  Bush burning has also been a major consequence of the effort to flush out wildlife for the bush meat trade in Nigeria. It is estimated that over 500,000 hectares are destroyed by fire every year as a result of this practice. It has the following associated problems:

  • Destroys topsoil and organic materials, thereby making the land less fertile.
  • Destroys vegetation, trees and shrubs thus creating erosion and desertification.

Bush burning releases major pollutants into the atmosphere; these include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen and sulphur. These are hazardous to humans and also the climate and the environment in general.



Deforestation affects quality of air, water and soil.  The widespread devastation of our forest has largely destroyed our ecosystems so that they can no longer support diverse species, control climate, conserve water, serve as wind breaker and provide livelihood for the people in the affected areas. The mangrove forests of the Atlantic coast of Nigeria are in danger from the activities of oil exploitation and depletion for wood.  Nigeria has about 5.8% of the world’s total mangrove area but has no programme for its reforestation. Nigeria has suffered severe loss of wildlife and biodiversity on account of diverse human activities and unregulated and reckless exploitation of our natural resources. There is also a threat of serious biodiversity loss should alien species be allowed into our environment.





Waste as it is construed in Nigeria today, is anything that lacks utility or object or substance that the owner either voluntarily or involuntarily relinquishes. Waste is very associated to national development, and most countries in the world have not been able to decouple it from economic growth. Like other countries, Nigeria must plan to accommodate it in her development Plan. Waste is a potential hazard by virtue of its nature and composition, and so its management has severe consequences on the safety and security of the public. Also by its nature, waste does not possess the qualities of perfect-market goods, and the benefits of waste management go to all and, equally remain available to all members of the community. Unlike perfect market goods and services waste management services requires extraordinary Government pressure to be on a growth wheel.  This will not only stimulate investment in this sector but, will also generate wealth for the Nation and impact on the general wellbeing of the Country.

Primarily, the objectives of waste management are urban hygiene and environmental protection, material conservation and energy generation. Waste management in Nigeria is still at a domestic level and not integrated with other sectors. This is evident in various Federal and State Sanitation laws. However, in other countries waste management is being mainstreamed into national development. Waste management is no longer a household problem requiring “house-to-house inspection” but an urban-scale environmental challenge that demands a “chain of control from generator to manager”.   Therefore, waste management requires a more integrated and well-engineered social instrument to synchronize it with the economic development of a Nation. It is imperative therefore, that the Conference for good development of Nigeria examines and integrates the basic framework of waste management into the nation’s Constitution for sustainable development.

Waste generation in Nigeria is on the increase at an estimated rate of about 0.5 – 0.7% per annum, with current figures ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 Ton /capita /annum.  Waste complexity is also increasing with biodegradable (decomposable) waste currently accounting for over 50%. This amounts to over 60 million tons of annual waste burden on Nigeria with less than 10% waste management capacity.  This capacity is generally provided and delivered by public sector.  Commercialization of this sector has remained a task with poor or no success story throughout Nigeria.  The failure is due to poor national policy of free-service, poor infrastructure stock and low manpower. Additionally, Nigerian development policies have been highly dominated by economic objectives leading to the low ranking of environmental protection. Furthermore, bulk of available fund is in government possession resulting in high rate of corruption, and low private sector participation. This has weakened private sector capacity to deliver basic services like waste management, and urban cleansing to the citizens.

Currently, Nigeria has about forty per cent (40%) of her population living in the cities with a growing urbanization rate of about 7% per annum and less than ten per cent (10%) of the city populations enjoying marginal waste management services, and the rural population are left out of any scheme of services. Also, less than one per cent (1%) of Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is spent annually on waste management services. This is far less than the recommended standard of three to five per cent (3-5%) of national GDP.

The 21st Century Nigeria is expected to witness technological growth, increased urbanization, private sector controlled economy and environmental awareness. These changes shall be accompanied with increased waste yield and complexity, more public demand for environmental protection and waste management services. Nigerians have to move towards progressively internalising environmental cost of goods and services thereby leading to higher environmental protection consciousness.

As already mentioned, only Section 20 of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution (as amended) says something of the national environmental aspiration as protection and improvement of the environment (including the land, waters and the atmosphere).  A reflection on this proclamation with respect to waste management implies:

a)      Responsible waste disposal targeted at protection of our environment

b)      Maximization of reuse and recycling potential of waste to enhance environmental resources conservation.

c)      Establishment and upgrading of waste management facilities, including dump sites, and remediation of contaminated sites to propagate environmental improvement.

d)     Installation of effluents treatment plants in industrial areas

The Waste management objectives of the National Environmental Policy are protection of public health and environmental pollution control. The policy stipulates national methods for waste and pollution information development and also prescribes environmental protection as a constitutional duty of all tiers of governments. It clearly proclaims also, prompt domestication of international legal instruments that Nigeria ratifies.

All these require proper actions including pricing of products and the charging of both producers and consumers of goods and services to instil sensible use of environmental resources. However, this is trivialised by 4th Schedule of the same Constitution, which casually ascribed the responsibility to Local Government. It is also important to state that Sub-Section ‘h’ of Section 1 of this Schedule merely referred to refuse disposal not waste in its entirety or its management. Waste matters outside related matters, are residual by virtue of it not appearing in any of the lists in 2nd Schedule of the Constitution.

Waste management industry is one of the most controlled in the developed economies nevertheless it is obviously not regulated in most developing economics including Nigeria.  This has contributed to high health and potable water delivery costs, and long-term environmental liabilities. Sadly, Nigeria today has no comprehensive policy framework on waste management and so has:

a)      No nationally acceptable definition of waste leading to poor enforcement.

b)      Overlapping jurisdiction between the three tiers of government.

c)      Poor institutional arrangement leading to multiple institutions, inefficient enforcement, and poor investment environment

d)     No waste accountability leading to lack private sector participation, poor cost recovery, poor infrastructure and low commercial value of waste management services.

Waste has not been mainstreamed into our development fabrics in all sectors and also into the up and downstream of material cycle. This has contributed to the slow pace of departure from the present situation.  Framework of an enduring policy instrument likely to sustain Nigerian aspiration in waste management shall recognize the socio-economic structure of Nigeria, thus structuring responsibilities and jurisdiction in similar manner to minimise friction and improve business environment.

2.12.1         Environment Management Infrastructure

The country’s stock of infrastructure is a critical factor of economic growth and offers opportunities for enterprise development and job creation. It is important to state that while improvement of infrastructural stock preoccupies successive governments no serious attention has been given to environmental management infrastructure. It is indeed a result of lack of planning with attendant uncoordinated, non-sustainable and wasteful development. The consequence of this approach is infrastructure stock imbalance or disorder. Examples of these are everywhere and include: development of Housing Estate without a Sewage management capacity; development of Nuclear Power Plant without Radioactive Waste Capacity and so on.

Today no educational institution offers waste management as a discipline and no statutory professional organisation exists in Environmental Management yet our environment is continuously threatened by wastes that have remained our urban scare. There is a palpable lack of professionals, standards and ethical control of our environmental resources. In the same vein, we lack waste management information that is a basic tool for planning and implementation of waste management processes. Critical to development of a supportive Waste Management Industry for the 21st Century Nigerian economy, is waste accountability through informative policy instrument.  This will in no small measure engender the internalization of cost of waste management into goods and services and, will stimulate public and private investment and encourage sustainable production and consumption.

Waste accountability includes three responsibilities: physical, financial and informative.  A waste generator shall be physically responsible as the owner of wastes generated.  This entails duty to ensure good storage, treatment and responsible disposal.  Financially, a waste generator shares in the economic burden of managing the waste (from collection to disposal).  A waste generator by this instrument shall be required to render and account of its waste yield to regulators either personally or through the waste managers.  This informative instrument shall encourage planning and improve certainties in the industry thereby minimizing investment risks.

The national aspiration of Nigeria for waste management is achievable with appropriate and well targeted and integrated policy instruments that will be driven by strong political will, technological innovation and business initiatives. Vertical and horizontal partnership amongst governments and the private sector in the industry is necessary to ensure that the reform agenda of the government brings a sustainable change to the sector.



3.13 Human Displacement and Resource Loss


The coming into effect of the 2006 Green Tree Agreement resulted in Nigeria’s loss of a valuable part of her territory, the Bakassi Peninsula. That national loss had immediate implication for Nigerian citizens whose ancestral homes are in Bakassi. The people lost their traditional institutions and artefacts. The nation lost a large landmass rich in natural resources including petroleum, fisheries and many others.


























Following from issues discussed in this report, the Committee on Environment makes the following recommendations.

3.01 Recommendation of Constitutional Provisions.

  1. 1.      The vital need to preserve the integrity of the Nigerian environment and thus secure its sustainability for present and future generations requires clear and direct stipulations in the Nigerian Constitution. This must include justiciable rights to a safe and satisfactory (as stipulated by Article 24 of the African Charter on Peoples and Human Rights to which Nigeria is a signatory) environment including the rights to water, clean air, food, shelter. As a people living very closely to and depending for livelihoods on nature/environment we should enshrine the rights of nature to maintain its natural cycles without disruption in our Constitution

2) Section 20 of the 1999 Constitution does not establish any legally enforceable code of environmental rights. The Committee therefore recommends that the Environmental Objectives of the State under Chapter II of the Constitution be transferred to the justiciable rights under the Fundamental rights chapter of the Constitution, as for example is the case under Article 48A of the Indian Constitution, Article 2 of the Angolan Constitution, Article 46 and 47 of the Constitution of Congo and Article 15(2) of the Constitution of German Democratic Republic and Articles on environment and natural resources in the Constitutions of Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Eritrea and South Africa, etc.

3) Power to Legislate: This should be clear and without any ambiguity with respect to legislative power on the environment. Federating units should have the right to legislate while overall environmental protection can continue to be handled by NESREA and a needed Nigerian Environmental Health & Safety Agency

4 ) Section 251 (1) of the 1999 Constitution should be amended in such manner as to give jurisdiction to the state High Court over the items listed under Section 251 (1) (n) of the Constitution in order to give easier access to justice.

5) The Land Use Act has since its enactment generated a lot of controversy. It has taken away the land rights from local communities. The Committee recommends that the Land Use Act be removed from the Constitution and amended.

6) Special Court on Environment: The regular courts are often inundated with a multitude of civil and criminal cases. As a result the courts in Nigeria have been severally criticized for their dilatory processes. The Committee hereby recommends that special Environmental Courts be established in all the States.

7) The Constitution as amended should define waste beyond refuse. The Committee recommends federal, state and council wastes.  In consonance with this, federal wastes shall be wastes emanating from defence (explosive and disarmament wastes), nuclear operations (radioactive wastes), mineral resources and mining operation (mining wastes). State wastes include all hazardous wastes other than federal wastes, whereas Council wastes are essentially non hazardous (domestic and wastes from small businesses) and institutionally generated.  The 4th Schedule of the Constitution should be changed to limit the powers of Councils to non-hazardous wastes.

8)      The Constitution should create an Ecological Commission and include it in the Concurrent list. Ecological Funds to be increased from present 3 per cent to at least 5 per cent and moved from the Exclusive legislative list to the Concurrent List. The Ecological Funds must not be used as political funds, but must be strictly monitored and used to mitigate impacts of natural disasters and to remediate or restore environments damaged by various forms of erosion as well as for strict sanitation and waste management. The Ecological Fund to cover environmental restoration and comprehensive programmes to tackle floods, coastal erosion, halt desertification and deforestation across the nation

9)      Resource Democracy: The right of the people to own and manage their resources by entrenching resource democracy gives rights to federating units to prospect for and develop resources in their territories. This will remove conflicts between federating units and promote progressive and active development.

3.02   Recommendations On Legal Framework

  1. The Nigerian Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Nigeria’s topmost environmental regulatory agency, established by NESREA Act 25 of 2007 does not regulate the oil and gas sector. The Committee recommends that the, NESREA Act of 2007 be amended to give it oversight over the entire environment including the oil and gas sector.

     2) The Oil Pipelines Act (CAP 338, LFN, 1990). This Law was first enacted in 1956. It provides for the issuance of licenses to any person or corporate body prospecting for oil or gas to survey, construct, maintain and operate pipelines for the purpose of conveying natural gas, mineral oil or any petroleum product to any destination. In Part IV the Act requires the Oil operator to pay compensation to any individual or group that may have suffered environmental or personal injury. The Act also provides for payment of compensation for land acquired in the laying of the pipelines. The entire compensation regime envisaged under this Act weighs against those whose lands and property suffer injury. This law deserves unification in the form of the American Superfund Act (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Remediation, Compensation and Liability Act, 1980) that compels polluters to clean up impacted areas to the satisfaction of the citizenry.

3) The Committee recommends that a new law on oil and gas pipelines be enacted which will comply with international standards set out in:

  1. Rio Declaration 1992;
  2. American Superfund Act, already cited;
  3. Articles 16 and 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP 10, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 1990.

4. The Gas Re-injection Act of 1979 should be amended to :

i) Removes the provision that empowers the minister to authorize the flaring of gas.

ii) To impose stiffer sanction including fines equivalent to commercial price of natural gas and holding the heads of offending agencies personally liable.

iii) The proposed Petroleum Industry Bill should not contradict the provisions in the Gas Re-injection Act. The PIB should be futuristic and cater for future exploration and exploitation in zones outside of the current oil/gas belt. It should also ensure protection of communities in the fields of operations.

iv) Domesticate all ratified international conventions and treaties.

5) Environmental Impact Assessment Act Cap E 12 LFN 2004

The Environmental Impact Assessment Act should be reviewed to provide for the social dimension in environmental management. It is also recommended that all policies, plans and programmes be subjected to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in pursuance of environmental sustainability.

6)       The Act establishing the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) should be reviewed in order to bring it up to date with current realities and since there are many ministries represented on its Board there should be a clarification as to which of the ministers nominates other Board membership. Part III, Section 7(q) of the Act states that the agency shall; “be the sole authority to approve and establish meteorological stations for meteorological observations.” This needs to be reviewed to only mandate the agency as the approving authority and not one that must establish all meteorological stations in the country.





3.03 Policy Recommendations

3.03.1 Recommendations on Institutional Framework and Enforcement

  1. There must be policy and action coherence between and within government agencies to ensure synergy in tackling our environmental challenges.
  2. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are not project planning approval documents but veritable tools for environmental protection. Accordingly EIAs must be conducted for all major projects as stipulated in the EIA Act. Moreover, there should be detailed post project assessment requirements and approved decommissioning pans
  3. The Precautionary Principle of the Cartagena Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) prevails in discussions of modern biotechnology in agriculture and foods. Nigeria must be kept free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as a key way to avoid biodiversity erosion and seeds colonization by agribusinesses.
  4. Modern biotechnology in agriculture should be restricted to laboratories – and a regime of strict liability and redress should be in place in case of accidents.
  5. Environmental protection can be a strong unifying factor in Nigerian politics. For example gas flaring contributes to global warming and this leads to intensification of desertification and halting gas flaring helps in the fight against desertification. Secondly environmental problems do not respect state or regional boundaries.
  6. The Polluter Pays principle is good, but we need to raise the bar and demand that a polluter stops principle.
  7. Transparency and accountability in resource exploitation and management would serve better ends when taken beyond financial transparency to resource transparency. This implies that Nigeria must not only track money earned from mineral resources, for example, but must meter and ascertain the quantum of resources extracted in the country.

8.   The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) should be well funded, and allowed to recruit more personnel to carry out its functions.

9. An Environmental Restoration Agency should be established to replace the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) and ensure government and polluters fund the agency. This Agency should also be empowered to rehabilitate those persons whose farmlands and fishing sites have been permanently impacted


3.03.2         Climate Change

Steps to be taken are clearly outlined in the National Policy on Climate Change and must include:

a)      Integrate climate change adaptation policies and programmes in development policies as an effective risk management strategy.

b)      Ensure synergy in the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measure by the tiers of government

c)      Halt other practices that intensify the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and invest in low carbon development, including ramping up investment in renewable energy supply

d)      Increase investment in mass transit infrastructure to reduce dependence on inefficient and polluting individual transport modes.

e)      Fund and carry out climate adaptation programmes at community levels

f)       Build relevant seas and coastline defences.

g)      Promote economies, including jobs that are diverse and resilient to climate change.

h)      Promote integrated community forest management and ensure reforestation of degraded areas as direct contribution to both combat global warming and protect our biodiversity and local livelihoods.

i)        Establish laws that recognise the right of nature to maintain its cycles for the survival of human beings and other species on the plant

j)        Establish the Green Tree belt to combat desertification.


3.03.3         Flooding

a)      Carry out a National Watershed Delineation and Characterisation for use in preparing and implementing and adequate enforcement programme to protect and maintain the quality of the nation’s lands, water and coastal resources

b)      Install flood early warning systems, including through use of communication equipment and mass media, at national and federating units levels.

c)      Prepare and implement flood and drainage master plans for all communities (urban and rural) including construction of drainages, canals and treatment of effluents before discharge into natural water bodies

d)     Map of all flood plains and structures therein.

e)      Development and enforcement of codes and guidelines pertaining to erecting of buildings and other structures in vulnerable areas

f)       Prepare plans for recovery after storms and floods

g)      Ensure adequate maintenance and regulation of dams to avoid sudden release through failure or threat of failure.


3.03.4         Gully And Coastal Erosion

Needed policy actions include:

a)      Immediate review of current National Policy on Erosion and Flood Control that was prepared in 2005.

b)      Survey and map of all areas prone to gully and coastal erosion

c)      Prepare and implement policies and programmes to control erosions and related hazards

d)     Make inventory of areas and developments in the area that have special heritage value for purpose of specially protecting and defending such

e)      Take an inventory of all structures and infrastructure located in the areas

f)       Promote appropriate agricultural practices and embark on systematic creation of vegetative cover and soil restoration projects to combat gully erosion

g)      Promote the utilization of flood water to recharge subsurface aquifers as a means of ensuring water security

h)      Ensure continuous monitoring and regular mapping of shorelines and river banks

i)        Create public awareness of erosion prevention actions

j)        Ensure popular participation in soil restoration activities through suitable agro-ecological practices


k)      Create and maintain an up-to-date coastal management plan for Nigeria with the federating units taking the lead.

l)        Maintain an update soil type and quality mapping of vulnerable areas

m)    Ensure coherence and information sharing between all ministries, departments and agencies engaged in coastal activities and regulations.

n)      Ensure that road construction and other infrastructure installations are adequately engineered so as not to contribute to erosion.

  • o)      Construct adequate coastal embankments to resist erosion of coastlines.

p)      Plant tree belts to check wind erosion.


3.03.5         Natural Disasters

a)      Promote public awareness of the nature of disasters and responses including through popular advocacy and through inclusion in educational curriculum

b)      Build community resilience through setting up of community environmental committees

c)      Secure resilience and thereby reduce vulnerability by building physical structures such as sea walls to halt coastal erosion and a green belt to halt the spread of the desert

d)     In planning infrastructures safety factures must be inbuilt to ensure that they survive natural disasters

e)      Ensure that building codes enhance resilience of structures in disaster situations.

f)       Create national flood early warning systems, establish systems including use of satellite data for prediction of flood occurrence

g)      Preparation of a Disaster Recovery Plan to cater for emergencies, including recovery of transportation and telecommunications infrastructure after a disaster

h)      Special provisions must be made for adequate access for the handicapped as stipulated by international laws.

i)        Federating units shall in collaboration with the Federal government prepare and implement guidelines, action plans and programmes for emergency responses


3.03.6         Desertification And Drought

a)      Dedicated actions to save Lake Chad which is disappearing by the day, Nigerian   Government has to continue working with other countries sharing the Lake Chad Basin to ensure the recharging of the Lake.

b)      Forest reserves should be establised, protected and properly maintained by both ​Federal and State governments.

c)       All Local Government Areas  should earmark at least 25% of their landmass for forestry and this ​should be properly manned and protected. Other states should ensure creation of forests on at least 15 per cent of their land area.

d)     Encourage communities to imbibe the culture of tree planting.

e)       Strict regulation and enforcement of logging activities

f)       Federal and State Governments should create and properly fund a reforestation and afforestation agency to handle all anti-​desertification projects.

g)      In order to stem the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers, government ​should restrict the movement of cattle to ranches.


3.03.7           Bush Burning

a)         Mount public campaigns against bush burning and impose penalties for wilful breeches.

b)         Provide extension services to local farmers to enable them learn agro-ecological methods of farming.

C)        Provide suitably adapted techniques suitable for use by small-scale farmers   in place of slash and burn methods of land preparation.

3.03.8         Biodiversity

a)      Identify biodiversity hotspots, like the wetlands and forests which have very high concentrations of native species, and which are rapidly losing habitat and species, as primary targets for conservation.

b)      Ensure strict biosafety laws and particularly reject acts that could lead to invasion of alien species and resulting colonisation and biodiversity erosion

c)      Ensure strict liability and redress in biosafety matters and bar untested and unregulated technologies including those related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), geoengineering, nanotechnology in foods and agriculture and synthetic biology

d)     Restore degraded forests, savannah grasslands, mangrove swamps,  abandoned farms.

e)      New biodiversity conservation areas should be established. These should range from strictly protected wilderness areas to multiple-use areas, and must be large enough to encompass and maintain all aspects of an ecosystem.

f)       Utilise community-based approaches in sustainable biodiversity conservation that incentivise local peoples to preserve biodiversity

g)      Allocate adequate funds for scientific research on biodiversity, and for distribution and analysis of the data obtained.

h)      Establish more Forest Reserves with community involvement.

i)        Enact National and State Forest Laws with provisions including allowing for and encouraging sustainable community forest management

j)        Empower forest guards to adequately protect and police our forests.

k)      Establish a National Forestry Commission


3.03.9         Waste Management

Nigeria must ensure responsibility in integrated waste management chain through regulation, control, and Information shall be the responsibility of all tiers of Government. Funding and Information shall be the responsibility of the Waste Generators while Governments should tackle disaster waste only. Technical Operation, and Information (collection, processing & disposal shall be the responsibility of the private sector duty or through public private partnerships (PPP).

a)      The Federal Government through NESREA shall develop a broad regulatory system for all forms of hazardous Waste and shall have broad authority to regulate and control Federal wastes.

b)      The State Government shall develop a broad regulatory System for all non-Hazardous Waste and shall be especially responsible for regulation and control of Hazardous Waste other than Federal Wastes.

c)      Local Government shall be responsible for regulation and control of non-Hazardous Waste in Nigeria.

d)     NESERA by Law has the authority to manage Nigerian Environment and so should be the only Body to regulate Federal Waste (be it in the Oil or Solid mineral sectors of the economy).

f) Develop a National Framework for Waste Management. The content of this  framework should be based on the principles that waste is harmful, must be accounted for, must be managed based on best practices and sustainability, and such management should be all inclusive (private & public).

g) Government should ensure the quick passage of the bill to professionalise the environmental practice in Nigeria. The Professional Environmental Council will assist the statutory bodies to regulate and control waste and environmental management in Nigeria. Waste and environmental management and control has legal and various ethical responsibilities and so cannot be controlled by law alone.

h)      Act in recognition of the fact that ethical responsibilities are best managed by professional organizations so they are a pre-requisite for good enforcement regime in the industry.

i)        Professional organization also drives the development of standards, manpower, and investment.


3.03.10    Human Displacement and Resource Loss


The Committee on Environment recommends that the displaced peoples of Bakassi be properly resettled in Cross River State and be adequately compensated for loss of tangible and intangible resources.  The Committee also recommends that Nigeria takes steps to secure her territory by all necessary means to forestall a repeat of the Bakassi debacle as is currently emerging in Sardauna Local Government of Taraba State.




The Committee on Environment strongly believes that short and long term economic growth and development must be anchored firmly on environmentally responsible and sustainable praxis. To do so requires a balance of legislation, policies and regulations that improve natural resource management, supports sustainable and ethical use and adapts to the major environmental changes through developmental aspirations based on realistic guiding principles. The committee also believes that suitable and beneficial indigenous knowledge should be mainstreamed in all aspects of environmental regulation, regulation and practice. The recommendations proffered by the Committee if accepted will go a long way in ensuring a Nigeria with a safe, satisfactory and healthy environment.