Oil Exploration and the Challenges of Food Security: A Reflection on the Indigenous Minorities of the Niger Delta
Keywords:Niger Delta, Oil exploration, Environmental degradation, Food security, Indigenous minority
AbstractThe paper examines oil exploration and the challenges of food security in the Niger Delta. Oil exploratory activities inevitably upturn the balance of the earth crust and degrade the larger environment through the dumping of harmful wastes, gas flaring and intermittent oil spillage. The paper maintains that the indigenous minorities have been particularly badly hit since most of their economic activities tied to the environment are either disrupted or destroyed. The hitherto fertile farmlands have regressively lost fertility. The rivers are without fishes and the forests without animals. This no doubt, has adverse implication for food security. Environmental degradation and its attendant problem of food insecurity are exacerbated by lopsided and impotent environmental policies that are formulated by the Nigerian state. Based on the above, the paper recommends among others, that the Nigerian state should as a matter of necessity, develop environmental regulatory framework that can guarantee steady oil production with minimal adverse environmental impact on the prevailing food chain of the indigenous minorities in the Niger Delta.
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