An oil spill monitoring group, The Oil Spill Conference Nigeria (OSCN) said it is set to hold conference on how best to tackle oil spill challenges in not just in the Niger Delta region, but every where there is oil explorations.
Speaking in a chat with the Nigerian Tribune, the founder of Oil Spill Conference Nigeria, Professor Sylvester Egwu, said “Oil spill is said to occur when oil is seen on land or water during oil operations.
Nigeria has the highest rate of oil spill incidents globally, an estimated 900 or more incidents annually causing severe environmental degradation in oil producing areas of Nigeria particularly in the Niger Delta region.”
Professor Sylvester said that the high level of degradation has led to destruction of farmlands, fishing industry, caused biodiversity depletion and greater human health threats.
“Crude oil is toxic and can cause cancer of various forms and skin rashes and leukaemia in children. According to United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) report, environmental impacts are responsible for the deaths of more than one quarter of all children under five years,” he said.
He said that the focus of the world now is on pathways to ensure that the environment sustains human health.
“Environmental degradation can trigger conflicts as it is in the Niger Delta region. This is a factor in the crisis in the region that has been devastated by severe oil pollution and concomitant degradation.”
He said that the Oil Spill Conference Nigeria was founded in 2012 to address such environmental issues and challenges because we have deep-seated concern and passion for humanity.
He said the fifth edition of the conference will hold between August 9 and 10, in Lagos, adding that the sustainable management of natural resources that can provide the basis for long term stability,sustainable livelihood and development can be extensively discussed.