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Not All That Glitters: Nigeria's Bitumen Story.

As conventional oil reserves decline, international oil companies are increasingly turning their attention towards unconventional oils such as bitumen to meet rising demand for petroleum products. Bitumen, a very heavy oil, can be removed from the oil sands and used in road construction or upgraded into synthetic crude oil.  With an estimated 38 billion barrels of bitumen across Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, and Lagos states, Nigeria ranks 6th globally among countries with bitumen reserves.

Armsfree Ajanaku has travelled to Ondo state communities situated along the bitumen belt of Nigeria to try and understand the people’s perception about the bitumen under their feet and their aspiration for development. He describes his experience in this article. 

Save Our Soil

The United Nations has declared 2015 to be the International Year of Soils, and April 19-23 marks this year’s Global Soil Week. Such events, though not exactly glamorous, do not receive nearly the amount of attention they deserve.

Intact soils are an invaluable and irreplaceable resource, one that performs myriad functions in achieving the international community’s main development and environmental goals. And now they are in urgent need of protection.

By Barbara Unmüssig

Corruption in Nigeria’s Oil Sector – the Facts

The world’s 3rd largest exporter of crude, yet millions of Nigerians live in poverty. How does that really happen, where are the loopholes in the system, where exactly do Nigerians miss out on the oil bounty? Green Deal Nigeria author and insider expert of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, Lois Laraba Machunga-Disu lists the weaknesses of the industry and makes practical suggestions how to fix Nigeria’s oil problems. - Oil & Gas, Green Deal Nigeria study

For deeper insights, more technical information and analysis, consult the Technical Background Paper by Lois Laraba Machunga-Disu

 

By Lois Laraba Machunga-Disu

The Energy Giant of Africa?

Nigeria’s renewable energy industry is tiny by all means, despite excellent conditions for electricity production from solar, small hydro and biomass sources. If Nigeria covered only 1% of its land mass with solar panels, it could produce 192,000 megawatts of power, compared to the 4,000 megawatts that are currently available on the national grid. In his contribution to the Green Deal Nigeria study, Huzi Mshelia describes the manifold efforts on energy policy and regulation, which have so far resulted in little results.

By Huzi Ishaku Mshelia

Imagine... oil & gas in 2030

186 words to inspire you to imagine Nigeria without gas flaring and with a more transparent management of the oil and gas sectors, where communities who own natural resources such as oil, gas or minerals would earn royalties on the exploration of these resources...

Action Points

 What needs to be done for Nigerians to reap the benefits of their wealth in oil and gas? 3 action points:                         

Federal Government of Nigeria: Stop gas flaring now, and open the gas market to commercial ownership of exploration, pipeline transmission and distribution.                  

Civil Society: Demand the creation of a new governance for the energy sector, integrating regulations for oil, gas and renewable energies in a Federal Energy Commission.

You: Attend public hearings on the Petroleum Industry Bill and demand clarity on the proposed management system of the gas sector. Host communities should receive royalties from the gas explored on their lands and government should receive income from taxing the commercial gas operators. We do not need derivation arrangements.

(more details in Green Deal Nigeria study).

Organic farming in Nigeria

Nigerian agriculture relies heavily on synthetic or nitrogen fertiliser, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is trying to facilitate the growth of an internationally viable fertiliser industry in Nigeria. However, not many farmers know about organic fertiliser and how it can protect soil fertility over a long period of time. The Green Deal Nigeria team interviewed two organic farmers who seem to be ahead of their time:

Imagine… Agriculture in 2030

105 words to inspire you to think of a thriving agriculture that has business incentives for small farmers using organic fertilizer, where soil fertility is a high priority and is protected in the interest of future generations, where researchers are connecting to farmers providing them with climate proof seeds… Where agriculture serves people, nature and wealth creation. Read More - Imagine Agriculture

Food vs People?

Nigeria’s 160 million people are projected to increase to 255 million by the year 2030. With desertification in the north, erosion and sea level rise along the Atlantic coast and more floods, will Nigeria be able to feed itself? With almost half of the country’s arable land not cultivated, there is a real possibility to increase food production. But how should Nigeria’s future agriculture look like? Green Deal Nigeria author Prof Chinedum Nwajiuba argues that sustainable agriculture is possible if small farmers are not left behind.

By Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba

Eko Atlantic City - Development for All?

The Eko Atlantic project is portrayed by Lagos State Government and developers as a model of sustainability, climate change adaptation and economic growth. However, reconciling plans for economic development and environmental protection with the aim of achieving social justice for all requires more open debate and participatory planning.

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