Why Nigeria Should Be Free of Fossil Fuel

By Eyitayo Alimi
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Fossil fuels as the name suggests are derivatives of plant and animal fossils that are millions of years old. These are primarily formed from the remains of the decayed plants and animals of the carboniferous era.

The three fuel sources i.e. coal, natural gas and oil/petroleum help to meet the energy and electricity demands of today’s world and it hasn’t come without consequences!

Fossil Fuel are the major energy source being used in Nigeria today which means that Nigeria is not free from the dangers inherent in the use of Fossil Fuel. Nigeria may not be able to entirely free itself from Fossil Fuel use but it should minimize it’s consumption and dependencies due to the following reasons.

Environmental Hazards
Environmental pollution is one of the major disadvantage of fossil fuels. It is a known fact that carbon dioxide, gas released when fossil fuels are burnt, is one of the primary gas responsible for global warming. Rise in temperature of earth has resulted in melting of polar ice caps, flooding of low lying areas and rise in sea levels. If such conditions continue, our planet Earth might face some serious consequences in near future.

Turning fossil fuels into energy produces a variety of emissions that pollute our planet's air and water, according to the NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency). The pollution threatens the environment and its ecosystems. It can also have a negative impact on our health. Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels helps minimize the pollution and damage done by the use of fossil fuels.

When we burn fossil fuels to start our cars and power our appliances, We release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. These pollutants have a number of negative effects on the environment, threatening people, plants, and animals throughout Nigeria.

Water and Land Pollution
The Ogoni people and Ken SaroWiwa’s struggle with the major oil exploration companies in Nigeria is a pointer to the problems faced by host communities when Fossil Fuels are drilled or mined. Just recently the Nigerian Government ordered the cleanup of ogoni oil spill by Shell Nigeria Ltd. The ogoni people can no longer drink their water or fish in their waters due to pollution.

Fossil fuels are needed in huge reserves wherever their plants are set up. This requires them to be transported to the desired location via trucks, train, ship or airplane. Often we hear of some leaks in oil tankers or ship getting drowned deep under the sea that were carrying crude oil to get refined. The impact of this is that crude oil contains some toxic substances which when mixed up with water poses serious impact on aquatic life.

Climate Change Threats
If rises in greenhouse gas emissions continue on their projected path, Nigeria will face major challenges down the road. Lower water supplies and hotter temperatures increase the risk of drought, causing plants and crops to wither and die. This destroys important food sources for humans and animals, but also creates dangerous conditions for wildfires.

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