4 Causes of Environmental Pollution in Nigeria

Nature’s greatest gift to humanity is the environment, which includes the air, water, and land.  The three basic elements of life—air, water, and land—are essential to human survival.

For this discuss, we take a look at the causes of environmental pollution in Nigeria.

Despite nature’s abundant provision of necessities for life, man has damaged the environment and continues to do so via the careless disposal of household, commercial, and industrial waste.

Environmental deterioration is a result of industrialization and is caused by environmental contamination. A very dark or even nonexistent future for the earth and its inhabitants may result from the rate of destruction that humanity is currently experiencing, according to this reality.

Because man’s life is entwined with the environment, all nations must govern and regulate how the environment is used. 

The administration’s policy is to actively pursue environmental conservation to safeguard everyone’s quality of life and preserve resources for present and future generations of Nigerians. It is evident from the preceding that life depends on the environment.

Contrary to the mindset and idea that the majority of people in developing nations hold, which holds that a person’s life and livelihood are solely dependent on their immediate neighborhood, it is increasingly understood that a person’s environment goes beyond their immediate surroundings, occasionally taking on international dimensions.

Man is reliant on the resources in his immediate area for survival. However, these resources are routinely exhausted without sufficient thought being given to their replacement or conservation.

Industrial output and trade increase along with the population’s demand for the goods and services that rising knowledge and technology make feasible.  This implies that there will be additional manufacturing, chemical plants, and new sources of resource depletion and environmental degradation.

It also implies that people’s leisure time will increase. There is also a tourism sector that is expanding quickly. People have greater time and opportunity to encroach on beaches and rural areas, frequently damaging the land, the air, and the water in the process and endangering both plant and animal life.

The future of young people around the world and the unborn generation is dismal due to this self-centered misuse of natural resources.

The modern perspective of development without damage has replaced the outdated belief that growth must inevitably be accompanied by resource loss. 

The idea of sustainable development emerged as a result of mankind’s realization that the environment belongs to all generations, both the present and the future.

Within the bounds of the earth, every human has an equal right to the resources required for a respectable level of living. Neither a person nor a group of people should deny another person or group of people their means of survival.  Each individual or community has a responsibility to safeguard these natural resources for the good of all.

Every culture faces conflicting demands on its natural resources, including its air, water, land, and wildlife. The forces of deterioration, whose main goal is to degrade or consume natural resources, compete often with environmentalists, whose main goal is to protect society’s natural resources. 

However, people frequently lack impartiality and honesty when evaluating the facts about pollution. In addition to the flaring of natural gas, Nigeria has been producing oil for more than 50 years. 

The unsustainable practice of air, water, and land pollution is the outcome. The environment is still being polluted by the indiscriminate dumping of waste in our towns and the frequent oil spills in the Niger Delta.

4 Causes of Environmental Pollution in Nigeria

Here are the major sources of environmental pollution in Nigeria. They should be handled according to how they impact people’s lives.

  • Water Pollution
  • Noise Pollution
  • Air Pollution
  • Land Pollution

1. Water Pollution

Water is necessary for the production of food, fiber, industrial items, and human and animal consumption in addition to energy production. Compared to other modes of transportation, water offers an utterly affordable option. Numerous recreational activities can be done on the water. 

Water is used for all of the aforementioned purposes, making it crucial that the marine environment be protected from contamination of all kinds and kept clean. Environmental damage has been done to the environment, particularly to the coastal seas, by industrial effluents and careless household waste disposal.

The oil sector has the potential to be environmentally hazardous. The primary source of income for Nigeria is this sector. There are two main ways that the oil industry affects the water in the Niger Delta.

First, it upsets marine life and changes the hydrological cycles of rivers, especially in seasonal floodplains. Second, the oil sector is a major cause of marine environmental contamination. In the Niger Delta, oil blowouts and spills are the main causes of water pollution. 

The sheer volume of spills into the Niger Delta environment, especially its seas, has been significant in the exploration stage during its more than 47 years of operation.  Since drilling mud is used by the industry in huge amounts, its introduction into the marine environment could be detrimental.

Fish that consume these pollutants become poisoned and may be unsafe for human eating. All these have a significant impact on human health particularly because of the reliance of people on these waters for their domestic needs and also as a source of subsistence.

Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen – a chemical association that is chemically represented as H2O.

Water pollution therefore could be defined as the introduction by man, directly or indirectly of substances or energy into the marine environment resulting in such deleterious effects as are harmful to marine activities like fishing and which may cause impairment of quality of use of water and reduction of amenities.

Water pollution occurs in oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams and affects life directly through toxicity, killing most water plants and animals, and causing reproductive failures in others.

The three main causes of water contamination are industrial waste, fertilizers used in agriculture, and oil spills.  Water pollution takes many different forms, including:

Materials that deoxygenate include sewage and other organic waters like spills, farm wastes, and waste from numerous highly industrial processing facilities.

  • Fertilizers and other nutrient-rich compounds may accelerate plant development while lowering the quality of the water.
  • Soil Wastel: This could prevent water from flowing or restrict light for aquatic plants to flourish.
  • Hazardous materials: Depending on the dosage, substances like pesticides and heavy metals are toxic to aquatic life.
  • The quality of inland and coastal waters is also impacted by the discharge of sewage waste.

2. Noise Pollution

Unwanted or excessive sound can be referred to as noise. Economic expansion has increased the sources of noise pollution, which society appears to have come to terms with. This widespread acceptance can be brought about by people not being aware of the health risks that noise pollution poses.

The typical urban resident is susceptible to health issues due to long-term, continuous exposure to noise, often at high intensities.

In several industries, workers are subjected to loud noise for extended periods. The following are additional causes of noise pollution:

Household noise, loud music, cars, motorcycles, airplanes, trains, voices over engines, road traffic, and construction sites all contribute to noise pollution. Hydrocarbons can be found using airguns, factories, and other commercial facilities.

It is instructive to note the impact of noise pollution that prolonged exposure to loud noise can result in hearing loss, lower productivity, emotional disturbances, psychological disorders, and sleep disturbance. The adverse effects of noise on fish, including the dispersal of schools and the destruction of eggs and larvae by calls between fish, are not excluded.

3. Air Pollution

The complimentary gases of oxygen and nitrogen combine to make air. The buildup of compounds in the atmosphere that do not have sufficient concentrations to have discernible effects on people, plants, or animals constitutes air pollution. 

It entails the release of dangerous compounds into the atmosphere, which could put any living creature in peril. The atmosphere is contaminated as a result of the particulates and gases released during the burning of natural fuels, chemical fuels, some industrial operations, and nuclear explosions.

It includes pollution caused by processes including cosmic dust buildup, wind-borne surface dust, volcanic eruptions, deterioration of plants, sea salt evaporation, spray, and natural radioactivity.

Therefore, air pollution is the presence of foreign substances (either gaseous, particulate or a combination of both) in the atmosphere that are harmful to human health and welfare.

It is not strange where air pollution comes from. They include burning oil and other locally produced food over open fires while cooking, digging, or tilling, and burning bushes make up some of the remaining air pollutions. Sulphur (IV), a very dangerous pollutant, is also to blame for the majority of recent air pollution hazards to people.

One of the main effects of air pollution is the destruction of the ozone layer caused by the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS) into the atmosphere, which increases the ability of harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun to pass through the earth’s atmosphere and reach the earth’s surface and causes a high incidence of skin cancer in people.

At the national level, in some regions, industrial emissions are behind vehicular emissions. Industrial plant sources reduce the earth’s quality. Cement kiln pollution and dust SO2 from fertilizer industries in Kaduna and Rivers States are examples of localized pollution issues. The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation’s refineries and gas flaring produce a variety of pollutants that are instructive.

Numerous private electric generators, industrial furnaces, and boilers all contribute to air pollution, particularly in Lagos, where the majority of Nigeria’s industries are located. It should be mentioned that each of these industries has its power generation facility due to the National Electric Power Authority’s inadequate power supply.

4. Land Pollution

Land pollution is the destruction of a piece of land by human activity, such as the dumping of hazardous waste or environmentally hazardous chemicals. Land contamination is also brought on by the majority of these using chemical fertilizers and herbicides.

It is also useful to notice that anything placed on land that inevitably degrades it is included in the phrase.

The main contributor to land pollution has been identified by technological advancement; industry causes urbanization and the overpopulation of certain regions of the earth’s surface.

Solid waste is another potential source of land pollution. Domestic waste, organic and inorganic contaminants such as phenol, oil, grease, toxic metals, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia, as well as household waste, are additional sources of soil pollution. The ecosystem on a property is also harmed by quarrying and mining.


In conclusion, while those who advocate for environmental protection could exaggerate the bad features to strengthen their case, their opponents might emphasize the advantages. But in reality, everything is expanding, even the issues.

Pollution in all of its manifestations is essentially what causes environmental harm. Some seemingly innocent human activities, such as domestic waste carelessly dumped throughout residential areas, commonly used aerosol cans of cosmetics and insecticides, the release of industrial fumes and other effluents into the atmosphere, and the construction of structures without the necessary permits, all contribute to the issue.

Educating the public about environmental pollution and implementing various sustainable projects to address environmental pollution at all levels are two ways that the country’s citizens, businesses, and government organizations can work together to reduce environmental pollution.


A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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