UP IN SMOKE: Gas Flaring, Communities and Carbon Trading in Nigeria

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The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions remains a global challenge, as climate change continues to adversely impact on all parts of the world, especially in developing countries. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 introduced carbon trading through different schemes including the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Following the Paris Agreement of 2015, a new framework will be established for the international trading of carbon credits. However, there is a danger that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will replicate the infrastructure already established for the CDM and other existing carbon trading schemes, which failed to produce positive results.

This timely report presents examples of CDM projects in Nigeria to show that international trading of carbon credits fall short of the sustainability criteria. Through an examination of the impacts of two so-called gas flaring reduction projects by oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, this report shows that the global carbon trading system is flawed and subject to manipulation by the same companies that are responsible for pollution in the global south. These companies exploit the CDM mechanism to make unjustified extra profit while not accounting for real emissions reductions. Meanwhile, the carbon market discountenances the demands for environmental justice by the communities that have borne the real cost of historical pollution. Read Full Report

Whose Burden? Examining The Growing Public Debt Crisis In Nigeria

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A new report by Social Action has revealed that Nigeria was fast re-entering the debt trap few years after it controversially exited the Paris and London Clubs debt overhang with payments amounting to over $14 billion in 2005.

The report “WHOSE BURDEN? EXAMINING THE GROWING PUBLIC DEBT CRISIS IN NIGERIA” launched in November 2015 in Abuja, shows a rapid rise in the country’s debt profile between 2006 and 2015. It revealed that government at both the federal and state levels have within this period acquired several loans to purportedly fund both capital and recurrent expenditure items. The report disclosed that the loans were effectively compromising the development of the country with a large percentage of the country’s budget and resources dedicated to debt servicing.

The report which revealed massive gap between loans acquired and actual projects  executed identified fiscal excesses by public officials, poor planning and management, over-reliance on statutory allocation amongst others as some of the reasons for the dire financial situation of both the federal and sub-regional governments in the country.

It urged the National Assembly to immediately place a moratorium on all external borrowings while it conducts a full audit of the previous loans acquired to establish their usage as well as take other measures it recommended to shield Nigeria from the debt trap

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Budget Monitoring: Implementation of the 2015 Budget of Rivers State

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BANISHED FOR OIL: The Untold Stories of Environmental Exiles of Ogoniland exposes ongoing displacement and forced migration resulting from oil pollution in Ogoniland. The report presents the untold stories of the members of Bue-Leh and Busuu communities in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Niger Delta region of Nigeria who have all deserted their homes for almost a decade following oil spills, explosions and fires from installations of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

With the clean-up of Ogoniland as recommended by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) yet to commence, Social Action is publishing this story to raise awareness about the worsening state of Ogoni environment and the need for immediate actions from the government and all responsible parties to address the clean-up of the environment and the resettlement and compensation of displaced community members.  Read Full Report

Banished for Oil:The untold tory of Environmental Exiles of Ogoniland

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BANISHED FOR OIL: The Untold Stories of Environmental Exiles of Ogoniland exposes ongoing displacement and forced migration resulting from oil pollution in Ogoniland. The report presents the untold stories of the members of Bue-Leh and Busuu communities in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Niger Delta region of Nigeria who have all deserted their homes for almost a decade following oil spills, explosions and fires from installations of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

With the clean-up of Ogoniland as recommended by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) yet to commence, Social Action is publishing this story to raise awareness about the worsening state of Ogoni environment and the need for immediate actions from the government and all responsible parties to address the clean-up of the environment and the resettlement and compensation of displaced community members.  Read Full Report

Crude Business : Oil Theft, Communities and Poverty in Nigeria.

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Based on field investigations in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States, this report by Social Action presents the cases of illegal artisanal refineries in the Niger Delta as a more recent manifestation of the historical problem of oil theft in Nigeria, which includes the looting of public revenues from the petroleum industry. The report shows that oil theft and the artisanal refining that it enables, are twin threats to legitimate civic engagement, environmental sustainability, and the physical health and livelihoods of its operators and the people living in the Niger Delta communities. With billions of dollars in lost public revenues, crude oil theft adversely affects the socio-economic well-being of the majority of Nigerians who still live in poverty and destitution. The report highlights the need to improve the governance of natural resources and makes concrete recommendations for the government, civil society groups and affected communities. Read full report

Still Polluted : Monitoring Government and Shell’s Response to UNEP’s Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland

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The Social Action has today released a new report, STILL POLLUTED: Monitoring Government and Shell’s Response to UNEP’s Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland. The report is a product of two years monitoring of the effort of the Nigerian government and oil companies to address the remediation of the environmentally-devastated Ogoniland through the implementation of the concrete recommendations in the report by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). The federal government of Nigeria in 2008 invited UNEP to carry out an assessment of the pollution in Ogoniland. UNEP released its report on Ogoni environment on August 4, 2011. The UNEP Report contained major revelations and recommendations needed to be attended to by clean-up and environmental remediation exercises.

The report by Social Action reveals that the response of the Nigerian government has fallen far short of expectations, in view of its responsibility to safeguard the environment, as enshrined in Section 20 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. The government has done anything worthwhile to restore the Ogoni environment, three years after the UNEP report was released. Even emergency measures such as the provision of alternative sources of drinking water have not been taken seriously by the government. Ogoni community members continue to drink from badly contaminated water wells and bathe in badly polluted streams. Read Full Report

Seeing REDD : Communities, Forests and Carbon Trading in Nigeria

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The new report released today by Social Action, highlights how forest dependent communities in Cross River State, SouthEast Nigeria, are losing rights and livelihoods, as their forests are being locked down by the government, which seeks cash through a United Nations-backed ‘carbon trading’ scheme, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).The report shows how the implementation of the REDD+ mechanism is having a devastating effect on the economies of affected communities around the Cross River forests. With neither adequate consultation nor alternative livelihood options, community members, who have depended on the forests for generations, are now being victimised by government agents following a ban imposed on economic and cultural activities in the delineated forests.

The report shows how communities are grappling with being implicated in the false solutions to the problem of climate change. While community members suffer the negative effects of climate change which they did not create, they are, through schemes like REDD, liable to being criminalised in the process of enforcing carbon market policies

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Campaign Votes

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This report is a product of yearlong budget advocacy activities by members of the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform. It begins with a background section which addresses a range of issues which impacted Nigeria’s economy in 2014, with greater emphasis on happenings in the Niger Delta. In writing the background section, careful study has been made of major events and trends that shaped Nigeria in 2014.
The section on State government budgets in the Niger Delta is a study of the fiscal processes bordering on the income and expenditure trends of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers states. The report is based on data relevant to the 2013 fiscal year, but provides evidence and data from as far back as 2007 to show trends and allow comparisons. Read full report

Pardoning Impunity

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2013 witnessed economic downturns and political upheavals for Nigeria. From declining crude oil revenues, to being ranked the worst place for a child to be born; Nigeria fared badly on major global indices. Neither did the welfare of Nigerians improve in 2013. With life expectancy placed at 52 years and 68% of the population existing on less than $1.25 a day, Nigeria ranked behind African countries like Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.

Pardoning Impunity is a product of yearlong field evaluation of performance, budget reviews and interviews with local residents and relevant government officials in 4 of the richest states of the Niger Delta- Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa Delta, Edo and Rivers states. The study analyzes the relation between the 2013 budgets of the states and their policy commitments. It appraises randomly selected projects in the key sectors of Education, Health and Food Sufficiency. The findings are insightful and reveal why development still eludes the majority of Nigerians. Read Full Report