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1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Since the discovery of oil in Oloibiri a village in the Niger Delta by the Shell British Petroleum in 1956, the Nigerian economy has not only boosted financially but also have suffered the negative impact of oil activities going on in the territory. The Niger Delta region is blessed with 606 oil fields of which 360 are on shore and 246 off shore. The oil industry in Nigeria contributes a good percentage of Nigeria’s economy earnings; however it has also become a source of loss in the Nigerian economy budget. This is associated with the oil spills from the oil exploitation, and a more reoccurring and disturbing issue, is the activities of the oil thieves. Oil theft has become the order of the day, with our daily national newspapers parading these issues and no improvement in its reduction. The activities of oil thieves have resulted in negative impacts in the environment, the Nigerian economy (national budget) and have also posed insecurity threats. Unfortunately, the perpetrators of these crimes have monarchs and political backings and always get away with these crimes. All of these activities have only degraded the environment of the Nigeria State. Laws/regulations and measures have been set out by the federal government to reduce and discourage the activities of the oil thieves. Regrettably, these laws have been weakened by its enforcement strength, unemployment, institutional weakness of the relevant agency, and bribery and corruption, hence, the government must first deal with the root of the problem before looking at the rest of it. This research work attempts to examine the challenge of crude oil theft in the Nigerian society and make recommendations.
1.2. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to study the challenges of halting crude oil theft in the Niger delta region and also access the environmental integrity in Nigeria.
1.3. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is centered on the assessment of environmental integrity in Nigeria and the challenge of crude oil theft in the south southern part of Nigeria making use of the environmental rights action as a case study.
1.4. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Ø To know the challenges of crude oil theft so as to proffer solutions.
Ø To know the impact of crude oil theft on environmental integrity in Nigeria.
Ø To study those laws and strengthen the laws that prohibits environmental degradation.
1.5. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Ø What are the challenges of crude theft in Nigeria?
Ø Does crude oil theft have a negative impact on environmental integrity?
Ø What are the laws prohibiting environmental degradation and crude oil theft and can these laws be strengthened for optimal benefits?
1.6. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: crude oil theft does not affect the environmental integrity of the Niger delta region.
H1: crude oil theft affects the environmental integrity of the Niger delta region.