From Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Professor of Medicine and sustainable environment advocate, Prof. Vincent Idemyor, has predicted that Nigerian oil and gas deposits, particularly in the Niger Delta would not last beyond the next forty years.
United State based Idemyor, currently a Visitor at the University of Port Harcourt, gave the prediction in a lecture at a one day workshop convened by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Port Harcourt on Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Development in Nigeria.
He said, “Experts are undivided on the reality that the oil and gas being drained from the Niger Delta is non renewable. But the experts, oil takers and regulators in the Nigeria environment are reluctant to talk about it, but it not their prerogative to tell us the truth.
I have been doing my own calculations based on the trends in our proven reserves and production figures. I can tell you that what we have on the soil at the rate we are taking may not last beyond the next 35 of 40years. That poses a serious question mark on our capacity for sustainable development.
He advocated, as a way out, greater public and private sector commitment to the development of agriculture and significant progress in the fight against corruption to mitigate the challenges of a Nigerian without oil “as 40 years is not such a long time to come.”
In his remarks, the Rivers State Director of the NOA, Oliver Wolugbom, noted that most of the challenges faced by the environment are caused by man himself.
“We all have a duty to take appropriate action to prevent those that are man made. And we need to take corresponding actions and discipline to put structures in place to mitigate the impact of the unavoidable challenged posed by nature to ensure sustainable existence for us and the generations to come,” he advised participants.