Environmental and societal management of contaminated land in Nigeria: the need for policy and guidance changes

Kabari Simeon Sam, George Prpich, Frédéric Coulon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In recent years contaminated land management has become a major concern in Nigeria. While water and air pollution have received the most attention, the regulatory system for contaminated land remains largely undeveloped. As a result, there is an absence of: a clear and well-established policy framework; administrative structure and capacity; technical methods; and incentive structures. A reason for this is the lack of an effective environmental management framework. Without these instruments the ability of Nigerian courts to settle issues about environmental degradation is limited, and therefore, environmental issues are often settled elsewhere. In countries with robust environmental frameworks, e.g. the United Kingdom, contaminated land issues are dealt with using risk-based approaches. The need for risk-based oil spill management in Nigeria has been widely acknowledged (UNEP, 2011), however, to date only few regulatory instruments have been developed and promoted in Nigeria for contaminated land management in Nigeria. The current contaminated land regulation is poorly enforced and ineffective as the regulatory framework itself is fragmented and not well coordinated by governmental agencies. Here we provide a critical review of risk based contaminated land management practices in Europe and the USA. In addition, we compare the drivers for contaminated land regulation decisions across Nigeria, UK and USA. Finally, we present the results of our investigation into stakeholders’ perceptions and satisfaction with the current contaminated land management regulation to understand the key aspects that need revision or inclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2015
EventClean Up 2015: 6th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 13 Sept 201516 Sept 2015


ConferenceClean Up 2015: 6th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference

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