Working towards an integrated land contamination management framework for Nigeria

Kabari Sam, Frédéric Coulon, George Prpich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past five decades, Nigeria has developed a number of contaminated land legislations to address the damage caused primarily by oil and gas exploitation activities. Within these legislations exists elements of risk assessment and risk-based corrective action. Despite this progress, we argue that contaminated land management approaches in Nigeria need further development to be able to integrate new scientific information, and to address environmental, economic, and social values. By comparison, advanced contaminated land regimes in the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America (USA) apply a number of integrative approaches (e.g. sustainability appraisal, liability regime, funding mechanisms, technology demonstration) that enable them to meet the environmental, economic, and social needs of their populations. In comparison, Nigerian governance lacks many of these mechanisms and management of contaminated land is ad hoc. In this paper we propose an integrated risk assessment framework for Nigeria that incorporates the principles of sustainability and stakeholder engagement into the decision-making processes for contaminated land risk assessment and risk management. The integrated approach relies on transparency to promote acceptance and build trust in institutions, and uses stakeholder engagement to address data deficiencies. We conclude this paper with a roadmap for how Nigeria might implement such an integrative approach into their existing contaminated land regulatory system, as well as identify a series of policy priorities that should be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-925
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date30 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016


  • Contaminated land
  • Integrated framework
  • Niger Delta
  • Risk assessment
  • Sustainability appraisal

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