The Untold Tales of the Aliko Dangote and NNPC fossil Fuel Projects - The Death Sentence of our Race

The Richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote has committed 15billion US dollars in building what is considered the world's largest oil refinery in Lagos Nigeria and is expected to be in full operation by 2020

 Sounds nice right ?

Nigeria's NNPC has an estimated U.S.$48 Billion in Oil and Gas Project investments in 2019

Wow, massive job opportunities again, right?

I can go on and on and on mentioning massive billion dollar Investments on fossil fuel projects in Nigeria that is going to change the status quo of the Nigerian Society in time to come and the impact this is going to have. To the common man, this is another intervention on poverty and unemployment alleviation, but I'll call this " an employment to get paid enough to take care of your compulsory future health bills". Whereas, these projects do little or nothing in providing healthy jobs for the common man in the Nigerian Society. 

One might wonder why I'm beginning to sound this way about a "MASSIVE" laudable project announced by the billionaire business man and the likes of him, but taking a stroll down this article would open you up to the untold tales of these investments, their real costs and why the Federal government should put a Halt on them immediately.

What is a Fossil Fuel?

A fossil fuel is a fuel formed by natural processes, such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms, containing energy originating in ancient photosynthesis. Such organisms and their resulting fossil fuels typically have an age of millions of years, and sometimes more than 650 million years. Fossil fuels include petroleum, coal and natural gas. Orimulsion recently has been recognized as the fourth fossil fuel even though not in full acceptance and utility yet. 

One more important definition to the above subject ; Fossil fuels are rock-like, gas, or liquid resources that are burned to generate power. They include coal, natural gas, and oil, and are used as an energy source in the electricity and transportation sectors. They’re also a leading source of the world’s global warming pollution.

In the past decades Fossil fuels has become a major source of power, energy and economic boost for some countries with Nigeria  being at the helm of affairs in the African continent. We have neglected so much the huge opportunities that lie in our other natural endowments and have ignorantly pledged loyalty to Fossil Fuels, ignoring the harm our society will have to suffer in account of our total dependence on it. The poorest of families in Nigerian rural communities, especially IMO State where I hail from, have been reported to live off farming - for good food and natural water sources - for fishes and water to drink. But in our unquenchable thirst for economic boom and the big pocket business Men's Desire to grow their net worth, the lives and health of these families are being put in great danger as this fossil fuel products stop at nothing to infiltrate grievous environmental pollutions to the land, there by making it toxic for plants and the oceans poisonous for the fishes and the lives that depend on it.

It might impress you to know that Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, primarily the result of burning coal, contribute to the formation of harmful particulate matter. It is also one of the largest contributors of air pollution, acid rain and even toxic environmental mercury. But because coal is so inexpensive and plentiful—at the current rate of domestic demand, many countries have enough coal to last for many years. nations like ours (Nigeria) find it hard to abandon the fuel without risking economic ruin. This is because we have failed so much as a nation to diversify and find new ways of having a sustainable economic development plan that will save our climate and save the life of the common man, our oceans, rivers, streams, and lives that depend on them.

I'll like to stress a little more on the break down of the dangers and risks of fossil fuels on the existence of the human race, drawing references from the few highlighted Properties of it above. 

Dangers of Fossil Fuels and the Aliko Dangote and NNPC oil projects

I have mentioned in highlights, a few of this above, I'll like to state In addition, that SO2 emissions can exacerbate respiratory ailments, including asthma, nasal congestion, and pulmonary inflammation. In 2014 alone, fossil fuel combustion at power plants accounted for 80 percent of Nigeria's SO2 emissions.

 Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, a byproduct of all fossil fuel combustion, contribute to acid rain and ground-level ozone (smog), which can burn lung tissue and can make people more susceptible to asthma, bronchitis, and other chronic respiratory diseases. Fossil fuel-powered transportation is the primary contributor to the NOx emissions.

 Acid rain is formed when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides mix with water, oxygen, and other chemicals in the atmosphere, leading to rain and other precipitation that is mildly acidic. Acidic precipitation increases the acidity of lakes and streams, which can be harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms. It can also damage trees and weaken forest ecosystems.

 Particulate matter (soot) emissions produce haze and can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and elevated occurrence of premature death. In 2010, it is estimated that fine particle pollution from coal plants resulted in 13,200 deaths, 9,700 hospitalizations, and 20,000 heart attacks in the United states, talk more of Nigeria where this is the primary source of energy with no secondary alternative and less functional or near dysfunctional health sector. 

The impacts are particularly severe among the young, the elderly, and those who suffer from respiratory disease. 

 Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions to the air, As airborne mercury settles onto the ground, it washes into bodies of water where it accumulates in fish, and subsequently passes through the food chain to birds and other animals. The consumption of mercury-laden fish by pregnant women has been associated with neurological and neurobehavioral effects in infants. Young children are also at risk.

Many of this emissions are recorded during the Mining, Transportation, Storing and refining stages of any kind of fossil fuel and the Dangote refinery project will have to wine and dine with this processes for a period of "Who knows how long", probably until billions of dollars are generated on account of people's lives. 

So I ask 

"What is the essence of a Healthy economy with Sick people in it ?" 

Written by : Victor Kingsley 
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