Implementation of EMP in EIA Follow-Up of Oil and Gas Projects in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Case of Bayelsa and Rivers States




EIA follow up, Environmental Management Plan, Oil and gas, Niger Delta, Sustainable Development


The Environmental Management Plan (EMP) is an off-shoot of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and is used during the implementation of a project to manage physical, socio-economic and health concerns identified during the assessment. Oil and gas production activities in Nigeria take place in a very delicate ecological region of the Niger Delta. Since the introduction of EMPs for projects in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, the extent of their implementation according to best practices is still poorly understood. The apparent limited knowledge on the implementation of EMPs puts environmental sustainability at great risk. This study evaluated the implementation of the Environment Management Plan of oil and gas production projects in the Bayelsa and Rivers States in the Central Niger Delta sub-region. Twelve case studies were selected from the region using a multi-level selection method which involved both random and purposive sampling techniques. The two states were purposively selected since they have the highest number of EMPs and the oldest history of oil production in Nigeria. The implementation of the EMPs within cases was scored using a check list which included 18 indicators developed based on the best practice principles of EIA follow-up. Findings show that the implementation of the EMPs is inadequate with an average score of 46.3%. The study concludes that the implementation of EMP is poorly handled and does not adequately address the approval conditions. The study recommends that more analysis and similar studies should be undertaken in other sectors and jurisdictions in order to better understand the implementation of EMP.