Last week, Bailiff Africa, a modern youth environmental organization that prides itself as the voice of green in Africa organized a workshop with the theme, Oil in Lagos: What’s in it for the Planet, at the Center for Management and Development, Magodo Lagos. Featuring a wide range of speakers from energy, environmental and government spaces in Nigeria, the event was in line with the organization’s mission to foster the development of successful environmental projects and organizations in African contexts through the provision of comprehensive environmental education and resources to young people.
The session commenced with a short video montage highlighting the recurring effects of oil spills in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria, after which panelists made individual presentations on the subject matter. “Over 10 million barrels have been spilled since the discovery of oil in Nigeria” began Engineer Titilope Fadipe, representing the Hon. Commissioner of Environment Lagos state, Engr. Titilope Fadipe charged youths present to be more innovative, think outside the box and challenge the political system to encourage advancement. Another panelist, Nnimmo Bassey of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, declared that the promises of crude oil are usually not what they purport to be. According to him, “we need to refocus our investment in crude oil because the resource is depleting and we’re investing in history instead of the future.”
Nnimmo Bassey cited examples from the Ogoniland oil spills in South-eastern Nigeria and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spills, Alaska that occurred in 1970 and 1989 respectively, observing that “oil spills do not go away” because, till date, the negative impacts of those oil spillages are still evident in the ecosystem. Other panelists at the workshop were Dr. Abiodun Olusogo, of the Lagos State Marginalised Communities Forum, an environmentalist who works with those displaced by government activity and natural disasters, and Mr. Ayodele Fanida of the Policy Advocacy Project (Partnership on Climate Change) who specializes in a vast range of climate change issues. The workshop was very well attended by about 100 invited young participants and ended on a note of hope for the innovation of environmental solutions in Nigeria and Africa.
Several participants won recharge card prizes for answering quizzes on oil and environmental issues in Nigeria in a signature program called The Green Showdown.
Bailiff Africa is the voice of everything ‘green’, ‘environment’ and ‘sustainable development’ in Africa and publishes a diversity of essays, news, documentaries and other works pertaining to GREEN in AFRICA on its online platform. Bailiff Africa was recently awarded a grant by the Global Greengrants Fund in the United States in recognition of the organization’s previous work and plans to improve environmental education and innovation in Lagos State, Nigeria and all of Africa. The organization is also recognized as an Alder Top Social Media Brand in 2014. =
In case you missed it, we’ve curated an album of pictures from the program for you.