Pollution associated with oil and gas exploration causes huge environmental damage. It is mainly caused by oil spills, gas flaring, effluent discharge and human error and these impacts on health, environment, and culture, economic and social activities of people. Recently, spills appear to be the main cause of oil-related pollution because many countries have worked hard to reduce flaring which is also a major source of pollution in the industry. In Nigeria, pollution from exploration activities is mainly caused by oil spills and gas flaring[1]which had led to many problems including health complications such as serious respiratory problems cancer, kidney and liver problems or even deaths, destruction of farmlands, fishing industry, tourism facilities and cultural areas. It has also led to community conflicts, violence and frustration, militancy, reduction in tourism and hospitality industries, and loss of biodiversity and destruction of habitats. This paper holistically looked at these impacts and examined them in the context of the Niger Delta situation. It generally raises and seeks to provide answers to some important questions: why are these problems grave in Nigeria and the role the negative impacts had played in anti-social behaviour, crises and criminality in the Niger Delta? In answering the questions, the paper examines actions taken by stakeholders to ameliorate the impacts while making few references to other jurisdictions where appropriate. It concluded that the impacts of spills and oil-related pollution are one of the main reasons why militancy and other societal ills have taken the centre stage in the Niger Delta. It recommends a more tailored solution in dealing with oil pollution and problems caused by it.

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Author notes

[1]Nigeria flare most of its associated gas although it has reduced its flare in recent times, it is still in the second position of world most flared gas country after Russia.