A professor of medicine and sustainable environment advocate, Professor Vincent Idemyor, has predicted that Nigerian oil and gas deposits, particularly in the Niger Delta region will not last beyond the next 40 years.
The US-based Idemyor, currently visiting the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, gave the prediction in a lecture at a one-day workshop convened by National Orientation Agency, NOA, in Port Harcourt on Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Development in Nigeria.
He said: “Experts are undivided on the reality that the oil and gas being drained from the Niger Delta is non-renewable.
“But the experts, oil takers and regulators in the Nigerian environment are reluctant to talk about it, but it is not their prerogative to tell us the truth. I have been doing my calculation based on the trends in our proven reserves and production figures.
“I can tell you that what we have in the soil at the rate we are taking it may not last beyond the next 35 or 40 years. That poses a serious question mark on our capacity for sustainable development.”
On the way out, he called for greater public and private sector commitment to the development of agriculture and significant progress in the fight against corruption to mitigate the challenges of a Nigeria without oil “as 40 years is not such a long time to come.”
Rivers State Director of NOA, Oliver Wolugbom, noted that most of the challenges faced by the environment are caused by man himself.