Nigeria’s coastal erosion costs country $20bn a year

More than 5m hectares of land affected, costing country an estimated $20bn a year

Nigeria is losing up to $20bn a year to erosion, including the destruction of the three ocean ports, according to a report released on Thursday which highlights the impact of the country’s growing population on already degraded land.

The UN-backed study, documenting Nigeria’s erosion crisis, says more than 5m hectares of land is affected.

Of that, more than 1.5m hectares is along Nigeria’s border with Benin and Togo, including the Igando waterfront and The Island, which includes the Agidingbi market, and the 3.2m hectares of saltmines within the country’s mineral concession areas.

It says that a coastal erosion hazard is already impacting the regulatory, economic and institutional activities of hundreds of Nigeria’s coastal states.

A professor of geography at the University of Ibadan, Ibrahim Aikawa, said climate change was likely to be responsible for about half of the erosion at the coastal states. “Another important factor which contributes to Nigeria’s rise in erosion is the presence of major saltmines,” he said.

“There is evidence that pollution in coastal saltmines is having an adverse impact on salinity and other minerals, which is significantly interfering with the mixing of dredging water and coastal soils.”

Agitated communities demand justice over disappearance of men in military uniform Read more

Nigeria’s growth has been linked to the demand for iron ore, crude oil and natural gas. It exports largely to China and South Korea.

The price of iron ore dropped below $75 per tonne on Thursday amid fears of slowing Chinese growth and a trade war between the US and China.

A political crisis over the disappearance of more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, in northeast Nigeria, last year deepened the country’s pressure cooker of security problems, including illegal mining and displacement by Boko Haram Islamists.

Leave a Comment