Despite longstanding laws against gas flaring, the burning of natural gas during oil extraction has remained the major cause of mortality in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. ANAYO ONUKWUGHA writes that since the practice involves carbon dioxide and sulphur outputs, the continuous inhaling of this poisonous fumes emanating from such oil fields still poses serious health consequences for inhabitants of host communities. The debate on gas flaring in Nigeria dates as far back as when we joined the ranks of oil producing countries in 1958, when its first oil field came on stream, producing 5,100 barrels per day. As far back as 1960, there were already concerns expressed about the dangers of flaring gas, and the need to put same in check. Following these concerns, the federal government fixed the initial deadline for ending gas flaring for January 1984. That target was never achieved and over the […]