Oil exploration and exploitation in Nigeria have evolved through a long history. However, they have left trail of woes in their path with so much damage to the ecosystem and problems to human life in the exploration region. In the light of this, the paper appraises the implications of oil exploration and exploitation in the coastal region of Ondo State. Data used in the paper were obtained through physical verification, regular observations, constant monitoring, documentation and records of oral history and administration of questionnaire in some selected settlements in the region. The paper highlighted several direct environmental and associated problems that emanated from oil exploration and exploitation in the region. The problems identified among others include large-scale environmental pollution and degradation of agricultural land which serves as source of income for the people coupled with social unrest arising from unpaid claims of compensation and lack of concern for the people in the exploration area. The paper advocates for oil spill management plan, control and clearance of spills; giving concessions to indigenous oil companies during biding process by granting licenses to operate in the Niger-Delta region; adoption of long-term monitoring and surveillance mechanism; continuous provision of infrastructure for the host communities by prospecting oil companies; and development of national oil spill contingency plan among others with a view to guarantee sustainable development of the environment in the region.
Key words: Exploration, exploitation, coastal region, Niger-Delta, and environmental pollution.
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