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An Analysis of The Components of
Environment and SustainableDevelopment
in Nigeria in 2008-2009 to 2018 Year
Agbebaku and Henry Usiobaifo*
Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria, Jabi-Abuja, Nigeria
Submission: February 02, 2019; Published: May 31, 2019
*Corresponding author: Agbebaku Henry Usiobaifo, Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria, Jabi-Abuja, Nigeria
How to cite this article: Agbebaku and Henry Usiobaifo. An Analysis of The Components of Environment and Sustainable
Development in Nigeria in 2008-2009 to 2018 Year. JOJ Wildl Biodivers. 2019: 1(2): 555557. 10.19080/JOJWB.2019.01.555557
Drawing from secondary data, the paper shows that the indices of human development index(HDI), poverty alleviation index (PAI), education index(EI) and health care index(HCI) are more essentials judging from the 13 principles of sustainable development. The study aim is to examine human perception of environment and sustainable development, to ascertain the attitude of human’s toward sustainable development and to determine the level of governance on sustainable development in Nigeria. The methodology is a combination of experimental survey on content analysis of articles from literatures on development and sustainable development. A projection of 0.03%, from 2006 population census from was considered, NBS (2016). Likewise, a projection of 0.05% index of 2018 on HDI, PAI, HCI and EI was derived from 2008-2009 calculated value. The result shows that eleven (11) states in Nigeria including Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja have a higher human development index (knowledge, income and health) above the benchmark of 0.513. Five 5 states including FCT, Abuja have GDP per capita higher than the National GDP. Five 5 States have a higher GDP Index of per capitathan the National GDP Benchmark of $1,156.82. North-Central and South-East have the highest and lowest poverty index in term of geo-political zones. Ten (10) states from the northern region have higher poverty index in Nigeria. Fourteen (I4) states including FCT, Abuja have higher life expectancy index than the benchmark of 50 years while eleven (I1) states including FCT have higher education index than the benchmark of 0.712. The result shows that there is a positive correlation of population growth and development in states and geo-political zones of the indices of human development, poverty alleviation, health care and education. Lastly, resources of the environment need to be modified and conserved to attain sustainability for future generation.
Keywords: Environment, Sustainable Development, Environmental Quality, Governance, Resources and Ecosystem
There is no doubt that the conception of sustainable development is broad in scope and nature and cut across the disciplines of environmental and social sciences. The term ‘sustainable development’ connotes an effective management of resources of the components of the environment and of the indices of environmental degradation, pollution, waste management and climate change; and others such as human governance, environmental impact of conflict, health, housing and urban development, policies and programmes, transportation and infrastructural facilities, environmental impact of project and projected impact on climate change are what the concerned of concept of environment and sustainable development [1,2]. These indices have been an abysmal threat in cities of Nigeria and Africa if compared to other places of the advanced world. The term environment serves as the totality of
our immediate surroundings. It functions as the condition and circumstance affecting people’s lives. It is the complexity of physical, chemical and biotic factors upon which an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determines its form and survival [3,4]. The study of  states that any damage done on the environment runs down capital, which sooner or later reduces the value of its recurrent services. The implication of this is that, there is need for sustainability of the environment and its resources for future use.
There exists some level of synergy, interactions and dependency between and among the spheres of the ecosystem in order to maintain and sustain environmental balance . For instance, the atmosphere depends solely on vegetative covers of the biosphere for purification and likewise the hydrosphere for precipitation. Equally, the hydrosphere depends on the atmosphere for water supply; the lithosphere depends on
the atmosphere and biosphere for vegetation cover while the
biosphere depends on the lithosphere for nutrients and support.
The list is endless and lastly man, the fauna and flora depend
squarely on all these components for life, growth, development
and sustainability [7,8]. In Nigeria, the state of the natural
environment has been degraded and deteriorates in recent time
and is still on the decline due to the nature of man activities and
his quest for comfortability [5,9]. The government as one of the
ways to ameliorate this scourge has lined up series of sensitization
programmes and public enlightenment campaign on the need to
protect the ecosystem from further environmental degradation
and threat. Every year the activities to World Environmental Day
(WED) are observed on June 5th to proffer solutions to abysmal
threat of the components of the environment.
Sustainable development means the capacity to improve the
quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of
the supporting ecosystem [10,11]. This requires organizational
change that instills sustainability values that portrays these
values outwardly from all levels and reinforces them to
surrounding stakeholders. The result should be a symbiotic
relationship between the sustaining organization, community,
and environment. Many drivers compel environmental resource
management to take sustainability issues into account. Today’s
economic paradigms do not protect the natural environment, yet
they deepen human dependency on biodiversity and ecosystem
services [9,12,13]. Furthermore, sustainable development
connote the judicious use of non-renewable resources of the
present and future generations, which are non-renewable
resources, must be used at a judicious rate, neither too fast nor
too slow and to ensure the natural wealth they represent is
converted into long-term wealth as they are used .
According to Mishra (2008), as cited by Ivbijaro & Akintola
 and in collaboration with the study of Cunningham and
Cunningham (2015), the universal drive for the concept of
sustainable development is of the menace of environmental
degradation, pollution and indiscriminate dump of solid waste
materials. However, the focused of the concept of sustainable
development is concerned about
a. respecting and caring for community life
b. improved quality of human life
c. conserving the earth’s vitality and diversity
d. minimizing the depletion of non-renewable resources
e. changing personal attitude and practices
f. enabling communities to care for their own environment
g. keeping within the earth ‘s carrying capacity, and
h. providing a national framework for integrating
development and conservation and creating a global alliance.
Sustainable development seeks to reconcile human needs and
the capacity of the environment to cope with the consequences
of economic and social systems and of the need to integrate the
concept of environment into economic and social development
which is the key sectors of human’s society, such as:
a) Economic sector; there is need for
i. growth in gross domestic product (GDP) and per capital
ii. conservation of the earth, and
b) Social sector; there is need for
i. distributional equity
ii. adequate provision of social services, and
iii. governance, participation, and political accountability
In view of the foregoing, the research focus is major on
these indices. The study of Thomas , as cited by  shows
that there must be a balance between the levels of development
and stock of natural resources in the environment; that is
development must be at a level that can be sustained without
prejudice to natural environment and future generations. If
there is to be sustainable development in Nigeria, the essentials
and enabling environment need to be in place, accommodating
and friendly and conserved by stakeholders of the environment
(individuals, corporate organizations and government agencies).
In addition, there should be improvements and sustainability of
the indices of sustainable development such as, the availability
of land, human-capital and material resources, good governance,
sanitation, health care, education, transportation and
infrastructures, housing and urban growth and development
. For example, in examination of the threat of solid waste
as one of the drives of the indices of sustainable development;
the compositions of waste materials should be made harmless
to human, animal and aquatic life and to the components of the
environment in general [16,17]. Global and National summits
on the concept of environment and sustainable development
aimed at the need for sustainable development of the earth’s
resources to meet future generation [17,18]. The aftermath of
the summits centered on development and conservation of
the earth’s ecosystem, conservation of the environment and
integrity of the environment on development of human, capital
and materials resources. Surmises from these summits are...…
in order to achieve sustainable development, environmental
protection shall constitute an integral part of the development
process and cannot be considered in isolation from it…Principle
4, Rio Declaration on Environmental and Development, 1992 .
In a nutshell, the concept of sustainable development is
centered on improving the quality of human life and this drive is
on-going and will continue to address ailing issues and problems
like conflicts, poverty alleviation, human health, education, biodiversity, infrastructure, population reduction, women
empowerment and gender inequality, waste management, heat
wave and climate change and global warming among others
environmental and global threats [2,19]. To achieve the aim
of this research, the main objectives of this paper will be to
ascertain human knowledge, perception and attitude (KPA) of
the environment and sustainable development, while the specific
objectives for the study are to:
a. examine human knowledge and perception of the
environment and sustainable development,
b. ascertain the provision of essential social and economic
services in some states in Nigeria,
c. determine the level of governance on sustainable
development in Nigeria and
d. determine the sway of sustainable development in
The concept of environment is concerned about the totality
of our surroundings. This relate to the activities of man, living
and non-living creatures on the components of the environment.
This includes the physical ‘natural’ and human or man-made
‘artificial’ environment. The human and man-made environment
is also known as the cultural environment. Furthermore, a mixed
of natural, human, man-made and cultural environment is known
as the modified environment [4,16,20]. The components of the
environment are atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and
biosphere. These varied spheres constitute the ecological units of
the environment. There exist some level of synergy, interactions
and interventions between and among the components of the
environment for sustainable development . The study of
Odiette , as cited by Thomas , and in corroboration with the
studies of Cunningham & Cunningham  and Ivbijaro & Akintola
, observed that the environment serves as the platform on
which, the sectors of human environment (economic, social,
human and agricultural) thrives and functions.
The concept of environmental quality connotes the positive
value of human health, safety and environment benefits of man
and others living creatures in and on the components of the
ecosystem. This connotes clean air, land and clean water and
hygienic state of the environment Wright and Nebel , as cited
by Odiette  and Agbebaku . According to Wright and Nebel
, these environmental indices functions as the essentials
for man’s existence and sustainability. Environmental quality
depicts healthy, conducive and friendly state of the components
of the environment “atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere”
to sustain man and other living organisms of the biosphere
[4,21]. Qualitative state of the environment depends on the
extent of planning, organizing, controlling and coordinating of
human activities which is essential for sustainable development.
The index for measuring water quality is through laboratory
experimentation, for air quality is through the aid of flue
gas analyzer while that for soil quality is through laboratory
experimentation of earth samples LASEPA (2010).
According to Anifowose , governance means the process,
state and power of governing. It connotes a group of persons
which make-up an administrative body. This body is saddled
with the responsibility to provide leadership role, influence
and authority; enforced fair participation, and accountability
for consistent, cohesion policies, processes and decision rights.
The study of Ademolekun , in collaboration with the study of
Fagbemi & Agbebaku , observed that governance is the ability
to control the political, social and economic processes, to ensure
provision of services, equity distribution and accountability of
resources within their jurisdiction. In a nutshell, governance
means the ability to administer authority and control over others.
Good governance connotes the ability to provide operative
leadership, influence and authority, fair participation, quality
services, equity distribution and accountability of resources and
social and economic ties with other nations.
A health-care service is aimed to provide health needs of
the people. The study of Howard , observed that health-care
systems either as primary or secondary is aimed to maintain,
sustain and improve the quality of health care services. Basically,
health care service is aimed to prevention, diagnosis, and
treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and
mental impairments in human beings Farai , as cited by
Ivbijaro & Akintola . The study of Mumem (2009), observed
that healthcare system is concerned about organization of
people, institutions and resources that deliver health care
services to meet the health needs of target populations.
Poverty alleviation scheme is aimed at reduction of
absolute poverty. Poverty can be measured in both economic
and humanitarian index. The sole aimed of poverty alleviation
is to lift people out of poverty. The study of Cunningham &
Cunningham , states that the dawn of industrial revolution led
to high economic growth, eliminating mass poverty in what is
now considered the developed world. Poverty in Nigeria remains
significant low despite high economic growth. Nigeria has one of
the world’s highest economic growth rates (averaging 7.4% over
the last decade) a well-developed economy, and plenty of natural
resources such as oil resource. However, Nigeria retains a high
level of poverty, with 63% living on less than $1 per day, implying
a decline in equity . There have been governmental attempts
at poverty alleviation, of which the National Poverty Eradication
Programme (NAPEP) and National Poverty Eradication Council
(NAPEC) are the most recent ones. The activities of NAPEP
and NAPEC coordinate and oversee various other institutions,
including ministries, and develop plans and guidelines to follow
with regards to poverty reduction. The goals of NAPEP include
training youths in vocational trades, to support internship, to
support micro-credit, create employment in the automobile
industry. The study of , revealed that NAPEP programmes has been able to train (since inception) 130,000 youths and engaged
216,000 people since its inception in 2001 but even at that
Nigeria’s population is poor, poverty statistics is put at 54.41 per
The concept of sustainable development is concerned
about improving quality, maintainability, and conservation of
the earth’s resources [2,10,12]. Sustainable development is
concerned about conservation and integrity of the environment
into development of human capital and materials resources. The
study of Odiette , as cited by Thomas  and in corroboration
with the studies of Ige , Cunningham & Cunningham 
and Ivbijaro & Akintola , states that the aim of sustainable
development is to meet the need of the people today without
compromising resources and environmental systems for future
generation. In this context, the term “development” refers to
improving access to health care, education and other conditions
necessary for a healthy and productive life, especially in regions
of extreme poverty like Nigeria and other developing countries.
According to the study of Cunningham & Cunningham  and
Okechukwu , meeting the needs of people now is the main
priority of what the concept of sustainable development is
concerned, but guiding those resources for their great-great
grand-children is a huge task and these needs to be accomplished.
Agenda 21 of the 1992; Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro), of the
United Nations mentioned that there are Twenty-Seven (27)
Principles (topics) for sustainable development. But thirteen
(13) of these Principles (topics) are of special relevance to the
field of environmental sciences .
These 13 topics are;
i. combating poverty
ii. reducing resource consumption
iii. population growth
iv. health care and environmental sanitation
v. sustainable cities
vi. environmental policy
vii. Protection of the atmosphere
viii. Combating desertification and drought
ix. Combating deforestation and protecting biodiversity
x. Agriculture and rural development
xi. Women and youth empowerment
xii. Freshwater and coaster water resources, and;
xiii. Mountainous areas.
Cunningham & Cunningham , submitted that these factors
of sustainable development are major problems in Africa and
other developing nations of the world. For instance, un-managed
waste materials rendered the environment filthy, degrading
and abysmal, effects from this menace lead to environmental
degradation and global threat but where the waste materials are
well managed, it led to enormous prospects such as
A. job creation
B. income generation
C. foreign exchange
D. environmental quality and
E. sustainable development of the earth’s resources
This paper is purely an experimental survey and a
combination of content analysis of articles from literatures and
field survey. It utilizes evidence mainly from secondary sources
and observed information from field survey. Secondary data
were sourced mainly from existing literature, academic journals,
conference papers, thesis, internet materials and other archival
sources. Information extracted was critically and emphatically
evaluated and discussed. Primary information was sourced
from established survey of literatures of 4indices out of the 13
relevant principles of sustainable development in Nigeria. The
4 relevant principles of sustainable development are the indices
of human development index, health care index, education
index and poverty alleviation index (GDP; from states and geopolitical
zones). These indices were presented and analyzed in
tables with the use of descriptive technique, percentage and
graphs. Each of the tables’ shows minimum benchmark of the
index of sustainable development as approved in Nigeria in line
with UNDP standards. A projection of 0.03% was made from the
2006 population census, while 0.05% was made of 4 indices of
sustainable development of the year of 2008 - 2009 and 2018.
Tables’ and graphs show computation of 2006 population
projection and indices of human development, health care,
education and poverty alleviation indexes in some selected
states, FCT, Abuja and of the six (6) geo-political zones in Nigeria.
Human development index (HDI) is one of the relevant
principles of sustainable development as identified in Agenda
21 of the Earth Summits in Rio de Janeiro . The theme of
HDI is that for sustainable development to be attained and
achieved there should be the integration of human resource
into development plan of the environment. Human development
index measures the quality of human life and achievements.
Integration of human development index into the environment
can be determined in three dimensions; these are education, income and health. The HDI is the focus of sustainable
development as other principles revolves around it. This
index of sustainable development indices is in-line with other
principles of health care, poverty alleviation and empowerment.
In Nigeria, National index on human development is valued at
0.513 minimum benchmark. For this research, selection of states
for the study is based on areas with high human development
index higher than the national HDI of 0.513 benchmark. Same
is applied for the indices of poverty alleviation, health care and
education as key indicators for sustainable development. Table 1
(Chart 1) shows Human Development Index (HDI) of 11 States in
Nigeria and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Population census
of 2006 and a projection of 2016 were determined for the 11
states as well as HDI of 2008-2009 and a projection of 2018 were
Table 1 shows 2018 projection of 2006 population census at
0.03% and HDI at 0.0.5%, it will be observed that more states
as against 11 states including FCT, Abuja in 2008-2009 year
would have a higher HDI above National benchmark of 0.513.
Increase in number of states on HDI could be in line with the
submissions of [11,12,21], that HDI is a function of the drive for
quality education, health care and human welfare. These were
in submission with findings of Cunningham & Cunningham ,
which revealed that there is need for improvement in quality
and achievements in human life in the dimension of education,
health care and income and that these variables are essential
indices that will help human integration into the environment
and for sustainability of the earth resources. Cunningham &
Cunningham , added that of these three indices of HDI,
educational achievement is more essential as its coordinates and
enhances improvement in health care and income generation.
Furthermore, in line with objectives 1 and 2, findings show
that more states have keyed into the concept of environment
and sustainable development in Nigeria. Furthermore, it has
been established that of the eleven (11) states in Nigeria as
shown in Table 1 & chart 1 (Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Lagos,
Delta, Ondo, Cross River, Benue, Abia, Ekiti and Kano) including
FCT, Abuja have high human development index . But this
submission is subject to how friendly and accommodating the
environment is to sustain economic and social development.
Tables 2 & 3 (charts 2 & 3) shows poverty alleviation states
and of geo-political zones in Nigeria. From 2018 projection of
2006 population census at 0.03% and PAI at 0.0.5%, it will be
observed that more states as against five (5) states including
FCT, Abuja will continue to meet with National GDP benchmark
of $1,156.82 of 2008-2009 year. Same can be said of poverty
alleviation by geo-political zones in Nigeria. Finding shows that
(GDP) per capital and purchasing power parity (PPP) US dollars
varies with increase in population and level of investments.
South-West geo-political zone with the 1st highest human
population (27,581,992) in Southern Nigeria has 43.01 poverty
indexes while the North-East geo-political zone with the 2nd
highest human population (18,971,965) in Northern Nigeria has
72.16 poverty indexes (Table 4) (Chart 4).
The study further revealed that 10 states (Jigawa, Kebbi,
Kogi, Bauchi, Kwara, Yobe, Zamfara, Gombe, Sokoto, Adamawa
& Katsina) from North-West, North-East and North-Central geopolitical
zones are grossly affected with poverty. In line with
objective 3, it shows that governance on trade and investment
and empowerment on income generation as key indices of
poverty alleviation is low in these states and that leadership role
on poverty alleviation is still lows in these states if compared to
other states of the Federation. The degrees of poverty in these
states could be in line with the submissions of Cunningham
& Cunningham , as cited by Ivbijaro  and Fagbemi &
Agbebaku , that poverty is measured in both economic
and humanitarian index is aimed to lift people out of poverty
and less governmental attempts of poverty alleviation in these
areas. Furthermore, findings from Ivbijaro , shows that 63%
of Nigerian lives on less than $1 per day and that about 54.41 per
cent of Nigeria population is poor.
Table 5 (Chart 5) shows that from 2018 projection of 2006
population census at 0.03% and HCI at 0.0.5%, it will be observed
that more states as against fourteen (14) states including FCT,
Abuja will continue to meet with National HCI benchmark of 50
years of 2008-2009 year. Facilities of health care services were
mal-administered, effective and not evenly distributed across
states and geo-political zones in Nigeria. The study of Howard
, Farai , observed that health care is aimed in addition
to improved quality of health care services is concerned about
organization of people, institution and resources that deliver
health care services. Findings from Adedeji & Eziyi , Withgoth
& Brennan  and Ivbijaro , revealed that there in need for
distributional equity, adequate provision of social services and
governance; participation and accountability. Fourteen (14)
states including FCT, Abuja (Ekiti, Cross-River, Borno, Imo, Kano,
Kebbi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ondo, Sokoto, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta,
Yobe and Abuja) have met the 50 years National bench mark of
life expectancy as against 51.9 years at birth rate in Nigeria in
2008-2009 year. In line with objective 3, the study further reveals
that there are high values for health care facilities in 15 states
as presented in Table 5 than in other states of the federation
. Life expectancy in Togo is 56.1 while in Ghana and Benin
Republic respectively it is put at 64.2 in 2008-2009 year.
Lastly, from the 2018 projection of 2006 population census
at 0.03% and PAI at 0.0.5%, it will be observed that more states
as against ten (10) states including FCT, Abuja will continue to
meet with National EI benchmark of 0.712 of 2008-2009 year.
Findings revealed that educational attainment is higher in three
of the geo-political zones than in other zones; South-West, South-
East and South-South states. Ten (10) states (Rivers, Akwa-Ibom,
Lagos, Anambra, Enugu, Ondo, Imo, Edo, Abia and Ekiti) including
the FCT, Abuja met the educational index National benchmark
of 0.712. This agrees with the summations of Omofonwan &
Segynola [31-39], Adedeji & Eziyi  and Wright & Boorse ,
that education depicts knowledge, wealth and leadership. They
added that education enhances sustainable development of
human development, poverty alleviation and health care among
other principles of sustainable development. Furthermore, in
line with objective 4, the study revealed that low attainment of
educational standard as presented in Table 6 (Chart 6) will lead
to low human development . He added that an unmanaged
environment will lowered sustainability development of the
earth resources, which can be from the indices of human
development, economic recession, food scarcity, threat from
poor waste management, poor governance and accountability,
population explosion and un-coordinated city structure, loss of
resources, health challenge and global inequality. Furthermore,
from the computation of 2006 population census in 2006 and
with a projection at 0.03% in 2016 still on Table 6 revealed that
Lagos state has the highest educational index in Nigeria .
People’s perception, knowledge and attitude toward the
environment and sustainable development need to be defined
and re-define from time to time. Summits on environment
and sustainable development aimed at turning the lofty goals,
promises and commitments of varied earth summit’s into
concrete and tangible actions, to advance and strengthen
the inter-dependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of
sustainable development in the sectors of economic, social
and environment. There is need for improvement in the
drives for knowledge, perception and attitudes of human in
the provision of social services, good governance, housing
and urban development, environmental impact on conflict,
transportation and infrastructures, climate change, agricultural
and rural development, combating desertification, drought and
deforestation, protecting biodiversity, health care and poverty
among others indices of sustainable development in Nigeria.
In order to attain equity distribution of social and economic
services, the indices of human development, poverty alleviation,
education and health care among others should be sustained.
Number of schools, hospitals and other health service outlets,
poverty alleviation schemes should be adequately taken care
of by the 3-tiers of government. Governance is tied toward
development of economic and social sectors of any economy.
Development connotes change of character in economic and
social sectors of the environment. There is the need to integrate
the environment into development of the earth resources.
Practice of build-up environment and afforestation brings lives
into the ecosystem, while unmanaged environment results
to gradual death of man, plants and other organisms of the
ecosystem. The cycle(s) of energy in each of the components
of the ecosystem, interaction and interrelationship must be
maintained and sustained.
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