Industrial Pollution and its Attendant Effects on Public Health in Nigeria

Tolulope R. Jerumeh, Cyril S. Ogunnubi, Sulaiman A. Yusuf


Air pollution from rapid industrialization and the use of energy have led to increasing deterioration in environmental quality which poses serious challenges to human health. This study estimated the effect of industrial pollution on public health in Nigeria using time series data sourced from World Development Indicators (WDI) data from 1971-2011.. The stationarity tests reveal that except for GDP growth which was stationary at its level, all other variables were stationary at first difference. The cointegration test shows the existence of three cointegrating equations which implies that the series cannot drift too far apart and hence the need for an estimation of the VECM model. The VECM shows a negative relationship between life expectancy (a proxy for public health) and carbon dioxide emission (industrial pollution) both in the short and long run. The coefficient of Error Correction Term (-0.0802) of the model was significant and negative meaning that the system corrects its previous period disequilibrium at a speed of approximately 8% annually. The impulse response analysis revealed that after the first quarter, a one standard deviation shock in carbon emission has a negative and significant impact on life expectancy, thereby validating the negative relationship between life expectancy and carbon dioxide emission in Nigeria.  The study therefore recommends that efforts aimed at improving public health should focus on observing the Kyoto Protocol (KP) agreement which is targeted at reducing the emission of green house gases responsible for climate change with severe health implications. This objective can be achieved by imposing taxes, use of quotas or fostering collective bargaining between the parties involved.

Keywords: Life expectancy, public health, industrial pollution, carbon dioxide emission, VECM, Nigeria

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