Nigeria Waste Imports from Italy (NIGERIA)

          CASE NUMBER:          52 
          CASE NAME:          Nigeria-Italy Waste Trade

1.        The Issue
     "Poverty is the reason people have been lured into accepting
substances that otherwise they would not have."  This poverty is
encouraging waste exports to Africa.  In some cases the fees for
trade in the hazardous wastes "rivals the African nations' annual
gross national product."  One exemplary case took place in Koko,
Nigeria in 1987 between Italian and Nigerian businessmen.  Italian
businessmen shipped toxic waste of several Italian industries to
Nigeria for storage in the backyard of a Nigerian businessman, who
described them merely as miscellaneous construction materials. 
Months later, a scandal over toxic waste was publicized when the
barrels of waste began leaking into the surrounding area. 
2.        Description
     Italy produces between "40 and 50 million tons of industrial
wastes and 16 million tons of household wastes each year," most of
which is believed to be exported to developing countries for
disposal.  In 1987, Italian businessmen Gianfranco Raffaeli and
Renato Pent, of the waste broker firms Ecomar and Jelly Wax
respectively, signed an illegal agreement with Nigerian
businessman, Sunday Nana, to use his property for storage of 18,000
drums of hazardous waste for approximately $100 a month (see JELLYWAX and BARREL cases).  The wastes were exported from the port of Pisa, and
elsewhere in Italy, to the receiving firm in Nigeria, the Iruekpen
Construction Company, owned by Sunday Nana.  The wastes were
imported as substances "relating to the building trade, and as
residual and allied chemicals." 
     Local Nigerian officials discovered the illegal toxic waste
stored at the port of Koko.  When the story broke in Italy, the
Nigerian Embassy in Rome did not even inform the government in
Lagos of the scam.  That was left to some Nigerian students in
Italy who phoned the Lagos daily, The Guardian, to trigger a
reaction by President Babangida's regime.  It was then discovered
that the waste, which had been stocked at random under the tropical
sun, was deadly: "Not only was there PCB, but also asbestos fiber
and perhaps dioxin."
     Over 100 workers from the Nigerian Port Authority were
employed to remove the wastes.  The Nigerian government supplied
the workers with equipment, protective clothing, and gas masks, but
the protective clothing was insufficient and many did not even have
gloves to protect their hands.  The wastes were more toxic than
many had realized and many workers began needing hospitalization
with problems ranging from chemical burns, nausea, to paralysis. 
Dr. Soloman Ogbemi, the senior medical officer at Koko General
Hospital, declared that the "seven premature births that occurred
within a one two-week period in July were due to the high toxicity
of the dumpsite."
     Eventually, the Italian government agreed to pay the cost of
returning the wastes back to Italy, at least until they could
determine the guilty parties.  As a result, in July of 1988, two
ships, the KARIN B and the DEEPSEA CARRIER, began the process of
carrying the wastes from Nigeria back to Italy.  While in route
back to Italy, the Italian Environment Minister, Giorgio Ruffolo,
announced the Italian ports designated to accept the wastes as the
Tuscan port of Livorno and either Ravenna or Manfredonia Harbour in
the South Adriatic.  The former was to accept the wastes from the
KARIN B and the latter was to accept the wastes from the DEEPSEA
CARRIER.  However, the announcement resulted in protests, strikes
and blockades in all three ports in an attempt to prevent the waste
from being unloaded.  (After its arrival in Italy the KARIN B was
refused entry into Livorno when water samples taken from the
surrounding area showed traces of toxins leaking from the ship.)
     In December of 1988 workers began unloading the KARIN B.  The
containers of waste were transported to a warehouse until they
could be identified, after which they would be repackaged and
shipped off to a temporary storage place in the Emilia Romagna area
of Italy. In January of 1989 the first wastes left Livorno.  The
DEEPSEA CARRIER, on the other hand, was still held at bay, with its
crew sequestered on board, until August of 1989 when the ship was
finally allowed to unload in Livorno.
     Despite the Koko incident, the potential financial gains from
waste dumping may prove to be too tempting for many.  In fact, the
President of Benin gave a detailed explanation at the Lome
negotiations of his country's plans to import toxic waste despite
the heavy disapproval of Benin's neighboring states, Nigeria and
Togo, arguing it had to do so for survival.
     Toxic waste dumping began in the mid-1970's.  It is also
believed that France was among the principal culprits, using their
special relations with francophone Africa as a means of disposing
of unwanted waste materials.  Occasionally, although rarely, rumors
would filter out about toxic waste sites in Africa: for example,
"in 1979 it became known that the American company, Nedlog
Technology Group, Inc., had offered Sierra Leone $25 million to use
its territory for waste disposal."  The President of Sierra Leone
eventually had to back out of the deal as a result of mounting
pressure.  In 1978 there was another case in which hazardous waste
from "American armed forces agencies was exported by the Colbert
brothers (who have been sent to prison for fraudulent business
practices) to Zimbabwe under the name of "cleaning fluids". 
Despite these crackdowns by both the industrialized and the
less-industrialized countries the trade of hazardous waste
continues to go on.  In fact, in recent years several contracts
have been signed with African states.  One of the larger waste
disposal networks is that "the Italo-Swiss Intercontract-Jelly Wax
group, which have tried to negotiate contracts with Guinea-Bissau,
Djibouti, and Senegal.  
     In 1987, Djibouti turned down 2,100 tons of chemical waste
that had been shipped from the port of Marina di Carrara.  It was
after the firm Intercontract signed a huge deal with Guinea-Bissau
that the full scale of the toxic waste trade in Africa became
apparent.  Some Europeans groups began publicisizing such trade. 
It took the "Brussels-based lobbying group, Entente Europ‚enne pour
l'Environment (EEE), to blow the whistle on the entire deal.  Under
the contract, Guinea-Bissau would receive up to 500,000 tons of
pharmaceutical and industrial waste from Switzerland at a price of
$40 per ton."
     For impoverished Guinea-Bissau, the prospect of earning up to
$20 million seemed very attractive.  In reality, Intercontract
would gain most from this deal.  By dumping the waste in Africa
they were sparing themselves the costs of incinerating and
recycling its wastes according to Common Market law.  As a dumping
ground, Intercontract had chosen a site near the town of Farim
which was known for being marshy and porous, thereby facilitating
the spread of pollution throughout the entire region.  The scandal
caused the Guinean authorities to cancel the deal as well as
another smaller deal that they had made with the British
government.  There was also the ZANOOBIA, the freighter which
"wandered for two months after it recovered more than 2,000 tons of
toxic waste from Syria, where it had been dumped after being
rejected by Djibouti, Venezuela, and Sardinia...[and] more than
15,000 tons of toxic ash from garbage incinerators in Philadelphia"
were dumped in some abandoned mines off of the West African coast
of Guinea (see KHAIN case).  
3.        Related Cases
     Keyword Clusters         
     (1): Trade Product            = WASTE
     (2): Bio-geography            = TROPical
     (3): Environmental Problem    = Pollution Land [POLL]
4.        Draft Authors:  Alessandra M. Poropat, Jennifer Douglas
                              and Shehu Ibrahim
B.        LEGAL Filters
5.        Discourse and Status:  DISagreement and COMPlete
     The Nigerian government heard of the toxic wastes after the
barrels began leaking into the surrounding environment, creating a
public hazard to the people in the area.  The discovery of the
hazardous waste barrels led to the recalling of the ambassador of
Italy to Nigeria and the seizing of an Italian freighter, the
owners of which are now demanding $1 million compensation from the
Italian government.  The incident has further resulted in the
jailing of at least 54 individuals involved in the transaction, the
institution of the death penalty in Nigeria for waste traders, and
the banning of hazardous waste exports to developing countries by
Italy.  The Italian Ministry of the Environment expected to pay
$14.3 million for claims on the KARIN.
     As a result of this case, several actions were taken.  For
example, the first act of reconciliation was enacted by the
Nigerian government when they reinstated the Nigerian ambassador to
Italy two months after he had been recalled.  This was followed by
more substantial actions such as the one taken by the OKAYS leaders
(all of whom are members of the Lome Convention) when they agreed
to make it a criminal offense to facilitate the dumping of
dangerous waste and urged the developed countries to tighten their
controls on exports of such products.  All OKAYS member-states were
also asked to take the necessary steps to stop dumping and increase
legislative safeguards against such practices.
     The Nigerian President went even further by proposing a
regional system known as "Dumpwatch," designed to monitor dumping
activities.  However, of all the actions taken to stop the
transfer of hazardous wastes the Basel Convention on the Control of
Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
appears to be the most important (see BASEL case).  The Basel Convention calls for the management "in an
environmentally sound manner" of all transboundary shipments of
hazardous wastes as well as household wastes.  To this end, the
Convention sets up a system of checks and balances whereby, prior
to the export of such wastes, "the consent of the exporting
country, the importing country, and any transboundary countries
must be first obtained."
     The Basel Convention creates a system by which "the
notification must contain information about the reason for the
export, the means of transportation, the type of wastes, the
technical description of the disposal plant, and the contract
between the exporter and the disposer.  Further, each party to the
convention must require that wastes be packaged, labeled, and
transported in accordance with the generally accepted rules and
standards."  The wastes that cannot be disposed of in accordance to
the terms of the contract must be returned to the exporting
6.        Forum and Scope:  NIGERia and BILATeral
7.        Decision Breadth:  2 (NIGERia and ITALY)
     The Nigerian receivers of the waste did not realize the cost
accounting practices of waste.  They received the fees but there
were certain costs not initially evident.  For example, by the time
the toxic waste scandal broke out in Nigeria, the barrels had
already begun leaking, and causing damage to the soil.  Later,
during the removal of the barrels, workers insufficiently protected
from the fumes and leaks from the barrels.  Many became ill; some
even fell into comas.
8.        Legal Standing:  LAW
     The Basel Convention is an international treaty, but this case
relates more directly to Nigerian domestic law.
C.        GEOGRAPHIC Filters
9.        Geographic Locations
     a.   Geographic Domain : AFRICA
     b.   Geographic Site   : Western AFRICA [WAFR]
     c.   Geographic Impact : NIGERia
10.       Sub-National Factors:  NO
11.       Type of Habitat:  TROPical
     The area focuses on the southeastern part of Nigeria, in the
swampy Niger Delta area in the state of Bendel.  The soil in the
area is extremely porous and marshy and therefore the chemicals
could have easily leaked into the river.
D.        TRADE Filters
12.       Type of Measure:  Import Ban [IMBAN]
     Nigerian laws are derived from pre-20th century English
statutes, but are now modified to suit Nigeria's socio-cultural
realities.  However, most of the laws and decrees enacted with
respect to trade are in accordance to Nigeria's national law and
International agreements, including, the Endangered Species Decree
Cap 108 LFN 1990, Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act Cap
131 LFN 1990, Harmful Waste Cap 165 LFN 1990, Petroleum (Drilling
and Production) Regulations 1969 Cap. 350 Vol. xix P.12766, the
1971 International Convention on the Establishment of an
International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, and
the 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by the
Dumping of Wastes.  Official Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)
between the Nigerian and Italian governments led to a "systematic
programme of decontamination, restoration and post-impact
13.       Direct vs. Indirect Impacts:  DIRect
14.       Relation of Measure to Environmental Impact
     a.  Directly Related     : YES  WASTE
     b.  Indirectly Related   : NO
     c.  Not Related          : NO
     d.  Process Related      : YES  Pollution Land [POLL]
15.       Trade Product Identification:  WASTE
     Hazardous wastes are the by-product of industry and as a
result, they usually contain many chemicals and substances that
cannot be recycled and must be disposed.  Such wastes may include
the following: household waste; municipal waste; PCB (polychloride
biphenyls) contaminated products such as oil; various hazardous
waste; fuel substitutes; nuclear waste; car recycling residues; and
even incinerator ash.
     The 4,000 tons of toxic wastes sent to Nigeria include highly
toxic PCB's, which had been imported and labeled as substances
"relating to the building trade and as residual and allied
chemicals."  However, this is only a very small portion of the
wastes that Italy produces.  It is believed that "the industrial
world produces hundreds of millions of tons of waste each year,"
the treatment of which, depending on the toxicity, can range from
$200 to around $1000 a ton.  France imports approximately 249-340
tonnes (1987 data) of waste each year from the rest of Europe, "but
the French Green Party believes that at least another million
tonnes of wastes was imported and stored illegally in northern
16.       Economic Data
     Most waste trade (dumping) is done covertly, so there are few
statistics that portray the effect such trade has on employment,
output or any other types of financial indicators.  However, the
price can range anywhere from "$200 to $1000 per ton; if the
materials are highly toxic, like PCB, then the price can go up to
even $3,000 per ton."  Many of the waste export businesses, most
of which are ghost companies, are located in countries such as
Switzerland and Liechtenstein.  Developing countries are attractive
for their vast plots of unused land, the low public unawareness of
the dangers involved, and because many local officials are willing
to ignore the dangers if given a financial incentive.  "Third World
Nations see toxic waste trade as a source of much-needed
cash...Guinea-Bissau would have earned its entire gross domestic
product from toxic waste trade."
17.       Impact of Measure on Trade Competitiveness
     The toxic trade between Italy and Nigeria dates back to 1987
when the first shipment of toxic was believed to have commenced. 
The first shipment was on board the ship M.V. Baruluck, which was
addressed to Koko, a village in Southern Nigeria on July 24, 1987. 
Following this shipment were other cargoes of toxic waste on board
M.V. Danix and M.V. Line.  These exports emanated from the city of
     Prior to the exposure, there was a conspiracy between the
trading company in Italy, S.I. ECOMAR, and its Nigerian agent
Raffaelli, an Italian resident, and the Nigerian Pharmaceutical
Board.  The Nigerian Pharmaceutical Board issued licenses to
facilitate the importation of toxics into Nigeria.  Inspectors at
the port were also part of the conspiracy because they benefitted
from the syndicate.  According to Edokpayi: 
     The intricate business of disposing of these toxic          
     wastes through small Italian ports is very lucrative,
     considering that over 35 million tonnes is exported from
     Italy yearly.  Gianfrance Raffaelli, the link- man... at
     Koko (Nigeria) port is known to have made between 20 and
     25 million naira from deals. 
18.       Industry Sector:  WASTE
19.       Exporter and Importer:  ITALY and NIGERia
     The top five exporters of hazardous wastes are (not listed in
any particular order): Switzerland, the United States, Germany,
Italy, and the United Kingdom.  Africa is the major destination for
most of these exports from European countries.
E.        ENVIRONMENT Filters
20.       Environmental Problem Type:  Pollution Land [POLL]
     The leaking barrels caused the contents to enter the soil. 
This in turn caused a problem for the entire town of Koko by
polluting the ground in which they grew their food and on which the
children played.  When the barrels were later transported back to
Italy it was discovered that they were in such a poor condition
that the water surrounding the ship was contaminated with some of
the toxic wastes.  As a result, the plant and animal vegetation in
the water was endangered.  The wastes that were sent to Nigeria
from Italy not only polluted Koko, Nigeria, but it also polluted
the waters outside the port of Livorno, Italy.
21.       Name, Type, and Diversity of Species 
     Name:          Many
     Type:          Many
     Diversity:     1,059 higher plants per
                    10,000 km/sq (Nigeria)
22.       Resource Impact and Effect:  LOW and REGULatory
23.       Urgency and Lifetime:  LONG and 100s of years
24.       Substitutes:  Bio-degradable [BIODG] products 
VI.       OTHER Factors
25.       Culture:  NO
26.       Trans-Border:  NO
27.       Rights:  YES
     Arti K. Vir calls this trade "toxic terrorism," where the
periphery countries are at the mercy of the developed countries. 
Arti notes that, "In March of (1989), a Norwegian shipping company
dumped 15,000 tons of material labelled 'raw material for
bricks'...The Guinean government called for immediate removal of
the waste and on June 10 arrested Norway's Honorary Consul, Mr.
Sigmund Stromme." 
     There is an international dimension of inequity in wealth, and
poverty.  According to Nigerian Environmental Study/Action Team
NEST, "poverty also affects the environment and people through the
new and callous practice of dumping of toxic waste and other
products in the country."  Thus, Nigeria's Nobel Prize winner,
Professor Wole Soyinka calls it "the poisoning of the continent" as
an expression of the global inequality.
     This issue is significant because of the immediate reaction of
Nigerian government and the involvement of the international
community.  According to Arti, 
     The government also served an Italian merchant ship, the
     M.V.Piave, on June 10 in order to transport the waste back to
     Italy. The Nigerian Ambassador was recalled.  The Minister of
     Justice and the Attorney General have said the matter will go
     to the International Court of Justice at The Hague if Italy
     does not remove the toxic waste.
     The government's evacuation plan was met with resistance by
local peoples due to cultural and historical reasons.  Bala Dan Abu
cites Pa Oluwa, who is one of the local elders in Koko, "evacuation
can only obliterate our long, ancestral history."  Other forms
of environmental problems of lesser magnitude have been cited by
Oduaran, " rural areas with mining, quarrying, and oil exploration
are frequently polluted .... Cement-producing and quarrying plants
emit asbestos dust which may lead to asbestosis, a form of
28.       Relevant Literature
Abu, Bala Dan. "Death, Where's Thy Drum?"  Newswatch Nigeria
     (July 4, 1988). 
Abu, Bala Dan. "Koko: To Move or Not to Move" Newswatch Nigeria
     (July 11, 1988).
Adewale, O.  The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies,
     Lagos, 1991.
"Africa: The Waste Basket of The West", Business and Society
     Review 67 (Fall 1988): 48-50.
"Africa Wages War on Dumpers of Poisonous Waste."  New Scientist
     (June 23, 1989).
Ayadike, O.  West Africa (June 20, 1988), 1109.
Dufour, Jean-Paul and Denis, Corinne.  "The North's Garbage Goes
     South."  World Press Review 35 (November 1988): 30-32.
Edokpayi, Ben.  "Pie of Pisa."  Newswatch Nigeria (July 4, 1988).
Ekeocha, Okey. "A Cry for Justice -- or Drum Beats of Treason?"
     The African Guardian (May 17, 1993).
"Exporting Hazardous Waste.  Technology Review 92 (1989).
Federal Environmental Protection Agency, Nigeria. "Achieving     
     Sustainable Development in Nigeria".  National Report for
     the United Nations Conference on Environment and
     Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992), 1-12.
Feustel, Sandra.  "E.C. Pushes New Rules on Toxic Waste Exports"
     Europe 282 (December 1988), 32-46.
Glover, John.  "Italian Industry Aims To Get Greener, But on 
     Its Own Terms."  Chemical Week 14/5 (February 6, 1991):
Greenpeace Toxic Trade Update (Washington DC: Greenpeace,
     various issues).
Douglas Henwood.  "Toxic Banking."  The Nation 254 (March 9,
Liberatore, Angela, and Lewanski, Rudolph."  The Evolution of
     Italian  Environmental Policy."  Environment 32 (June
     1990): 10-13+.
MacKenzie, Deborah.  "Would-be Waste Smugglers Face Execution."
     New Scientist 136 (November 21, 1992): 8.
Murphy, Sean, D.  "The Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes." 
     Environment 35 (March 1993): 42-44.
Odauran, Akpovire B.  "Education Against Environmental Pollution
     in Nigeria" Convergence 22/4 (1989): 55-60.
"Plan To Clean Up Nigeria Dump."  New Scientist 118 (June 30, 
     1988): 38.
Puckett, Jim; Stirling, Andy; and Vallette, Jim.  "Preventing the
     Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Including Nuclear
     Wastes in The Mediterranean Region -- A Call For A Legal
     Instrument Within The Barcelona Convention." Greenpeace
     International, Waste Trade Campaign (September 14, 1990):
Paul Ruffins.  "Toxic Terrorism Invades Third World Nations." 
     Black Enterprise 19 (November 1988).
Schissel, Howard.  "The Deadly Trade: Toxic waste Dumping in 
     Africa."  Africa Report 33 (September/October 1988):
Starr, Douglas.  "Shoppers, Shoppers, Everywhere."  Audubon 92 
     (March 1990): 98-103. 
"The Norths' Garbage Goes South."  World Press Review 35 (1988):
"The Koko Incident."  Journal of National Resources and
     Environment Law 8 (1992/1993).
Tiersten, Sylvia.  "Toxic Waste Poisons the Soil: And Property 
     Deals."  Electronic Business 14/22 (November 15, 1988):
     116, 118.
Vir, Arti K.  "Toxic Trade with Africa."  Environment and Science
     and Technology 23/1 (1989).

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