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ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: STUDY OF SELECTED FIRMS IN NIGER DELTA





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ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: STUDY OF SELECTED FIRMS IN NIGER DELTA




ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of the environmental accounting practices on economic development in the oil and gas sector using selected firms in the Niger Delta Region. In order to accomplish the purpose of this study the quasi- experimental research design was employed. A sample size of 104 comprising 52 accountants and 52 environmentalists were randomly selected and questionnaires were issued to elicit responses from them. The Ordinary Least Square (OLS) of simple Regression Technique was used to analyze the data. The findings indicate that there is need for proper accounting for both natural resources and the services embarked upon by individual, government and oil companies. It helps to highlight the shortcoming in just accounting for the explicit cost involved in undertaking developmental projects and tries to ensure that implicit costs as well as services derivable in forests activities are highlighted. In essence there is need to ensure that depreciation allowance is made for the natural assets as well as the man made assets in the national accounts. For further studies we recommended that study be carried out on how to properly account for environmental pollution cost in the Niger Delta region and how to avoid waste while implementing the relevant measures. Also, that study be done to curb the issue of creating depreciation allowance for natural resources as being done for manmade assets in the national accounts.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
CHAPTER ONE –GENERAL INTRODUCTION                         1
1.1   Overview of the Study                                                      1
1.2   Statement of the Study                                                    5
1.3   Purpose of the Study                                                               7
1.4   Research Questions                                                         8
1.5   Hypotheses                                                                      9
1.6   Significance of the Study                                                 10
1.7   Scope of the Study                                                           10
1.8   Limitation of the Study                                                    11
1.9   Definition of Terms                                                          11
1.10 Organization of the Study                                               14
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW                                 16
2.0   Introduction                                                                     16
2.1   Natural Resource/Ecological accounting and GDP          16
2.2   Flaws in the Conventional System of Accounting            17
2.3   Environmental accounting and economic development   26
2.4   Economic development in the Niger delta region
        of Nigeria                                                                         28
2.5   Environmental accounting in the Niger Delta region
        of  Nigeria                                                                        34
2.6   Cross Cultural Comparison of environmental
        accounting  practice                                                        34
2.7   Laughlin’s Model of Organizational change and its
        Relationship with Theory                                                 35
        Gray et al Al’S (1995) Theory                                           35
2.8   Environmental Advocacy                                                 38
2.9   Impact of Accounting on Data Availability and
        Compatibility                                                                   40
CHAPTER THREE-RESEARCH METHODOLOGY                  49
3.0   Introduction                                                                     49
3.1   Research Design                                                              49
3.2   Sampling Procedure/Sample Size Determination            50
3.3   Data Collection Method                                                   51
3.4   Operational Measures of the Variables                            52
3.4.1 Model Specification                                                        52
3.5   Test of Validity and Reliability                                         54
3.6   Data Analysis Technique (s)                                             54
CHAPTER FOUR-PRESENTATION OF DATA AND ANALYSIS
4.1   Introduction                                                                     57
4.2   Data Presentation                                                            57
4.3   Testing Research Hypotheses                                          59
CHAPTER FIVE-DISCUSSIONS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1   Introduction                                                                     69
5.2   Discussion of Findings                                                    69
5.3   Conclusion                                                                      70
5.4   Recommendations                                                           70
5.5   Recommendations for further studies                              71
Bibliography                                                                    73
Appendix A                                                                      78
Appendix B-Questionnaire                                              79


LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1 Summary of Response                                              57
Table 4.2: Showing the relationship between natural
resource /ecological practice and GDP                                    60
Accounting practice and GDP.                                                 60
Table 4.3: Showing relationship between natural resource /
Ecological accounting practice and literacy rate                              62
Table 4.4: Showing the relationship between natural
Resource/ecological accounting practice and life expectancy 63
Table 4.5: Showing the relationship between physical/non
monetary  accounting practice and GDP                                  64
Table 4.6: Showing the relationship between physical/non
Monetary accounting practice and literacy rate                               66
Table 4.7: Showing relationship between physical /non
Monetary accounting practice and life expectancy                   67


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1   OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY
In this era of green revolution i.e. the era where people are becoming aware of adopting measures to preserve the ozone layer vis-à-vis the technologies in existence, a lot of innovations are taking place in every sphere of business, subsequently accounting for the efficiency of such technologies with respect to the impact on the environment has become a prerequisite for some top niche firms. While some firms have not started creating alternative techniques to curb environmental degradation issues during their operations, they are becoming aware of the immense damage caused by their operations on the economies of the nations or states where they operate.
There’s no gain saying the fact that caution should be exercised by firms when carrying out operations that could give rise to spillages, pollution, erosion, etc. and subsequently affect the health, life, property, etc of the inhabitants, and animals in the region. However, caution should also be applied in measuring the extent of damage caused because some are implicit while others are explicit. It is this implicit cost suffered by the inhabitant of the region which is immeasurable that poses a challenge to the field of Environmental Accounting.
The need to account for the environment and the economy in an integrated way arises because of the crucial functions of the environment in economic performance and in the generation of human welfare. These functions include the provision of natural resources to production and consumption activities, waste absorption by environmental media and environmental services of life support and other human amenities (United Nations Handbook of National Accounting 2000:18).
In the United Nations Hand Book of National Accounting (2002), the committee posits that conventional national accounts have only partly accounted for these functions, focusing on market transactions and indicators that reflect important factors in welfare generation, but they do not measure welfare itself. According to them, new scarcities of natural resources now threaten the sustained productivity of the economy, and economic production and consumption activities may impair environmental quality by overloading natural sinks with wastes and pollutants. By not accounting for the private and social costs of the use of natural resources and the degradation of the environment, conventional accounts may send wrong signals of progress to decision makers who may then set society on a non-sustainable development path.
Therefore, in order to incorporating environmental assets in the national accounts they have suggested the System of National Accounts (SNA) (Commission of the European Communities and others, 1993), referred to hereinafter as the 1993 SNA, which is an internationally agreed framework for the systematic compilation and presentation of economic data. It serves purposes of economic analysis, decision-taking and policy-making. The accounts can be compiled for successive time periods, providing information for the monitoring, analysis and evaluation of the performance of an economy over time (1993 SN, Para. 1.1). According to them a country’s system of national accounts includes two main categories: flows of goods and services and stocks of assets sued in the production of goods and services. Another name for the stocks in capital. Both stocks and flows are measured in monetary terms. The objective of the national accounts is thus to measure not only the flows of goods and services resulting from production (Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Net Domestic Product (NDP) but also the capital stock itself, the country’s economic wealth (United Nations Handbook of National Accounting 2000:18).
Also they believe that the production of goods and services requires inputs from, and has effects on, the natural environment. In particular, these effects are the depletion of resources and the production of wastes which are returned to the environment. Pollution occurs when these wastes disrupt or change natural systems, including those that are important for human well-being (for example, air and water). If the natural environment is conceptualized as a stock of natural capital, and if its uses for humans are regarded as the services that flow from this stock, then in principle the use of the natural environment for economic activity can be accounted for in the same way as the use of other kinds of capital (for example, manufactured capital, including machines, buildings and infrastructure) and the products to which they give rise (United Nations Handbook of National Accounting 2000:18).
Again, the Nigerian government majorly depends on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Net Domestic Product (NDP) which is largely made up of earnings from the Oil and Gas sector to finance its developmental projects such as social amenities like health centres, schools, good road network, water supply, electricity, energy, urbanization, etc. for its citizens, which enhances economic development. However, government does not depend on Oil and Gas activities alone to finance its projects or pay for its expenditure. Sometimes, it resorts to funding from the agricultural sector, manufacturing sector, and other sectors, whose activities along with that of Oil and Gas sometimes undermine economic development instead of enhancing it. There is thus, need for government to create a check and balance system to ensure that the cost of meeting a social need does not inhibit the health, cultural heritage, means of livelihood, economy and welfare of the people it wishes to help.
1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years efforts have been put in place to ensure sustainable accounting practices with respect to the environment. Whether or not corporations, government and individual businessmen are complying with regulations cannot be stated except a thorough analysis is being carried out to determine the extent of compliance from time to time.
In the Niger Delta region for instance, in trying to foster development by giving the people refinery, there is need to carefully assess the policies and techniques to be employed in order to ensure safe practices and ovoid spillages and pollution in the environment. This is because there are implicit costs which may not be detected by the organization carrying out the development project, but could be suffered by the inhabitants of such a region. It is this implicit cost that needs to be investigated as well as the explicit costs that are easily known in ensuring a proper environmental accounting practice. Otherwise, in trying to provide petrol, fuel, kerosene, etc. for the people, the technology and processes employed could as well be adding to the economic problems of both the human and animal inhabitants of such a region. Again, looking at the recent developments in the Ministries of Environment and Urban Development in the region, in the bid to urbanize the capital cities they have added to the economic plight of the citizens more than they ever imagined. The policies they are implementing have become more hazardous than they could have facilitated economic development. Instead of going to the rural areas to develop and urbanize communities, they are concentrating all their efforts in the capital cities. Is it because they want to work where people will be seeing their efforts and where they feel safe to work or what is the problem?
It is thus upon that the trust of this study lies. Specifically, the problems identified in this study include: to verify the extent to which individuals, government and corporations are complying with environmental accounting practices to engender economic development; identifying the factors that inhibit proper accounting of implicit and explicit cost when it comes to oil and gas exploratory activities as well as urban planning; how to account for the extent of relief gotten from the methods adopted to reduce spillages, pollution, erosion, degradation of human and animal habitats, lose of cultural heritage, etc.; due to not accounting for the private and social costs of the use of natural resources  and the signals of progress to decision makers who set society on an non-sustainable development path.
The extent of economic development would therefore depend on certain environmental performance indicators which stand as regulatory patterns for measuring economic development variables.
1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study subsequently, is to examine the impact of Environmental Accounting Practices on Economic Development.
The specific objectives are as follows:
i)      To examine the impact of Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice on GDP;
ii)     To examine the impact physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice on GDP.
iii)    To examine the effect of Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting practice on Literacy Rate.
iv)    To examine the effect of Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice on Literacy Rate.
v)     To examine the impact of Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice on Life Expectancy.
vi)    To examine the effect Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice on life Expectancy.
1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In order to achieve the objectives of this study, the researcher will attempt to answer this major question: What is the effect of Environmental Accounting (using the Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice and Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice indicators as a bases of measurement modified from the models proposed by Stefan Schaltegger, and Roger Burritt and OCED),on Economic Development with respect to the GDP, Literacy Rate and Life Expectancy indices. More specifically, attempt will be made to tackle the following research questions in order to answer the main research question:
a)     What is the relationship between Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice and GDP?
b)     What is the relationship between Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice and Literacy Rate?
c)     What is the relationship between Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice and Life Expectancy?
d)     What is the relationship between Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice and GDP?
e)     What is the relationship between Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice and Literacy Rate?
f)      What is the relationship between Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice and Life Expectancy?
1.5   HYPOTHESES
H01:  There is no significant relationship between Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice and GDP.
H02:  There is no significant relationship between Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice and Literacy Rate.
H03:    There is no significant relationship between Natural Resource/Ecological Accounting Practice and Life Expectancy.
H04:    There is no significant relationship between Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice and GDP.
H05:    There is no significant relationship between Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice and Literacy Rate.
H06:    There is no significant relationship between Physical/Non-Monetary Accounting Practice and Life Expectancy.
1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Without measuring the level of development eminent in a nation it will be difficult to ascertain if such a nation is going forward or backwards. It is therefore, important that in trying to implement health, educational, employment, Research and Development, Pollution control, oil and gas laws and environmental protection policies, that business owners, corporate organizations and government take into cognizance data from past exploratory, environmental, educational, health, etc. promotional activities, so that their efforts in providing sustainable development will not turn around to inhibit economic advancement. It is therefore the import of this study to highlight the efforts by business owners, corporate organizations and government to foster development in a nation, using the activities of the oil and gas industry in the Niger Delta. It also hopes to underline the issues militating against their smooth operation in terms of compliance to standards.
1.7   SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will help organizations to direct their investments for minimization of losses to environment, such as  investment made into the equipment/devices and techniques that help in reducing potential losses to the environment. This can be easily monetized. It will also help firms to guard against indirect losses due to their operations such as losses due to degradation and destruction i.e. loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, hazardous waste including bio medical waste, coastal marine pollution etc; depletion of non-renewable resources; deforestation and land uses (measuring and monetizing them).
1.8   LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was designed to highlight effect of Environmental Accounting on Economic development in Nigeria. However, it will be narrowed down to the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria because of insufficient time. It will include comparisons with Environmental Protection Industry and some other firms in the region whose activities have some major impact on economic development of the nation.
1.9   DEFINITION OF TERMS
Environmental Accounting: Inclusion of indirect costs: the practice of including: the indirect costs and benefits of a product or activity, e.g. its environmental effects on health and the economy, along with its direct costs when making business decisions. Microsoft (R) Encarta(R) 2009. (C)  1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Economic Development: Is the increase in the amount of people in a nation’s population with sustained growth from a simple, low income economy to a modern, high-income economy. Its scope includes the process and policies by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well- being of its people.
Goncalo L. Fonsesca at the New School for Social Research defines economic development as “the analysis of the economic development of nations.
The University of lowa’s Centre for international Finance and Development states that:
‘Finance and Development’ is a term that economists, politicians, and others have used frequently in the 20th century. The concept, however, has been in existence in the West for centuries. Modernization, westernization, and especially industrialization are other terms people have used when discussing economic development. Although no one is sure when the concept originated, most people agree that development is closely bound up with the evolution of capitalism and the demise of feudalism.”
Growth:   According Microsoft Encarta Dictionaries growth means:
1.     Growing Process: The process of becoming larger and more mature through natural development e.g. nutrients needed for healthy growth.
2.     Increase: An increase in numbers, size, power, or intensity.
Something that growth: something that grows or has grown e.g. three days’ growth of beard.
Decline: intransitive verb diminish: to decrease in number, amount, value, or quality e.g. stocks declining in value; intransitive verb get weaker: to become physically or mentally less vigorous, especially because of illness or advancing year e.g. his health had declined.
Explicit Costs:        Are costs that require outlays of money
Implicit Costs: These are the opportunity costs of resources the firm’s owner makes available for production with no direct cash outlays.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports that occur within a defined territory.

Literacy:
1.     Ability to read and Write: The ability to read and write to a competent level.
2.     Skill in particular subject: Knowledge of or competent in a subject or area of activity
Ø Computer literacy
Ø Emotional literacy
Life Expectancy: average expected length of life: the number of years that somebody can be expected to live, according to statistics.
1.10 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This study is organized into five chapters as follows:
Chapter One introduces the paper, deals with the Context of the Problem, Statement of the Problem, Purpose of the study, Research questions, Hypothesis, Significance of the study, Limitations of the Study and Definition of terms.
Chapter Two deals with the view of related literature on the subject matter.
Chapter Three attempts to describe the Research Design, Sampling Procedure/Sample Size Determination, Data Collection Method, Operational Measures of the Variables and the Data Analytical Technique.
Chapter Four deals with Presentation and Analysis of Data.
Chapter Five presents the Discussion or Conclusion of findings, implications of the Research Findings, as well as Recommendations and Suggestions for further Research.





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