The Economic Dimensions of the Niger Delta Ethnic Conflicts
This paper presents a descriptive analysis of the remote and immediate
causes of the armed ethnic conflicts in the Niger Delta in Nigeria and
attempts to proffer a strategic approach rather than the use of brute force in
managing the conflicts. The study revealed that the underlying cause of the
conflict is the prolonged discrimination against the ethnic nationalities in the
Niger Delta in the sharing of the economic and political benefits of the oil
and gas wealth of the region. Also the displacement of labour from the
traditional farming and fishing due to oil exploration and production,
created a pool of unemployed youths who chose to take their destiny in their own hands through armed struggle. The paper recommends a strategic
transformation of the Niger Delta region by establishing industries that
would add value to the abundant oil and gas deposits that are being
produced in the region. Unless jobs are created in the area to absorb the
youths, granting amnesty to unemployed hands will not be a long lasting
solution. Finally, ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region should be
given a sense of belonging in the sharing of economic and political benefits
arising from wealth creation in Nigeria.
Key Words: Ethnic conflict, Niger Delta, State power, Discrimination, Oil,
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