Socio-Economic Impacts of Oil Development in the Niger- Delta, Nigeria
The Niger Delta is the main area and region for petroleum oil production and development in Nigeria. This has inevitably had some negative impacts on the local communities. In this study, we determined the socio-economic impacts of the oil exploration activities on the local communities, especially on their livelihood. Our findings confirmed that the oil development in Niger Delta has dramatically changed the local communities, and brought challenges to the traditional economic, cultural and daily living conditions. Although crude oil production has boosted Nigeria’s economy, the trickle down effects are hardly felt by ordinary members of the host communities. Instead of sharing in the benefit of the oil sector, the local communities are mainly suffering the negative impacts from this development. We suggest that the government and oil companies should involve the communities in the development process and develop host communities by providing basic infrastructures - roads, schools, hospitals, etc, to improve living conditions. Only when the local communities participate in these activities would sustainable and peaceful development be possible.
Keywords: Socio-economic impacts, oil development, community, livelihood, Nigeria.