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Crude Oil Resource: A Blessing Or Curse To Nigeria – The Case Of The Niger Delta
This paper examines the question as to whether crude oil resource is a blessing or curse to Nigeria: The case of the Niger Delta Region. The paper traces the origin of oil exploration and exploitation from Titusville in Pennsylvania. United States of America where the first all well was drilled by Edwin L. Darke in 1859 to 1956 when crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantity at Oloibiri in the present day Bayelsa State in Nigeria. The paper observes that the blessings from crude oil resource to Nigeria at large and Niger Delta region in particular take the form of increased government revenues, increased export earnings and the attendant improvement, opportunities and linkage effects in the economy, etc. It also observes that the curses or woes of crude oil resource which emanate mainly from the exploration and production on activities of the multinational companies take the form of oil spillage, environmental pollution or degradation, destruction of landscape, unemployment, socio-economic-political instability and pervasive poverty etc. the paper is of the view that crude oil resource is more of curse than a blessing to the Niger Delta region. To change this ugly trend, we suggest that the Federal Government of Nigeria should put in place appropriate measures to stem further mismanagement and looting by the “few priviledge minority from the major ethnic groups” of the revenue derived from export of crude oil and make realistic monetary and fiscal policies that will help alleviate the suffering of the Niger Delta people.
JORIND Vol. 4 (2) 2006: pp. 53-58