Oil and conflicts in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria: facing the facts
THE NIGER DELTA Region of Nigeria is the storehouse of Nigeria’s crude oil, which accounts for approximately 90% of the country’s revenue, providing more than 90% of total exports. Despite this, the people remain poor, marginalized and restive. Resort to conflicts has been taken as the only way of expressing grievances in oil-rich communities in the region. The conflict situation has been cause for alarm since 1999 with kidnapping of oil company workers, bombing of oil facilities and confrontation with state law enforcement agents, being common occurrences. These happenings have had serious implications for the economy. The paper reports on the results of a study employed interviews, stakeholder meetings and consulted news reports to assess issues central to the persistent conflicts in the region. The results indicated that both the government of Nigeria and the oil multinationals have failed to recognize communities in the Niger Delta as the third stakeholder in the oil industry The relationship has been characterized by unfavorable state policies, politicking’ and lack of standard practices. The study thus noted that the government of Nigeria has not approached the question of the Niger Delta in an open manner, and hence it recommends that stakeholder participation/partnership predicated on transparency is a key to the solution of the Niger Delta problem.
KEYWORDS: Oil exploitation. stakeholder relationship. conflicts. Niger Delta. Nigeria, multinationals