Nigeria and the Oil Crisis

Topics: Petroleum, Niger Delta, Local Government Areas of Nigeria Pages: 9 (2860 words) Published: June 30, 2013
CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of Study

The petroleum industry in Nigeria is the largest industry and main generator of GDP in Africa’s most populous nation. Since the British discovered oil in the Niger Delta in the late 1950s, the oil industry has been married by political and economic strife due to a long history of corrupt military regimes and the complicity of multinational corporations, notably Royal Dutch Shell. However it was not until the early 1990s, after the Nigerian state execution of playwright and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, that the situation was given international attention, leading to the immediate suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth of Nations. Nigeria is identified as a major concern regarding human rights and environmental degradation by the international community and the firms that operate there. The Nigerian government, oil corporations, and oil-dependent Western countries have been criticised as too slow to implement reforms aimed at aiding a desperately underdeveloped area and remediating the unsustainable environmental degradation that petroleum extraction has caused.

The Niger Delta, as now defined officially by the Nigerian government, extends over about 70,000 km² and makes up 7.5% of Nigeria’s land mass. Historically and cartographically, it consists of present day Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States. In 2000, however, Obansanjo's regime included Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River State, Edo, Imo and Ondo States in the region. Some 31 million people of more than 40 ethnic groups including the Bini, Efik, Ibibio, Annang, Oron, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko, Urhobo, Ukwuani, and Kalabari, are among the inhabitants in the Niger Delta, speaking about 250 different dialects. The Niger Delta, and the "South South Zone", which includes Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa State, Cross River State, Delta State, Edo State and Rivers State are two different entities. While the Niger Delta is the oil producing region the South South Zone is a geo-political zone. The poverty in Nigeria especially in the Niger delta is very high. Environmental pollution and degradation has destroyed their natural source of living which is predominantly fish farming making the youth look for alternatives. Oil bunkering is one of these alternatives with very high returns. Youth in the Niger delta see oil as their God given blessing and feel bunkering is a natural alternative to obtaining quick wealth. The inhabitants of this delta also view visitors as enemies since over time the actions of previous visitors have negatively affected them. 1.2 Statement of Problem

The Niger Delta is an oil-rich region, and has been the centre of international controversy over devastating pollution and ecocide, kleptocracy (notably by the Abacha regime), and human rights violations in which Royal Dutch Shell has been implicated. All these controversy has made the inhabitants of the Niger delta very hostile to visitors and they have resulted to militancy and kidnapping to expel foreigners from their land. 1.3 Research Questions \Hypothesis

The question is drawn from a subject matters and reviewed literatures

• How the campaign against community hostility towards foreigners has on the general public?

• The oil companies on their own part, what are they really doing to create a hostile free society?

• Can the hostility of oil communities be totally stopped in Nigeria?

• Are there laws in Nigeria as to prevent environmental degradation as well as the pollution of oil bearing communities?

1.4 Research Objectives
The objectives of this research work can be seen in the following ways:

1. To give the researcher a wider knowledge of the topic under study.

2. To assess the impact of TV programs on changing the hostile perception of inhabitants of the Niger Delta. 3. To discourage hostility by oil communities.

4. To advocate for a wider campaign against environmental...
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