Oil exploitation and conflict in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria

Niger-Delta area of Nigeria, coincides approximately to the south-south geopolitical zone of the country. Before the discovering of the black gold (crude oil), agriculture was the dominant occupation of the people in the area. Crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in the area in 1956. Since then exploration and exploitation of crude oil has resulted in environmental degradation, soil impoverishment, pollution, loss of aquatic life and biodiversity etc. This study reveals that the causes of the crises in the Niger-Delta region is sequel to the inability of the multinational companies involved in the explorations and exploitation of crude oil, and the federal government to adequately mitigate the consequences of their activities in the region. These multinational companies use capital intensive technologies developed in core countries, which generate high wage employment for only a few workers but little employment for most others. This paper is of the view that adequate mitigation measures such as: construction of access roads, health facilities, educational facilities, electricity, income yielding ventures (cassava mill, rice mill, palm oil mill etc) piped water supply scheme, provision of micro credit facilities, capacity building, agricultural development etc will greatly reduce the crises in the region to the bearest minimum.

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