n AFFRIKA Journal of Politics, Economics and Society - The oil curse and incessant conflicts in Africa : the question of the Niger Delta of Nigeria

Volume 2, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 1998-4936
  • E-ISSN: 2075-6534


The protracted Niger Delta conflict has represented one of the most pernicious political issues for the Nigerian federal government and the inhabitants of the Niger Delta for several decades. While the ethnic dynamics of the region historically possessed the propensity to engender inter-group conflict prior to Nigeria's independence in 1960, the exploration for oil, and subsequent production by multinational oil companies has added a further layer of complexity, which has fostered the on-going conflict. Essentially, the exploitation of oil resources has fostered a situation of extreme negligence regarding the well-being of the Delta region from a socio-economic, environmental and political perspective, leading to disenfranchised populations which have been left to their own devices for survival, notwithstanding the substantial annual revenues from oil exploitation accruing to the Nigerian state. Various ethnically-founded groups have been formed, with a militant approach to addressing their rights to resource access and self-determination, with varying success and implications for oil production and the relationship between the Delta and the federal government. While the government has fallen short of initiating constructive solutions to this melee, the efforts of the state are worthy of interrogation, from the perspective of providing insight into possible mechanisms which can be developed for the resolution of the quandary.

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