n Conflict Trends - Collusion and criminalisation : fuel conflict in the Niger Delta

Volume 2011, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The economic disparities and social inequalities that have been brought about by the extraction industry in the Niger Delta stand in stark contrast to this region's massive contribution to the world oil economy. The expansion of the activities of oil and gas multinationals in Nigeria, helped by the collusion of government officials, has played a direct role in fuelling corruption and violence and creating a seemingly paradoxical situation, characterised by the simultaneous enrichment of foreign companies and the impoverishment of local populations.

However, one must be cautious to avoid simplistic readings that attribute the ongoing conflict in the oil-rich Niger Delta to a single cause by calling for a nuanced analysis of the "complex web of petro-violence", based on the interplay of a variety of domestic and international factors. This article seeks to identify factors that have combined to fuel conflict in the Niger Delta. Beginning with an account of the background to the conflict, it will thereafter provide an overview of recent developments that have served to exacerbate tensions in the Niger Delta region. The article will then examine the shortfalls of measures that have thus far been put in place by the extraction industry and the state, in response to widespread international condemnation of environmental and human rights violations incurred by corporations and the Nigerian government.

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