Nigeria is among the biggest producer of petroleum on the planet and the biggest in Africa. Presently, it can’t meet the demand of petroleum products, because of corrupt practices from its leaders, who take petroleum products to different nations to refine and later export back to the country as finished products.
The Niger Delta Region, as rated above, produces the oil wealth that account for the majority of Nigeria’s foreign earning (Wifa, 2008). Crude oil was found in the Niger Delta in 1956. From that point forward, it has turned into the mainstay of the national economy (Ojalia, 2010).
The Niger Delta region has experience long years of neglect and environmental degradation because of oil exploration. Many yearsâ decades of oil companies’ activities in the region has harmed a large portion of the ecosystem of the area that results to socio-economic underdevelopment in the region. Also, aside from the neglect, the activities of oil multinationals have affected the environment and the health of the individuals in the oil producing communities, and it is endless. According to Ojefia (2010), “Unburned carbon is transported into their homes and working areas, all vegetation around is destroyed, the soil is rendered totally infertile and enormous heat makes endless discomfort and hardship”.
The people of Ogoni have experienced many years of serious environmental devastation. Shell Petroleum Company has long legacy of pollution in the region.
According to United Nations Environment Program, restoring Ogoni land would require enough cleanup operation on the world dwarfing BP’s reaction to deep water horizon and could take up to three decades to complete (News watch, 2011). This indicates the massive destruction of the environment, which has prompted loss of marine products, agricultural products and polluted water for drinking. The individuals’ source of lively-hood has been destroyed due to oil exploration and exploitation.
According to Dike, (2001) “the individuals have endured through a long history of economic and social injustice and they are currently tired of being at the bottom”. It shows the individuals’ interest of being in helm of affairs. The region adds to the economy of the state and receives nothing in return, but rather, the reaction of the state has been the application of force to address the issue.
The mileage of the crisis has proven no sign of socio-economic development, the action of the state is a harsh one, and the people of the region have been deprived of their benefits. lkelegbe (2007) is of the perspective that reply of the state to civil society militancy and confrontation has been high handed, suppressive, repressive, brutal, concise and directed at no resolution yet submission”. The multinational companies support the actions of government by applying and adopting the use of government force which they can’t control effectively. In Oni Sangama, Shell failed to caution local villagers of a fast approaching military strike where loss of lives was the probable result. The company paid the soldiers, who participated in the attack on the town (News watch, October 2011).
Social injustice is the response to the fact that the Niger Delta region gets short of what it contributes. Dike (2001) sees social injustice form as contributing more but given less”. Without social justice there will be no peace and socio-economic development will keep on eluding the region.
2.8. Dependency on Petrol and its effects
Dependency on petroleum product has affected the economic and political development of the state. Nigeria after about four decade of oil production had by the mid 1980 gets to be totally dependent on petroleum extraction. This has affected different zones of revenue generation. Petroleum Production undermines agricultural production. A brief look at the 1960 and 1963 independence constitution where genuine federalism was practice, extensive power was granted to the region, making them effectively autonomous entities and a revenue management, where the region had the resource to carry out the tremendous responsibilities of government, every region stored to have a dominant revenue yielding product. The North had Groundnut and Cotton, the West had Cocoa and Rubber and the East had Oil Palm (Ojefla, 2010). The review of the development was the competition among region towards socio-economic development.
Agricultural practice had fed the nation before the discovering of oil. Despite the vast wealth made by petroleum, the benefits have been slow. Oil has drastically divided the nation and impoverished the Niger Delta area. Government has failed to manage petroleum; rather petroleum is managing the government.
The ecosystem has been destroyed because of the activities of’ oil multinational companies. Dependency on oil prompted the degradation of the environment. Oil was discovered in “Ogoni” in 1957. The discovering of oil in “Ogoni” destabilized other economic activities, for example, farming. Government forced the people of Ogoni to hand over their land to oil companies with negligible compensation. The failure on the part of government to implement substantive policies that will prompt socio-economic development generated crisis in the region.
...(download the rest of the essay above)