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Article Title

Understanding Oil Company – Community Conflicts in the Niger Delta (Nigeria)

Abstract

This paper examines the contradictory realities that have thrown up the conflicting relationship between oil companies and oil producing communities in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. To achieve this objective, the paper, after the introduction which provides the background and framework of analysis, situated the conflict in its political setting. It established that the privatization and ethnicisation of politics in Nigeria, has resulted to a resource distribution system that alienates Oil Producing Communities from the oil wealth. State legislations on the oil industry and manipulations of the revenue allocation system have made this possible. The article demonstrates that although the causes of the conflicts are complex and interrelated, material deprivation is central to the conflicts. It highlights oil based environmental degradation induced productivity losses and occupational disorientation, inadequate compensation for damages caused by oil industry activities, poor channels of communication by the oil companies, failed community development programmes of the oil companies, among others as causes of the conflicting relationship. The paper notes that current policies have not addressed these factors that motivate conflict. In addition to compensation, the paper suggests the integration of the people into the oil economy, and the direction of public resources to public good as the likely solution.

Author Bio(s)

Ibaba S. Ibaba holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (Development Studies) and teaches Political Science with the Niger Delta University. He has special interest in Niger Delta Studies and his articles/papers have appeared in books and journals. His works also include; two books, Foundations of Political Science (2004) and Understanding the Niger Delta Crisis (2005). He can be contacted at eminoaibaba@yahoo.com.

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