The Conflict Of The Niger Delta

1743 Words Nov 25th, 2015 7 Pages
INTRODUCTION TO THE CONFLICT IN THE NIGER DELTA
Nigeria is the 7th world largest oil producer and is a major player in the world energy market. Oil and gas is Nigeria’s main source of revenue. It accounts for about 40% of the Gross Domestic Product and 70% of government revenues (Lawal 2004). Crude oil was first discovered in 1956 by Shell British Petroleum in a small village called Oloibiri present day Bayelsa State. Two years later oil in larger quantities was discovered in Ogoni.
The Niger delta region has a population of 28 million people, a coverage of 70,000 square kilometers consisting of 606 fields, 5,284 wells, 7,000 kilometers of pipelines, 10 export terminals, 275 flow stations and a liquefied natural gas sector (Williams 2011). The Niger delta which is Nigeria’s oil belt has been embroiled in conflict and resistance against the government and multinational oil corporations that extract oil in the region. The Niger delta is highly volatile with insurgent groups controlling the area. Years of oil exploitation, environmental degradation and neglecting by the states has created an impoverished, marginalized and exploited region which has produced resistance form the youth in the Niger delta region. A regime of state repression and corporate violence has further generated popular criminal violence, lawlessness, illegal appropriations and insecurity (Williams 2011).
Conflict in the Niger delta arose in the early 1990’s due to tension between the foreign oil…
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