Sunday, March 18, 2012

Niger Delta Development: Matters Arising

14 March 2012

... The development of Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region has remained a major challenge for the Federal Government, with local communities increasingly expressing dissatisfaction with government efforts. CHRISTIANA ESEBONU critically examines government intervention in the face of the challenges faced by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the ministry laden with the task of linking the once neglected region to the national grid.

The Niger Delta region comprises a network of swamps and creeks covering some 112,000 square kilometers touted to be almost the size of England.  According to Royal Dutch/Shell estimates, it is home to about 12million people [32 m] and hosts more than a few oil multi-nationals, who through their on-shore and off-shore operations, produce between 2,000,000 and 2,500, 000 barrels of oil per day.

Prior to the creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), the people of the region were a perfect example of poverty amidst plenty.  For too long they lived their lives in despondence, denial, deprivation and want, within the threshold of economic pains with an expectation of intervention almost closed to being extinguished. This situation gave birth to youth restiveness in the area.

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