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Oil extraction and exploration, which originated in the Niger Delta, was commemorated in February 2008 as fifty (50) years of oil exploitation in Nigeria. Despite the money generated by oil exploration and exploitation, observers’ perceptions of the oil production sector’s performance, particularly its developmental relationship with oil host regions/communities, have been unimpressive.

Rilwan Lukman, Nigeria’s former two-time petroleum minister and former OPEC president, characterises Nigerian oil output as “a blessing and a curse.” Similarly, Nigeria’s previous finance minister, Shamudeem Usman, noted that despite its oil wealth, the country remains poor.

Our goal for this investigation is straightforward. We investigated the Militant Insurgency and oil extraction in the Niger Delta. Our goal was to use the available data to determine whether there was a relationship between the two factors.

The study found a favourable link between militant insurgency and oil exploitation. This means that as the insurgency grows, oil exploitation in the country reduces.

Chapter one


1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the fifth-largest crude oil supplier to the US. When pumping at full capacity, it produces around 2.5 million barrels per day, ranking as the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter.

Nigeria’s gas resources are as extensive, with known natural gas reserves totaling 184 trillion cubic feet, making it the world’s eighth largest.

The oil and gas trade generates 95% of the country’s export profits, which account for 40% of its GDP. Because of Nigeria’s reliance on the oil sector, any disruption in exports poses a significant danger to the country’s economy. The Niger Delta region in the south of Nigeria contains the country’s oil and gas reserves.

As a result of this uneven resource distribution, there are frequent disagreements about the allocation of oil riches; the Nigerian government controls the revenue from energy exports and distributes it across the country.

The ethnic communities that live in the delta states think that the majority of energy income generated by their territory and homelands should be managed locally rather than by the federal government.

The first significant recent militant stirrings among delta inhabitants were in the 1990s among the ethnic Ogoni population. Because of the small size of the Ogoni community and Nigeria’s governance by the Abacha military junta at the time, government forces were able to repress the Ogoni and execute nine of its activists.

The government’s strong approach irrevocably undermined the Ogoni resistance. Since the original outbreak of conflict, considerably more severe ethnic opposition in the delta has emerged, originating with a far more dangerous population.

The Ijaw, the Niger Delta region’s largest ethnic community, are leading the newest guerrilla operations against the government and multinational oil companies.

The Ijaw are the fourth-largest ethnic group in Nigeria, with around 14 million people out of a total population of 137 million. They generally live in the Niger Delta region. The Ijaw are predominantly Catholic Christians, although they also blend old tribal religious traditions into their beliefs.

The Ijaw have substantial issues about the government’s wealth distribution policies. For example, while the Niger Delta region generates the majority of energy wealth, the Ijaw live in poverty and face extensive environmental degradation as a result of frequent oil spills and gas flaring operations.

The Ijaw want that a greater percentage of Nigeria’s oil resources be spent on local areas rather than distributed across the country. For example, the Nigerian constitutions of 1960 and 1963 required that 50% of oil earnings be given to the states from whence the resources were obtained.

Currently, under the 1999 constitution, this “derivation formula” stands at 13 percent, and much of that money never reaches the community level due to widespread corruption. While the federal government has pledged to modestly raise the revenue distribution to the states,

the Ijaw community wants the derivation formula to reach 20-25 percent. They also want ownership and management of the resources on their land, which include offshore oil fields.

As a result of these tensions, the Ijaw organised militant organisations to initiate attacks on energy infrastructure and workers in the delta, as well as against government officials. They are supported by the locals, making it harder for the authorities to isolate and remove them.

Their effectiveness in destroying oil infrastructure and terrorising international oil workers resulted in Nigeria’s oil exports being reduced by around 500,000 barrels per day for much of 2006.

In 2016, militant attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta resumed, leading oil production to fall to near 30-year lows of roughly 1.6 million barrels per day in August of that year. “This round of attacks will be the most deadly, and they will target the multinationals’ deep sea operations,” the insurgents stated.

Target areas include the Bonga Platform, as well as the Agbami, EA, and Akpo fields, which are located in the seas off the swampland delta. The militants also stated that they would target the Nigerian oil business, Brittania-U. Shell operates the Bonga and EA fields, while Chevron manages Agbami.

Total, CNOOC of China, Petrobras of Brazil, and Sapetro of Nigeria are among the Akpo’s stakeholders. “The Egina FPSO’s operators were advised to suspend operations till further notice. “We mean it when we say they (the oil installations) will dance to the sound of the Niger Delta Avengers’ fury,”

the militants said. In 2016, attacks on pipelines and other infrastructure in the Niger Delta reduced Nigeria’s crude production from a peak of 2.2 million barrels per day to nearly one million barrels per day, the lowest level in at least three decades.

That, combined with low oil prices, forced the country into its first recession in a quarter century, as petroleum sales account for two-thirds of government revenue and the majority of foreign exchange earnings.

The militants agreed to a truce in August 2016, which helped the economy recover from a recession in the second quarter of last year. However, they called off the truce in November.

Any recurrence of assaults will increase pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently dealing with separatist groups in the South-East, Islamist militants in the North-East, and elections in 2019.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The violent insurgency in the Niger Delta is a horrific situation for which no permanent solution has been discovered or is in sight. This is because the problem is fueled by the personal, false, and selfish goals of a few powerful individuals who have and continue to hold the country hostage for many years.

According to history, literature, and observation, the rise of insurgency was the result of profound groans and bitter aches from victims of oil exploitation in the Niger Delta region. Their heritage was used for national good, while the inheritors were left to suffer the negative consequences of oil production.

The country has abundant resources, yet the source of those riches is continuously overlooked. One can only understand why such a situation occurs in a country full of pious and God-fearing people with a plethora of degrees to prove their intellectual ability. This outbreak, which duplicated militancy in the Niger Delta region, was left unchecked, or, more accurately, poorly controlled.

This is because we occasionally hear threats from these militants to carry out one type of lethal attack or another. As a result, the nation’s primary source of revenue has shrunk significantly.

This situation cannot be readily dismissed since we recognise its consequences and potential if left unchecked. This circumstance served as the foundation for this study, and the need for such a study was identified in order to investigate militant insurgency and its impact on oil exploitation in the Niger Delta.

1.3 Object of the Study

This study aims to investigate the relationship between militant insurgency and oil exploitation in the Niger Delta. Specifically, the objectives are:

a. To investigate the relationship between militant insurgency and oil exploitation in the Niger Delta.

b. To illustrate the effect of militant insurgency on the country’s socioeconomic situation.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This report contributes to the plea for a swift and long-term solution to the militant insurgency in the Niger Delta. This is because it is clearly acknowledged that there is no long-term solution to the insurgency in the Niger Delta, thus there is a need to consider satisfying this demand,

which is what this study advocates for. Second, statistics show that insurgency in the Niger Delta has an impact on the economy in terms of income and national peace; hence, this study points to an uncertain future in which the nation’s revenue and national peace should be prioritised over tribalism.

1.5 Research Question.

This study aims to address the following research questions:

a. Is there a link between militant insurgency and oil exploitation in the Niger Delta region?

b. What are the socioeconomic consequences of militancy in Nigeria?

1.6 Scope and limitations of the study

This study has been broadened to include literature and information about both national and international militancy. This study also recognised the works of other authors and erudite professors. However, it is limited to Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

Furthermore, the study has limitations in its approach. It is agreed that different methods of analysis may produce different results, but if the facts are correct, the difference may not be significant. As a result, this work is open to future research utilising different methodologies.

1.7 Definition of Working Terminologies.

Militant: An individual or group engaged in battle or combat.

Insurgency: a condition of revolt against a government that is less than an organised revolution but not recognised as belligerence.

Exploitation is the act or event of treating someone unfairly in order to profit from their labour.

1.8 Organisation of the Study

The study is divided into five chapters. The first chapter provides an overview of militancy and insurgency, emphasising the issue statement, research questions, and study’s significance.

The second chapter examined related and pertinent material on militant insurgency and oil exploitation in the Niger Delta. The third chapter described the study’s methodology and data analysis pattern.

The facts and data were presented in the fourth chapter, adding credibility to the study. The study finished with a quick overview and several key recommendations for the future. This was captured in Chapter 5.

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