CHALLENGES AND PANACEA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NIGER DELTA REGION: AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS

INTRODUCTION
Commercially viable oil was discovered by Shell in 1956 at Oloibiri in the present day Bayelsa State.[1] This happened after over sixty wells were drilled from a depth of 3000 metres. And the first exportation of the hydrocarbon to Britain was in 1958. The Gulf Oil Company as it was then called (but which later changed to Chevron, partly owned by MRS Oil Nigeria)[2] discovered Nigeria’s first successful offshore oil field in December, 1963.[3] Until the late 1950s concessions on production and exploration continued to be the exclusive domain of the company, then known as Shell.  However, other firms were said to have been licenced also to exploit and explore for oil by the early 1960s.
In October 1960 Nigeria gained full independence from Britain and in 1963 Nigeria became a republic. She repealed the 1914 Mineral Oil Act and enacted the Petroleum Act in 1969 which was later amended in 1990 and 2004. The Act vests ownership of petroleum in the federation of Nigeria. Prior to this Act and arising out of and in the course of its mandate, the United Nations (UN) and the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had timeously proclaimed the principle of permanent sovereignty of states over their natural resources.[4] This meant that the decolonized countries such as Nigeria were to exploit and explore their natural resources without external intervention subject to maintaining a sustainable and friendly environment. The underlying reason was that the continued exploitation of the natural resources in the decolonized states without due attention being paid to the environmental rights of the people will hinder any meaningful development and, above all, will create a global environmental problem such as climate change. The UN and OPEC proclamations were meant to ginger up economic and technological revolution in Nigeria in particular, and the African States in general. In the case of OPEC in particular, member states were enjoined to take participatory interest in the existing concessions earlier granted by the colonial masters which contracts the Nigerian government inherited, at least, to enable it collect grossly insufficient taxes and royalties as a survival strategy.

In 1971 Nigeria formed the Nigerian National Oil Company (NNOC) and the company took a participatory interest of about 60 percent in the existing oil concessions with the IOCs holding about 40 percent equity interest therein. In 1977 the NNOC was replaced with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with the functions of superintending the oil exploration activities on behalf of the Federal Government while a designated Minister of the Federation was empowered to issue oil exploration, prospecting or oil mining lease/licences to the IOCs. The NNPC under the Act could enter into a joint venture agreement with the IOCs in the interest of the public and could also operate a production sharing agreement as circumstances at its disposal dictate. These circumstances may mean financial commitment that is, cash call and the need to encourage technological transfer to the youth and thereby creates employment.

As a direct consequence of oil exploration, the Niger-Delta was exposed to environmental degradation which the region has suffered in great measure. This also inevitably provoked agitation by the Niger-Delta people especially as there was no serious and meaningful effort either by the oil companies or the Federal Government in addressing and redressing the problem. Part of the efforts of addressing the environmental challenges thrown up by oil exploration was the establishment by the Federal Government of intervention agencies.

However, from 1971 to 1999 the revenue allocations to these intervention agencies meant for the human and infrastructural development of the Niger Delta region ranged from a paltry 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent, of the Federal Government annual budget. With the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2000, the revenue allocation was raised to 15 per cent of the federal government share of the annual budget, the IOCs 3 per cent and the 3 percent ecological fund of oil producing states. The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs newly created in 2008 was given a grant of N50 billion for the year 2009 but N26 billion out of the amount was already earmarked for the construction of East – West High – way, leaving a balance of N24 billion which is undoubtedly not enough to tackle human and infrastructural needs of the region. Instructively, the 1999 constitution provides for 13 percent derivation to oil producing states. Initially, the President Obasenjo administration was reluctant to implement it. But after the resource control case[5] the matter was resolved by the Supreme Court and coupled with the 2004 Onshore/Offshore Abolition Act, the administration started to pay with arrears the said 13 percent derivation[6] money.

It is worthy of note that before the discovery of oil in commercially viable quantity in 1956 the revenue earning products in Nigeria included market-dependent crops such as groundnuts and cotton predominantly produced in the Northern Region of Nigeria. Palm oil was produced, notably, in the Eastern Region and cocoa massively and commercially produced in the Western Region respectively. These products were bought by the British and other foreign merchants who had started to trade with the indigenous people on the coast of West Africa.[7] The trading coastal areas which later formed part of Nigeria included Lagos, Benin, Bonny, Brass, New Calabar (now Degema) and Old Calabar (now Calabar).[8]

The British administration divided the country into three tribe-based regions namely, the Northern, Western and Eastern regions through the instrumentality of the 1954 federal Constitution with a federal territory (Lagos). This singular constitutional development firmly sowed the seed of tribalism and exploitative policy in the Nigerian State.[9] Based on this constitutional reform the subsequent Independence[10] and Republic[11] Constitutions of Nigeria had to inherit a revenue formula which manifestly reflected in the 1954 federal constitutional arrangements and granted a revenue allocation principle based on derivation from the Regions. The period marked the payment of 50 percent derivation to the regional governments then and 30 percent to the common pool and 20 percent to the federal government respectively. Consequent upon this revenue formula, the northern region whose revenues were based on groundnuts (the groundnuts pyramid), tin ore and cotton was given the lion’s share of revenue from those resources[12]. Similarly, the Western region which produced cocoa in a commercially viable quantity got the lion’s share of cocoa revenues.[13]

The period set the centre stage for the introduction of free education in the west by the late Obafemi Awolowo. He had the foresight that cocoa being the mainstay of the economy of the then Western Region was not going to last forever hence he initiated the need to invest cocoa revenues in human capital development instead of merely in infrastructural development of that region. The result of that foresight of the 60s has unarguably manifested in the production of top technocrats and dons of Western Nigeria extraction in every field of human endeavour. Same also accounts for the magnificient infrastructural development in the Northern Region and up till date the North is largely identified with good road net-work in Nigeria.

In contrast to the financial benefits brought about by the production and exportation of the market-dependent crops of the early 60s to the people and governments of the then Regions in Nigeria, the discovery of the hydrocarbon beneath the land of the Niger Deltans in Nigeria has brought curses more than blessings to the people of the region, while the Nigerian State is said to have generated about $600 billion since 1960s from oil and gas revenues[14]. Out of this amount the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria paid $36bn (about N5.4tn) to the Federal Government through joint venture as taxes, royalties and revenue from sales between 2005 and 2009.[15]

The Niger Delta and its people have had to contain about 13 million barrels of oil spills since the discovery of oil in Nigeria. The attendant effects of this ugly situation include the fact that the people living in the Niger Delta have to drink, cook with and wash in polluted water. They eat fish contaminated with oil and other toxins – if they are lucky enough to be able to find fish. The land they farm on is destroyed. After oil spills the air they breathe smells oil, gas and other pollutants and yet neither the government nor the IOCs monitor the human impacts of oil pollution in the region unlike what obtains inn advanced countries. For instance, in the April 20, 2010 explosion and fire at the British Petroleum (BP) – operated Deepwater Horizon drill rig in the Gulf of Mexico, North America – the BP and partners have applied all available technologies to effect necessary repairs and mitigate the impacts of the accident on the natural environment[16]. The BP Oil Plc has also faced harsh condemnation by the American public and government. Besides, the US Government had announced it was instituting criminal and civil investigations into the Deepwater Horizon incident and spill. The BP is about paying compensation to the families of its 11 dead oil workers as well as 17 other injured workers. Beside this the company in conjunction with the American Coast Guard has already initiated containment measures and has cleared over 65,000 barrels as of June 11.[17]

Unfortunately, the plethora of legal frameworks to encourage and promote environmental friendly operations and protect the natural environment in Nigeria have been reduced to “paper tigers”; hence their inability to adequately protect the environment against reckless and environmental damage and degradation by the IOCs, licensed to prospect and exploit oil and gas resources in the land of the Niger Delta people. A cursory look at some of these legal frameworks meant to protect the natural environment in Nigeria shows that some of them are archaic and inadequate in terms of being in tune with time and neither are the penalties commensurate with the offences created. Also, others are anti-social and indeed deny the people of the Niger Delta region the right to own and control the resources beneath their fatherland in line with the old common law principle that those who own the land should own everything beneath, above and upon it.

An examination of the extant provisions of the Petroleum Act[18], Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Act[19], Land Use Act (LUA)[20], Constitution[21], Associated Gas Re-injection Act[22] (which allows for gas flaring) and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) Act (now National Environmental Standards Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA)[23] (which also permits the discharge of any hazardous substance into the air or upon the land and the waters of Nigeria or at the shorelines with the permit or authority of FEPA) will show the inadequacy of these laws.

Despite the inadequacies of the laws for the protection of the Nigerian environment, the IOCs have consistently violated these laws with impunity due largely to the fact that successive governments in Nigeria have remained indifferent to oil blowouts, leaving oil producing communities to continually wrangle with the IOCs over clean-up and possible compensation. This scenario is particularly objectionable and offensive because these IOCs cannot flout environmental laws with impunity in their countries of origin. A case in point is the BP Oil Plc Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico where the BP  immediately responded by endeavouring to contain and clean-up the oil spills in addition to the US government’s timeous reactions to ensuring that the Americans are protected against the incident at the Gulf of Mexico.

To curtail such incidents there have been a number of international declarations and laws such as the United Nations Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS)[24], which provides that “removal by a coastal state of disused structures in the continental shelf should be effected in such a way as to ensure the protection of the marine environment together with due regard for fishing and the interest of other states”[25]. Also the courts in advanced jurisdictions have often times adopted judicial activism where there are no clear provisions, regarding adequacy of penalty clauses on violation of environmental rights to curb abuses or excesses by IOCs. This development is however lacking in Nigeria due largely to the attitude of the Nigerian State. The judiciary has also failed to adopt of judicial activism in clear and compelling circumstances. A worrisome phenomenon in Nigeria is that oil spills cases unduly take too long to resolve due to the attitude of the IOCs in always making frivolous applications with a view to delaying the substantive suit with the result that sometimes the plaintiffs either have become disinterested in the case or died and thus leading to abandonment of the case in court.

As a consequence of the various environmental damage experienced in the region and the apparent neglect and/or refusal both by the IOCs and the Nigerian State to correct the environmental degradation and pollution associated with the oil and gas exploration in the region, the Ogoni people, had to formally organize themselves into a powerful bargaining group. They issued a series of demands in the form of a Bill of Rights.[26] This Bill was adopted at Bori, Rivers State[27]. The Ogonis demanded, among other things, political self-determination for themselves, the right to control and use the economic resources for Ogoni development and payment of reparation by Government and 10Cs.[28] They also sought compensation for the pollution and destruction of their living environment along with the right to protect the area from further degradation.[29]

Accordingly, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) was formed to carry out the aims and objective of the “Ogoni Bill of Rights”.[30] The first president of the MOSOP was Dr. Garrick Leton and just a year later, Ken Saro-Wiwa was appointed the Spokes-man/Public Affairs Officer for the organization in 1991.[31] After series of amendment of the Bill, copies were sent to the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ibrahim Babangida, and others for immediate consideration and implementation. The group initially adopted peaceful pleas to press home its demands but when it felt that the pleas were unheard within Nigeria, the international fora were the options adopted to further expose the economic exploitation of its land. Yet the government and the IOCs ignored such demands. Therefore, MOSOP felt it had exhausted its pleas and decided to take a confrontational approach[32]. Regrettably however, factions sprang up from within the MOSOP. In 1995, Ken Saro Wiwa and eight others who were arrested, detained and tried on a murder charge were found guilty and were hung. This caused outrage all over the world. Since then militancy against the IOCs and government for continued oil exploitation without any regards to the environmental rights of the people of the region has become the order of the day.

Also, following protests by the states within the federation of Nigeria in respect of what was known as ‘resource control’, the Federal Government on Feb. 6, 2001 filed a suit at the Supreme Court against the States of the Federation in which it sought an interpretation of the seaward boundary of littoral states within the FRN for purposes of calculating the amount of revenue accruing to the federation directly from natural resources. In counter move the states had argued that the Federal Government disbursements from the Federation Account amounted to a violation of Section 162 (1) of the 1999 Constitution. In its ruling the Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Government’s ownership and control of all natural resources within its territory. It also affirmed that the littoral states have no title to offshore natural resources. Elaborating, Wali JSC (as he then was) said:



None of the littoral states is sovereign despite the historical narration by some of them, they are all part and parcel of the sovereign independent state of Nigeria. None of them can exercise any control beyond the land mass of their respective state. They cannot claim that revenue accruing from mineral resources offshore belongs to any of them. Whatever revenue accrues from drilling offshore belongs to the whole federation of Nigeria based on section 162 of the 1999 constitution. Their claims that they are entitled to not less than 13 percent of the total revenue accruing from offshore drilling must therefore fail and same is hereby refused and dismissed.[33]



The Supreme Court decision thus reaffirmed the offshore/onshore dichotomy which had been abolished in 1992 when Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) was created. The effect of the judgment caused the littoral states to be denied revenue from the offshore oil and gas production from the federation account.

However, respite came the way of the littoral States through the product of a compromise between the Executive and the National Assembly, whereby the Onshore/Offshore Dichotomy Abolition Bill 2004 was passed into law. After the refusal by the president to sign the bill as amended, adducing a number of reasons, the Bill was eventually signed while reducing the seaward boundaries of a state to 200 metre rate dept isobath, contiquous to a state of the federation for the purpose of computing the revenue accruing to the Federation Account from the state. The Act also states that for the purposes of the application of the principle of derivation it shall be immaterial whether the revenue accruing to the Federation Account from a state is derived from natural resources located onshore or offshore.

However, while the littoral states were trying to settle down and savour the fruits of the Onshore/Offshore Dichotomy Abolition Act 2004, the 19 Governors of the north and 3 Governors from the west went to court in 2005 to challenge the legislative competence of the National Assembly to enact the Onshore/Offshore Abolition Act. But the Supreme Court in its wisdom ruled that the said Act was validly passed and assented to by the president.  

In an attempt to address the problem and agitation caused by oil exploration and its consequences the Federal Government responded by creating intervention mechanisms such as the Nigeria Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB), Presidential Task Force (PTF), Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ministry of Niger Delta (MND), with a view to bringing a measure of relief to the region and its people. These intervention agencies are meant to address both the infrastructural needs of the region as well as take on human capital development in concert with the IOCs. But there seems to have been proliferation and duplication of these mechanisms whose records of achievements have earned them arithmetic progression in the face of geometric progression in the myriad and quantum of increasing gas flaring, oil spills, water and land pollution in the Niger Delta region.

This work assesses and examines, critically, challenges and panacea for the development of the Niger Delta. It is also the concern of this writer to advocate the needs to address the development need of the core oil producing areas- as the bulk of the youth reside therein as well as stress that these areas – villages and communities, are the direct victims of oil spills and land degradation. This writer observes that illegal oil bunkering, hostage taking, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism are subversive and criminal activities against the state[34]. But one may quickly also add that violence is the voice of the oppressed, no matter its ramification. 



The Challenges  



There are multifarious and multi-dimensional challenges militating against the attainment of purposeful and progressive development of Niger Delta. Although some of the problems are entrenched, endemic and quite formidable, pragmatic and sustainable antidote exist which can help minimize, if not totally eliminate the problems. It is proposed in this chapter to examine some of the challenges and proffer necessary panacea towards their amelioration.



Corruption and Maladministration



Corruption and maladministration are twin problems which usually result in inefficiency and underdevelopment. Corruption is defined by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as a “dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority” while maladministration is defined by the same dictionary as “the fact of managing a business, or an organization in a bad or dishonest way”.[35] But Nkom quoted by Ogege[36] defined corruption as “the perversion of public affairs for private advantage” Nkom further stressed that “bribery is the use of unauthorized rewards to influence people in position of authority either, to act or refuse to act in ways beneficial to the private advantage of the giver and then, that of the receiver, the misappropriation of public funds and resources for private gains” amount to corruption. Also Khan quoted by Ogege[37] “sees corruption as an act which deviates from the formal rules of conduct governing the actions of someone in a position of public authority because of private wealth, regarding motives such as wealth, power or status”.

Virtually, all forms of corruption involve an exchange relation between two parties and is characterized by bargaining.[38] Corruption may manifest in various forms. In all these manifestations, corruption is motivated by the desire to use the instrumentality of office for private gains for the official, his relatives, ethnic group or friends at the expense of the general good.

Corruption may be instigated by the inequitable distribution of resources. This means that the distribution is skewed in favour of a privileged few or the majority ethnic groups or regions in the world.

This arrangement breeds poverty as well as widen the gap between the rich and the poor or between the majority ethnic groups and the minority ethnic groups like in Nigeria.



The Niger Delta crisis of development can be explained given the inherent corruption being perpetrated by the leadership of the federal intervention agencies under consideration, successive governments of the Niger Delta and other individual public office holders in Nigeria.

It has been documented that successive governments of the Niger Delta received over N1 trillion between 1999 and 2005 from the federation account. This figure excluded internally generated revenues and funds provided to NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Unfortunately, these huge receipts have not translated into any tangible development results in the area, largely because of massive corruption.[39] The governments of Alameseigha of Bayelsa, Peter Odili of Rivers and James Ibori of Delta States respectively have repeatedly been enmeshed in allegations of corruption. Indeed, the impeachment of Alamessigha as the governor of Bayelsa was principally because of the corrupt practices of the administration.

Similarly, critics have alleged that General Buhari who headed the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) mis-managed the funds. They argued that had Buhari been honest in his management of the PTF, the amount of money that was at his disposal would have been enough to alleviate Nigerian/Niger Delta regions poverty ten-fold. Buhari allegedly had an average of N52 billion every year to spend on Nigeria, including the Niger Delta. At the end of the PTF reign, Nigeria’s poverty and underdevelopment level remained the same, if not worse, as prior its establishment.[40] Sadly, report authored by one Dr. Haroun Adamu revealed that N135 billion out of the N146 billion was squandered possibly through over-invoicing, over-supplies supplying expired materials, wrong projects priorities, settling perceived trouble-spot and blatant thievery.[41]

Equally, the whereabouts of the Babangida’s gulf war wind-fall is still engaging public discourse in Nigeria. The earnings from the sale of crude oil during gulf war was put at $12.4 billion but government eventually declared deficits of N21.7 billion and N35.31 billion in 1990 and 1991 respectively. But the Pius Okigbo led panel set up in 1994 to look into the case promptly returned a verdict of gross abuse of public trust and of payments that were surreptitiously and clandestinely done”.[42] This unsettling crisis of corruption during Babangida’s administration was well captured recently by the National Intervention Group (NIG)[43] founded by the late Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, thus;



Not long ago, the Pius Okigbo Report detailed the extensive stealing of the country’s oil revenue wind-fall by the then impostor in government who declared himself ‘President’  with pervasive power, in addition to his theft of a substantial tranche of the cash, he also appropriated the entire oil resources of the nation, giving them out, like personal property at will, to friends, cronies and irresponsible bootlickers, while simultaneously hawking them to foreigners and pocketing the huge proceeds.



The NIG commented also on the Haliburton Liquefied Natural Gas project bribery scandal as follows:



The Haliburton bribery scandal among many others involving KING CORRUPTION, has been festering for sometime, but KING CORRUPTION reckons, he has it under control. It is noteworthy to observe that the Americans have since dealt with their own nationals involved in this crime, by jailing them[44].



It went on to say that:

The details of the Haliburton scandal, kept in wraps for along time are now in the public domain. The report had been compiled after an extensive investigation by a formidable array of a no-nonsense, incorruptible Nigerian men and women, led by Mike Okiro including Mrs. Farida Waziri, representatives of the National Security Adviser, State Security Service and so on[45].



Continuing, the NIG gave a roll call of those implicated in the scandal:



The roll call included four former heads of state and two wives, as well as former governors and ministers. As the Daily Independent’s report summed it, indeed, the top echelons of the country’s political and military establishments including technocrats have been indicted by the United States law enforcement officials over the N27 billion Haliburton bribery scandal. It speaks volumes about the nature of the society we have become that the report did not set off a major political earthquake, Nigerians have reached such a state of anomie that they appear to have become shockproof… the magnitude of the amount involved is best appreciated when translated into opportunity cost N27 billion worth of lost investments in schools, healthcare facilities, roads, bridges and so forth[46].



Equally worthy of mention is the financial malpractices involving the NNPC, which superintends the oil and gas industry. Recently, Abubakar Yar’ Adua was being investigated because of the allegation that he connived with Turai Yar’ Adua, wife of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to appropriate $17 million, which was part of the money for Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM) of the Kaduna Refinery.[47] Maladministration in the Octopus-like NNPC has recently been reported to the President by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission’s Chairman Hammun Tukar. In his report, Tukar noted that: during Kupolokun’s administration the NNPC lifted 45,000 barrels of crude everyday for domestic lifting but sold most of these to refineries outside the county, auspiciously because our refineries were not operating at full capacity. He argued that NNPC paid for the refining and collected all refined products but Nigerians only saw kerosene, PMS and diesel. He queried where the other products were? He reasoned that revenues from the sales of the other products like black oil, LPFO should have been enough to recover costs and save Nigerians from price increases and submitted that not only did the NNPC not account for the other products but it also withheld about N20 billion every month from Federation Account as subsidy.[48]

In the same vein, the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar accused the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Kupolokun of being collaborators in the Wilbross $6million bribe scandal and said that:

His findings revealed that Funsho Kupolokun had told Wilbross that they would need to pay $400,000 bribe to No.2 and another 1 percent of the $6 million bribe to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)… officials of the state and top notchers of the NNPC all working closely with former President Obasanjo as collaborators in the bribery scandal.[49]



In like manner, critics have said that most of the revenue received by the 1.5 percent committee - that is, the Presidential Task Force, set up by Shagari Administration in 1980, ended up in private accounts and did not reach the poor people of the oil producing communities. Hence by 1985 the Committee was virtually moribund.[50] Following growing discontent and restiveness in the oil producing areas, the Babangida regime set up Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in 1992. The Commission initially raised the spirit and hopes of the people but it became inefficient and corrupt and ended up as another great disappointment.[51] Before it was scrapped in 1999, OMPADEC completed several projects but bequeathed very many abandoned projects and huge debt, the bulk of which is dubious. Although the Commission was said to have suffered from lack of focus, inadequate and irregular funding, official profligacy and excessive political interference, corruption, lack of transparency and accountability, high overhead spending and so on[52] have also been identified as the problems which led to its collapse. By reason of the monumental problem of corruption most of the projects had little to do with poverty alleviation and the vast majority of the poor people were not impacted in any significant way. Consequently, one of the first actions of Obasanjo administration soon after its inauguration in May 1999 was to send a Bill to the National Assembly for the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to replace OMPADEC. Regrettably the Commission, is also bedeviled by the same politics and greed that have always placed the interest of a tiny few above the people. The commission leadership has recently been overhauled due to allegations of maladministration and corruption leveled against its former chairman, Ambassador Sam Edem.

Unfortunately, governmental agencies which could have nipped this high level of corruption in the bud had allowed themselves to be influenced and procured financially. For example, the National Assembly had set up numerous probe panels to study the accounts of the NNPC but because of a lot of money at the disposal of the corporation, its management has always used it effectively to silence those crying foul. Even security agencies are not whole-heartedly committed to apprehending and punishing the corrupt management officials. The simple perfect description of the Corporation’s health is that the NNPC is “bloody rotten to the high heavens and smelling to the moon”.[53]

The entire Nigerian society is engulfed in corruption. The creation of state intervention agencies such as the NDDB, PTF and OMPADEC to tackle developmental challenges of the oil bearing areas has been a welcome development especially as it is complementary of the roles of NDDC and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, but, unfortunately corruption has no sooner crept into the leadership and running of such bodies and thereby impairing the achievement of set objectives. For example, a group, the Coalition of Ilaje and Ese Odo Youth Vanguard for Good Governance, recently, called on Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, to dissolve the Board of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission on allegations which bordered on frauds and non-performance[54].

It is therefore becoming increasingly evident that the lots, of Nigerians will not change for the better until the current wave of corrupt practices in government circles is checked.

From the above scenarios and instances of corrupt practices and maladministration by individuals and government agencies in Nigeria in general and in the Niger Delta region in particular, it is evident that if the amount of money siphoned from the government treasury had been judiciously and expeditiously committed to tackling the environmental challenges and problems of the oil producing communities of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, perhaps the ongoing restiveness and agitations for self-determination and indeed resource control cum fiscal federalism in Niger Delta would have been checked with attendant effect of a conductive extraction activities as well as increased oil revenues to IOCs and the government.



Absence of Political will to Enthrone Fiscal Federalism



Political will when viewed from the stand-point of a pollster and political scientist can be defined as the combination of three factors: opinion plus intensity plus salience.[55] To advocates, politicians and organizations promoting change ‘political will is the holy grail. When advocates argue, politicians vote and organizations campaign, they say they are trying to shape or respond to political will. Therefore, political will is said to be the ghost in the machine of politics, the motive force that generates political action. Opinion is shaped by how issues are framed. For example, the need to have a credible election in Nigeria has become a debate wherein many stakeholders have entered. This started as an opinion. This opinion has become a very strongly held one. Hence, due to its intensity the government has decided to tinker with the electoral laws. Following from this point, the issue has become very salient to almost all the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders in the Nigerian Federation. What then started as opinion has now resulted in a political will, whereby the government through the parliament has much interest in changing the law governing elections in the country, so as to enthrone a legitimate and credible government at all tier of governments in Nigeria.

Political will viewed from the perspective of sustainable development and fiscal federation refers to the desire and determination of political actors to introduce as well as embark on reforms that will bring significant and persistent change in the society.[56]

Political will in developing countries rests in the hands of the government and ruling political parties. As a result therefore, a lot of incentives have been offered by international organizations to tilt political commitment in the direction of realizing both the present and future needs of developing countries.[57]

In Nigeria, the European Union and the United Nations have been encouraging and assisting the government of Nigeria financially in the direction of tackling the developmental challenges and problems of the Niger Delta region, so that oil exploration activities that is the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy can be undertaken by the IOCs unhindered.

The agitation by the Niger Deltans is essentially, a demand and call on the government of Nigeria to muster enough political will to enthrone fiscal federalism in the country, because, when it was implemented in the 60s the regional governments then experienced massive development and growth, in terms of human and infrastructural development. According to Sagay ‘prior to independence in 1960 and the emergence of petroleum as the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, the Northern elite only accepted conditions amounting to confederalism rather than federalism for associating with the South as one country’.[58]

He further stated that:



When constitutional crisis erupted in 1953 over Southern demand for immediate independence for Nigeria, the minimum demands of the North for continuing to remain as a part of Nigeria were:

i)                    Each region shall have complete legislative and executive autonomy with respect to all matters except the following: defence, external affairs, custom and West African research institutions.

ii)                  That there shall be no central legislative body and no central executive or policy making body for the whole of Nigeria.

iii)                All revenue shall be levied and collected by the Regional government except customs revenue at the port of discharge by the Central Agency. The administration of the customs shall be so organized as to assure that goods consigned to the Regions are separately cleared and charged to duty.

iv)                Each Region shall have a separate Public Service.[59]



It is observed that when the military took over power in 1966 and subsequently created twelve states out of the four regions in Nigeria, those conditions in the foregoing paragraph were altered in favour of federalism by name but unitary system of government in practice.

Political will with which to address the crisis of underdevelopment of the Niger Delta region as was deployed in the 80s by the Federal Military Government in the development of Abuja which was a desert place, within a short span of time seems to be in short supply - even in the face of the intervention agencies.

The growing number of intervention agencies established to tackle the Niger Delta environmental challenges-which may be said to be the products of political will exhibited by government in this direction, has not been able to confront the myriads of problems such as land degradation and pollution arising from oil and gas exploration in the region. Dearth of effective deployment of political will by the Federal Government has therefore given rise to irresistible agitations for the enthronement of fiscal federation by the Niger Deltans, perhaps, with the hope that this might bring about sustainable development in the Niger Delta region. Some of the Niger Deltans have visited Abuja and Lagos, seeing the infrastructural development in these cities, they feel and believe that it is the oil money that has been used to provide these facilities. Therefore, they believe what is good for the goose is also good for the ganders.

It is unfortunate that every administration had set up one committee or the other starting from Willink’s Commission set up in 1958 to the Niger Delta Technical Committee (NDTC) established in 2008 by late President Umaru Yar’Adua and headed by Ledum Mitee, on the Niger Delta question. A look at their terms of reference and recommendations show that there has been the lack of political will to meaningfully address the numerous challenges confronting the Niger Delta.[60]

For instance, when the government set up an intervention agency on the Niger Delta but fails to release the statutory funds due to it, such attitude is a negation of political will. This was why Mitee said:



But political will is not an abstract thing. So how do you measure political will? We therefore believe that certain things need to be done so that if we want to measure your political will, it is not just to say, I have a political will. There are certain things which we think you can do within six months and people will say oh! These people are coming.[61]



Problem of Militancy and other Criminality



In the 1950s, Willink’s report had cautioned that the people of the oil-rich region should not be oppressed to the extent that they would embark on a rebellion that would require troops to quell.[62] The failure of past governments to heed the Commission’s warning has led to the situation where the activities of militants have warranted the deployment of military troops in the form of the Joint Task Force (JTF) to the Niger Delta region.[63]

For decades, the Niger Delta has been known to be a haven of environmental conflicts, occasioned primarily by the phenomenally rising magnitude of environmental insecurity. This situation manifests in the form of a multiplicity of threats and contradictions resulting from the absence or inefficiency of regulatory mechanisms for interactions between human beings and nature.[64] This situation has been complicated by the paradox of poverty in plenty which characterized the region. The effects have been recurrent upsurge of agitations and violence; separatist movements, exemplified by the first major attempt to break away from the Nigerian federation, led by Major Isaac Boro, an Ijaw from Kiama in 1966. Other groups and movements which have emerged from the foregoing situation included Egbesu Boys, the Chicoco movement the Ijaw Youth Council, the Niger Delta Volunteer Forces and the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) and litigations over resource control recently.[65]

In 1990 the MOSOP was founded pursuant to Ogon Bill of Rights packaged by the group and submitted to government of Nigeria then, demanding self-determination and the control of natural resources beneath their fatherland. Initially, peaceful approach was adopted by the MOSOP to press home its demands but in November 1995 its leader and eight others were executed by General Abacha’s administration. The group and other groups and movements decided to adopt military posture against the federation of Nigeria in order to invoke the desired political will by the government to tackle the environmental challenges of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

This social turbulent strongly affected the struggle for good governance of the environmental sector in the area. The situation forced the successive governments of Nigeria to set up one intervention agency and the other in order to tackle the crisis of underdevelopment of the Niger Delta.

The government in particular responded by creating separate federal states in the area: Akwa Ibom Delta and Bayelsa States on 27 September 1987, 1991 and 1996 respectively.[66]

The Federal Government established the OMPADEC in 1992 and increased financial allocation to the area from 1.5 percent to 3 percent of the federal budget. It also established the NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in 2000 and 2008 respectively, with substantial financial resources to tackle the local underdevelopment.[67] The IOCs also paid compensations to oil producing communities for increasing environmental hazards imputable to their activities and to reduce the volatility of the area, though at a rate lower than international, standards[68] and indeed based on “genuine cases” of oil spills.[69]

Despite these responses, the environmental insecurity and developmental problems of the region do not seem to have abated significantly. There has been continuing degradation and pollution of environmental resources, particularly land, water, wildlife and biodiversity with telling impacts on the people’s health, with the resultant effects that the ‘socio-economic conditions of the people remain at best manageable and at worst hardly bearable, leading to more agitations and conflicts’, manifesting in different dimensions of crimes and criminality.[70]



The above has led to the conclusion that the criminality introduced by the youth of the Niger Delta and indeed their cohorts into the genuine agitation for environmental rights of the region is far beyond the original conceptualization of the movement by its founding forebears.

According to a learned author Dada[71] the region has been in the news, news of illegal oil bunkering, hostage taking and kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, illegal but constant shutting down of flow stations, youth restiveness, sustained mindless massacre of innocent persons, including policemen and open display of sophisticated weapons by men wearing masks in vacuous bravado.

However, it has been asserted that the worrisome crime rate and criminality in the Nigerian society and agitation for environmental rights of the Niger Delta has its root in poverty. For example, in the case of the existence of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta, Anyaoku had this to say in an answer to the question whether “the existence of illegal refineries is because of NNPC’s inability to get the products to the public?:



Far from it, I think most of those things are driven by the state or the level of poverty in the society where people virtually try to do anything to eke out a living. So what they can do to earn something to eat is the cause of the challenges (crimes) we face here today. That is why you find people scooping fuel when they vandalise a pipe even when they know that at the slightest problem they will be engulfed by fire.[72]



One cannot but agree with the learned author of “Nigeria: The Challenges of Nationhood” that:



It is very sad, regrettable, unfortunate and wicked that the Niger Delta, a region which has contributed so enormously to the national growth (95 percent foreign exchange earnings and 70 percent of Nigeria’s revenues) through the exploitation of its natural resources, has suffered so much neglect over the years. It is indefensible that so much money has been made from the region and the region has nothing positive to show for it. Rather what the region has to show is the waste-land, polluted water and absence of basic infrastructure such as light, water, roads, schools and hospital. Nothing may be more inexplicable and unjust.[73]



Unemployment of employable sons and daughters of the Niger Delta region and indeed other Nigerians from other regions of Nigeria has accelerated the ascendancy and transformation of crime and criminality in the Nigerian federation. The seed of unemployment has clearly geminated politically as (with the birth of democracy in the country which to some degree has fanned the flames of criminality), politicians seeking offices, have now employed militia groups to coerce voters and generally disrupt the election process.

Be that as it may, the cost benefit analysis of militancy and other criminality to the individuals involved in the supposed agitation for the redress of environmental related problems shows that the individuals concerned have depreciated public sympathy towards their socio-economic claims through their criminal acts. On the part of the state, its inability and unwillingness to exercise the needed political will as canvassed by Willink’s report over fifty three years ago has continually created and sustained the ugly state of crisis of development and underdevelopment of the Niger Delta with attendant losses in terms of oil production, human lives, property and financial resources. This scenario cannot create a congenial environment for sustainable development of the Niger Delta region and indeed any region in the world.





Environmental Challenges



The environmental challenges may be grouped into two sub-headings namely: Environmental degradation and environmental pollution.

The environmental problem of the Niger Delta region is mostly a consequence of exploration and exploitation of mineral oil in the oil producing communities of the region. Unfortunately the premier legislative enactments and other international environmental imperatives only gave unlimited access to the IOCs for oil exploration without adequate provisions for environmental damage such as pollution prevention or environmental degradation. Subsequent Nigerian governments continued in the same way and the environmental problems of the region had to escalate.



Environmental Degradation



In oil prospecting, land is acquired by the oil companies for flow stations, oil locations, pipelines right of ways, terminals, burrows pits and so on. And in the process of all these activities, environmental degradation occurs. For example, the shape of the land is grossly altered, natural water ways are blocked and most times the entire land degraded.

The environmental challenges of the region are therefore complex and enormous constituting both ecological and natural impediments. For example, crude oil was first discovered in 1956 in Otuabagi/Otuogadi in Oloibiri district of the then Brass division in present Bayelsa State.[74] Today, the said community is in socio-economic doldrums as there is no more oil, money and infrastructure. No drumbeats, no singing, no dancing just echoes of a time past. Poverty rules in the community where oil once flowed and the people have as a vestige only echoes of a time past.[75] The only reminder that this place has the singular honour of producing the country’s first crude oil is the ‘Christmas Tree’ – that is the unremoved well-head which stands forlorn and weather beaten.[76] Such land area where oil has been drilled, facilities and equipment left or abandoned becomes unsuitable for agricultural activities which hitherto had been one of the occupations of the people of the region.

When land has been used for oil exploration, it inevitably becomes degraded by erosion and flood and rendered unfertile and unarable. It is therefore irresistible to say that a situation of this nature opens the doors for poverty, breeds discontents and restiveness. Except and unless both the government and the IOCs jettison the Brazil’s development model in which the stock market booms and two thirds of the population is condemned to early death by poverty, hunger and disease, the situation cannot be expected to improve.[77]

It is also noted that incidents of IOCs failing to rectify the environment during and after production are numerous in the region. Apart from the antecedents of Shell in the extinct Oloibiri field, others include the Oben I explosion in Delta in 1982 which not only consumed five workers but left a scorching environment which has become uninhabitable, turning the people into refuges in their ancestral homes.[78] The IOCs have beyond permissible limit degraded the environment by dumping harmful waste materials such as chemical input that are dangerous to vegetation and agricultural production[79].





Environmental Pollution 



Pollution is the introduction by man, directly or indirectly of substances or energy into the environment, harmful to living resources, hazardous to human health, hindrance to marine activities including fishing, impairment of quality and use of water and reduction of amenities[80]. Pollution is also constitutes as an undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological character of our air, land and water that may or will harmfully affect human life or that of other desirable species, industrial process, living condition and cultural assets or that may or will waste, deteriorate or completely damage our natural resources[81].

Essentially, in the Niger Delta Region, there are about two sources of acute pollution impacting negatively on the socio-economic well-being of the people. These are gas flaring and oil spillage.



i)          Gas Flaring



Nigeria has more gas reserves than it has crude.[82] Her proved natural gas reserves is about 183 trillion cubic feet metres (that is 12.5 percent of the world total). Due mainly to lack of a gas infrastructure and the associated market cum the lack of political will on the part of the state to de-emphasis the domestic consumption of fossil fuel-in preference for domestic gas consumption, to reduce global warming about 75 percent of associated gas (that is fuel mixed with gas) is flared and 12 percent re-injected. Nigeria has always set various targets of zero gas flaring by the years 1984, 2008 and 2010 respectively.[83]

Daily gas flare is put at 2.3 billion cubic feet metres. In 2007 Nigeria flared 16.8 billion cubic metres of gas second to Russia which burned off 50 billion cubic feet metres. Out of these figures Shell Petroleum Development Company produces abut 80 percent of Nigeria’s gas.[84] Shell flares about 86 percent of its gas.[85] Though Shell has promised to stop gas flaring, it has not been able to do so till date. The Hague based Shell had in 2002 invested the sum of $3billion in Nigeria to cut the flaring of gas and it still hopes to invest more in this area.[86]

Gas flare has remained a drain in the Nigerian economy through loss of revenues and a developmental challenge to the Niger Delta region. For instance, in order to extract oil, the IOCs set up a flow station that connects high pressure pipelines from numerous oil fields and wells. A device is set up to serve as a burning stand where heat pressure is increased for the burning of crude oil, which melts into by-products. At these stands open mouth pipes are set facing the sky. They channel all burning substances like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane, which evaporate into the atmosphere. These substances settle in the clouds and form acid rain that the Ogoni/Niger Deltans drink as water.[87]



The effects of gas flaring are better imagined than described. Gas flaring causes mainly heat and excessive sweating that leads to dehydration. Other effects include premature births, restlessness, respiratory and other lung problems and diseases. Acquatic life becomes imperiled when it cannot perceive the difference between day and night[88].

Unfortunately, these gross inhuman acts are common place in the Delta region of Nigeria. The IOCs are known to adhere very strictly to environmental laws, rules and regulations in their countries of origin, but they see Africa as a land for reckless exploitation, degradation and death.[89]





ii)         Oil Spillage



Oil spillages occur almost daily in Niger Delta. Between 2006 and 2009, 2,405 incidents of oil spillages were recorded by the Niger Delta Environmental Clean-Up and Remediation Subcommittee.[90] Precisely, in 2006, 252 spills were reported, in 2007, 598 cases were reported, while in 2008 and 2009, 927 and 628 cases respectively were documented. Similarly at least 1,056 oil impacted sites were remediated and certified prior to 2005, while 467 of such sites had also been resuscitated from 2006 to date. Also, in recent years a total of 502 of such sites have been programmed for remediation by some IOCs, under the monitoring and supervision of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.[91] (NOSDRA). Currently, the United Nations Environmental Programmes is cleaning up and remediating 350 such endangered sites in Ogoni land.

Before those cases reported between 2006 and 2009, the Nigerian petroleum industry experienced 5334 of oil spillage between 1979 and 1992 resulting in the discharge of 2.8 million barrels of oil into the land, swamps, estuaries and coastal waters.[92] Sometimes petroleum spillage in the Niger Delta is under-reported, not reported at all or rated minor without minimum post-spill containment, recovery and remediation responses.

Instances of oil spillage abound in Nigeria. The Bodo Creek oil spillage started since August 28, 2008 and the spilling continued till about 2009. Field investigation conducted revealed that the source of the oil spill was an impaired spot along 28 Bomu – Bonny pipelines within Bodo Creek. The pipeline was a trans-Niger trunkline running from the inter lands through Gokana having interconnections with Bodo manifold ashore. The spillage was alleged to be due to construction activities associated with the Bodo Bonny road and bridges project, which must have fractured the pipeline[93].

At other times, between 1989 and 1995, 25 percent of oil spills were as a result of sabotage. Investigations in the Ogoni area revealed that 69 percent of oil spills between 1985 and early 1993 were caused deliberately by communities. This measure was usually adopted to get compensation and also to make political gains[94]. In this connection, Chevron a leading oil company in the country lamented that:



Instances of sabotage abound where equipment is vandalized and pollution is instigated and then communities turn around to ask for compensation and leading to friction in relationship… we take the position that we will promptly pay equitable compensations only where the claims are genuine. On the other hand, we will firmly refuse to compensate sabotage and extortion and all manners of spurious claims. Pollution should not be a matter of emotion but of fact.[95]



On June 16, 2008, oil spilled at Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) Well 18 situated at Kpor, the headquarters of Gokana Local Government Area. SPDC responded by deploying Dok Liasin Agency, one of its local constructing firms to contain the spilling oil from extensive spreading. As a result of this, an overnight post-spill/containment rainfall led to overflow of the ditches. The hitherto ‘contained’ oil drained in ran off into 1m-wide tunnel, which emptied, into Goi blackish water. And tidal fluxes aided the flow of the oil to littoral communities in the neighbourhood.

The Texaco Overseas’ Funiwa V oil well spill in 1980 led to the spilling of about 400,000 barrels of oil which resulted in heavy loss of sea resource, land and vegetation. The total economic loss was assessed at N550,000.00. The offending company however settled the matter out of court by paying a paltry compensation of N12,000.00[96]. Recently, barely 38 days after the last oil reported in Ibeno coastline on March 24, 2010 at Eket in Akwa Ibom State[97] that contaminated Ibeno shoreline, another spill occurred at the Qua Iboe offshore platform. The oil was traced to the Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) unlimited an affiliate of the Exxomobil. The spill was attributed to pipeline leakage from one of its offshore platforms discharging an uncertained volume of crude into the atlantic ocean.[98] A resident of Ibeno was quoted as saying that:



It is more than three weeks since the spill occurred. The oil has gone deep into the ground some water has washed away some of the soil and those that are washed away is affecting the fingerlings. He added that Mobil is claiming that it is not the owner of the oil, if they are not the owner of the oil, let DPR (that is Directorate of Petroleum Resources) come and tell us who owns the oil because Mobil is the only oil company that is close to us here[99].



However, the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had directed Mobil management to clean up the spill site while investigation into the incident continued.

Environmental pollution control in other major deltas in the world (that is Orionoco in Venezuelu, Thahakarn in Indonesia, Amazon in Brazil, Mississippi in the United States of America) that are famous for crude and natural gas[100] cannot be compared with the experience in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. The sooner the government and IOCs, adopt international best practices in matters of environmental degradation and pollution the better the chances of intervention agencies achieving parts of their set goals and thereby enthroning sustainable development in the region.



Weak Legislative Enforcement to End Impunity



In the Niger Delta region, people are besieged by grave and overwhelming environmental annihilation brought about by continuous and intensive exploitation of natural resources without due regard for environmental protection laws and the need for sustainable development.

From this work, the environmental protection laws include: the Harmful Wastes (Special Criminal Provisions) Act, which seeks to prohibit the dumping of harmful wastes both on land and in the sea in Nigeria; the Oil in Navigable Water Act, which seeks to compel facility owner to regulate the rate of oil discharge and pollution from their vessels and facility either on land or offshore; the Associated Gas Re-Injection Act, which seeks to compel companies producing oil and gas in Nigeria to submit preliminary programmes for gas re-injection and detailed plans for implementation of gas re-injection; the National  Environmental Protection Agency Act, which seeks to establish and regulate criteria and standards for water quality, air quality, atmospheric protection, noise, land, gaseous emissions and effluents limit and so on in Nigeria, and the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, which seeks to make development of Environmental Impact Assessment compulsory for any projects that have adverse effect on the environment.

However, despite the existence of these laws the environment has continued to be degraded. There is, however, convergence of opinions that the existing legislations on environmental protection do not only suffer from lack of enforcement but they are also outdated and their penalty provisions are not deterrent enough. This therefore calls for urgent amendment to cloth these laws with the needed teeth to bark and bite environmental laws violators.



Poor and Inadequate Funding



From the inception of the first intervention agency that is, the NDDB to the present NDDC, and indeed the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, funding has been identified as one of the excruciating impediments to the attainment of their functions.

For example, the constitutive instrument of the NDDB failed to provide for any specific amount for the Board to enable it to carry out its mandate. The Minister and indeed the Parliament were clothed with powers to identify projects and approve the budgetary provision for the execution of the projects by the Board. The subsequent intervention bodies that is, the P.T.F. and OMPADEC were granted a mere financial provision of 1.5 percent and 3 percent respectively, without any legislative backing, to discharge their mandate for the Niger Delta people.

However, respite came the way of the current intervention agencies that is, the NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. In the case of the NDDC, the Act establishing it provides for its funding. For the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, it usually prepares and submits its financial requirements to the NASS for consideration and approval, within the framework of the Federal Government’s appropriation bill.

An analysis of the funding situation of the previous intervention agencies, prior to the creation of NDDC, in 2000 and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, in 2008, shows a sorry state of affairs, where the Federal Government appears not to be genuinely committed to the need to tackle the environmental challenges in the Niger Delta, through adequate funding of these intervention agencies. It is worthy of note that the environmental degradation facing the people of the Niger Delta started in the late 50s. These environmental degradation and challenges nevertheless increase on daily basis, as crude oil exploration continues in the region. Irresistibly therefore, it is the writer’s opinion that adequate funding of these agencies is crucial and can guarantee the ability of the intervention agencies to carry out their mandate with good governance as their watchword.  



Domestic Laws and International Imperatives Constituting Impediment to Niger Delta Development

Domestic Laws

i)          The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Act

The EEZ Act provides that the EEZ of Nigeria extends up to 200 nautical miles (310km) seawards from the coast of Nigeria. Within this zone and subject to universally recognized rights of other states… Nigeria shall exercise certain sovereign rights especially in relation to the conservation or exploitation of the natural resources (minerals, living species etc) of the sea-bed, its subsoil and superjacent waters and the right to regulate by law the establishment of artificial structures and installations and marine scientific research amongst other things[101].

The Act further elaborately states thus:



That within the EEZ sovereign and exclusive rights with respect to the exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of the sea bed, sub soil and superjacent waters shall vest in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and such rights shall be exercisable by the Federal Government of Nigeria or by such Minister or Agency as the government may from time to time designate in that behalf either generally or in any special case[102]



The EEZ Act further consolidated the state’s ownership and control of natural resources in Nigeria. This clearly denies the people of the Niger Delta the right to have control of the hydrocarbon found beneath their father-land. Ordinarily, the use of such resources would not have given rise to a right to demand for resource control and or self determination by people of the region if the state had deployed the needed political will and enthrone good governance in tackling the associated environmental challenges facing the Niger Delta region since the discovery of oil and gas in the region-over fifty four years.



ii)         The Petroleum Act[103]



The Petroleum Act provides inter alia that:

(1) the entire ownership and control of all the petroleum in, under, or upon any lands to which this section applies shall be vested in the state[104]. Subsection 2 says: This section applies to all land (including land covered by water) which;

a)         is in Nigeria or

b)         is under the territorial waters of Nigeria or

c)         forms part of the continental shelf or

d)         forms part of the EEZ of Nigeria[105]

A cursory look at the provisions of the Act clearly shows that the hydrocarbons beneath the land in the Niger Delta region and the proceeds from the sale of these hydrocarbons belong to the Nigerian state, for the benefit of all the federating units. However, the Niger Delta region besides the 13 percent derivation allocation currently being paid to the states in the region is sometimes paid compensations for use and any damage done to their land during oil exploration[106].



iii)        The Land Use Act[107]



This Act states that all lands comprised in the territory of each state in the Federation shall be vested in the Governor of that state and such land shall be held in trust and administered for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians in accordance with provisions of this Act[108]. It also specifies that all land in urban areas shall be under the control and management of the Governor of each state and that all other land shall, subject to this Act, be under the control and management of the Local Government within the area of jurisdiction of which the land is situated[109].

The Act further prohibits the alienation of statutory right of occupancy without consent of Governor[110]. Section 28(1) and (2) (b-c) and subsection 3 (a-b) empowers the Governor to revoke rights of occupancy for overriding public interest. Overriding public interest has been defined by the Act to include the requirement of the land for mining or oil pipelines or for any purpose connected therewith[111]. When therefore such right of occupancy is revoked, compensation would be paid for “their un-exhausted improvements”[112]. Such compensation would be payable based on the appropriate provisions of the Minerals Act or the Minerals Oil Act or any legislation replacing same-that is the Petroleum Act, presently[113].

The enactment of the Land Use Act was predicated upon the following:

a)         to remove the utter controversies resulting at times in loss of lives and limbs which land is known to be generating.

b)         to streamline and simplify the management and ownership of land in the country.

c)         to assist the citizen irrespective of his social status to realise his ambition and aspiration of owning the place where he and his family will live a secure and peaceful life and

d)         to enable the government to bring under control the use to which land can be put in all parts of the country and thus facilitate planning and zoning programmes for particular uses[114].



Dafinone argues that this piece of legislation was pointedly enacted to further deny the people of the Niger Delta region the right to their land beneath which abound hydrocarbon pursuant to the common law principle that those who own the land are entitled to things under, on, in and above such lands.[115] He also alleged that Obasanjo whose administration enacted the Act did so in order that he could acquire enough land areas to build Ota Farm in Ogun State.



iv)        The Constitution 1999



Section 44(3) of the 1999 Constitution provides that:

Notwithstanding, the foregoing provisions of this section the entire property in and the control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon the land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the EEZ of Nigeria shall vest in the Government of the Federation and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.



The above provision clearly shows that title to petroleum in situ and offshore in Nigeria is vested in the state. The federating units and indeed the Niger Delta region do not have right over it except to the enjoyment of the constitutionally guaranteed 13 percent payable as derivation revenue which is grossly inadequate when compared with the growth of environmental challenges of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.



International Convention



i)          United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea



The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the law of the sea (UNCLOS II) which took place in 1973 through 1982. The law of the sea defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment and the management of marine natural resources.

It vests in the states the absolute right to exploit natural resources in their internal and territorial waters. This allows states the right to make laws, regulate use and use any resources in their own designated coastal lines and waters to the exclusion of other states. Therefore, the state can make laws which vest exclusive right to use such resources without interference by coastal federating units like in the case of the Niger Delta States[116].



THE PANACEA



Resource Control and Fiscal Federalism



The people of the Niger Delta states live in extreme poverty even in the face of great material wealth found on their land. According to statistics, 70 percent of the about twenty million people in the region live on less than $1 USD per day[117]. For many people this means searching for work in a labour market which is in many instances hostile to them. Much of the labour in the past has been imported. Discrimination has also been rampant against the local people.

As government officials siphoned significant percentage of the money generated from oil sales, the infrastructural development remains worrisome. The evidence of this is seen in most villages where there is no electricity or running water.[118] At the root of the problems of the Niger Delta region is the issue of agitation for resource control by the oil producing communities. Since the exploration and production of crude oil and gas commenced in the region over 54 years now, the Federal Government has always arrogated the right to own and control the resources to itself while production is carried out by multinational companies under joint venture arrangements with the Federal Government. The oil producing states and indeed the communities have been left out of this arrangement. Worse still, the percentage of the total oil revenues that the Federal Government has allocated to the states concerned and the various intervention agencies in the region has been terribly, too low when compared to the ever-growing environmental challenges confronting the Niger Delta region, on daily basis.

To address this impasse over the ownership and control of petroleum resources and other minerals in Nigeria, many commentators have suggested that the federating states in Nigeria should  harness and control their natural resources and make contribution to the central government based on an agreed formula, with the component states taking the lion’s share.[119] Some of these views indicated that development would only occur in the Niger Delta when there is true fiscal federalism that is when the communities can exercise control over their resources.[120]



For instance, in the Constitution of Iraq; Articles 111 and 112 provide that Iraq’s natural resources are the property of all the people of Iraq in all regions and governorates and that the Federal Government with the producing governorates and regional governments shall undertake the management of oil and gas extracted from the present fields. The foregoing provisions were included in Iraq’s constitution as a means of ensuring consensus among Iraqis.

In Nigeria, a similar constitutional design was adopted in 1960 and 1963 Constitutions and it engendered sustainable development in the former regional governments. Fortunately, in order to reverse crisis of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta, perhaps as a prelude to a complete resource control right, the Federal Government has taken some positive steps in a bid to ensure that the benefits that flow from exploiting oil and gas resources, are appropriated in ways that would lead to development in the Niger Delta region, and thereby confront negative consequences of oil and gas extraction, through a process that restores the environment, ten (10) percent equity share in oil and gas joint venture between the IOCs and the FGN to the oil producing communities has been approved. It is pitiable that the oil producing communities will not be entitled to participate directly in running and managing the joint ventures other than being paid ten percent of the net profit from export crude oil sales, from time to time. Such payment or amount would be given to a “Trust Company” to be established by the Federal Government, to manage the 10 percent equity share on behalf of the oil producing communities. This is another government’s insincerity posturing. The various existing mechanisms on the Niger Delta region have suffered from poor funding due to irregular or outright refusal and/or neglect to release their statutory allocation to them due to apparent inherent bureaucracy. Different works and studies on the Niger Delta question have shown that apart from corrupt practices by the leaders in-charge of the intervention agencies, inadequate funding and red-tapism have accounted for their failure.[121] The question therefore is why embark on another wild goose chase when the people of the region especially the oil producing communities can be directly involved in the running and management of the oil and gas joint venture as equity shareholders. Without doubt, it is only by so doing that the people of the region will be supportive of the existence of any new mechanisms and be confident in the Nigerian project.



Good and Accountable Governance



Good and accountable governance means the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). The word can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance[122].

Government is one of the actors in governance. Other actors vary depending on the level of government that is under reference. In rural areas, for example, other actors may include influential land lords, associations of peasant farmers, cooperatives, NGOs, religious leaders, finance institutions, political parties, the military and so on. At the national level, the media, lobbyists, international donors, multinational corporations among others, may play a role in decision making or in influencing the decision-making process. All actors other than government and the military are grouped together as part of the civil society. But formal government structures are one means by which decisions are arrived at and implemented.



It has been said that good governance has eight major characteristics to wit[123]:

i)          Participatory

ii)         Consensus oriented

iii)        Accountable

iv)        Transparent

v)         Responsive

vi)        Effective and efficient

vii)       Equitable and inclusive

viii)      Rule of law



With the above, the government can minimize corruption and take the views of minorities and the most vulnerable in society into consideration in decision-making. It is in the observance of the foregoing characteristic that the government can only be seen to be responsive to the present and future needs of society.

In Nigeria, the foresaid major characteristics of good and accountable governance are lacking. However, there are instances where some Nigerians both in public and private sectors have proven that good and accountable governance can still be found in Nigeria inspite of the gargantuan level of corruption in Nigeria.

For example, the former President of Nigeria General Olusegun Obasanjo, eulogized Bisi Akande, at Owu Baptist Church Centenary a one term civilian governor of Osun State, as being above board. In an interview with a team of journalist, Akande gave insight into the reason for Obasanjo’s impression and conclusion about him. In the said interview Akanda said:



It is a long story, the federal government sent N54 million to build primary schools in Osun State, they wanted me to use that amount to build 15 schools. I went to the Council of State and told them that amount was too much to build 15 schools. With the economy of that day it would not take that much to build that number of schools. But they shouted me down. So I took the N54 million and instead of building only 15 schools 1 built 30, one per local government in Osun State and according to federal government specifications, they were very good schools. But after this, the federal government stopped sending me money. Instead, they began to send it to their party men directly and awarding contracts to themselves from Abuja at their own price. I discovered that when I was leaving most of the schools they were supposed to build never left foundation level. They had been mostly abandoned.[124]





Undoubtedly therefore, Nigeria has and is still capable of producing good and accountable leaders who have the interest of the generality of the people at heart and it also showed that the political class does not have the interest of the people at heart.

Be that as it may, good and accountable governance remains the only panacea to sustainable development in Nigeria and indeed the Niger Delta region. Good governance can be in terms of prudent resource management and planning. An example of how Chad, with a relatively low oil and gas deposits compared to Nigeria’s oil and gas reserves, had planned and moved oil wealth to the poor and thereby reduced poverty in that country may suffice, to bring to fore the multiplier positive effects of good and accountable governance in society.

In July 2003, Chad joined the club of crude oil producers when the country’s Doba oil field came on stream. In October 2003, the oil flowed through a 1,070km pipeline and reached the Kiribi terminal in the Atlantic Ocean of the coast of Cameroon. On November 26, 2003 the government of Chad received $6.5m for its first crude oil shipment. The money was paid into an escrow account at Citibank in London. The money was the subject of strict mechanisms that the World Bank imposed in an effort to prevent abuse or squandering of the country’s new oil windfall. It was expected that the bulk of the money from the crude oil sales would be used for social projects and the government would be allowed to spend 5 percent in any manner it chosed.[125] In early December 2003, the 2004 Budget of government of Chad was approved. Out of the projected revenue of 419 billion CFA francs, 91.5 million Euro was to come from oil. In preparing the budget, President Idris Deby insisted on transparency, accountability and tangible results from the new oil revenue.[126] With guidance from the World Bank, the country had put in place a set of institutional arrangements that provided for transparent and accountable use of its revenues. They provided clear rules on the allocation of oil revenues.

All revenues from oil was paid into an escrow account subject to disclosure and audit in a way that ensured that everyone would know what the country received in oil revenues during a given period of time. Part of the revenue was to be used to service external debts of Chad’s investment in the oil project, while the remainder was then moved in to a special oil revenue account and used for the benefit of all Chadians.[127] Under a new law 10 percent of the special oil revenue account was placed annually in a savings account for future generations-that is “future generations fund”, 80 percent was spent on priority sectors such as education, health, rural development, water resources and the environment, 5 percent for the oil producing regions for special development projects and the remainder 5 percent for general government operating expenditures. An oversight committee had been set up to monitor all the revenue flows and to approve spending from the special oil revenue account. The committee had members from the executive branch of the government, the legislative branch, the judiciary, human rights groups, women groups and faith-based organizations. The committee had rejected more than half of the government contracts it had screened and had insisted on open bidding.[128] What system can be more transparent and accountable than the foregoing?

In Iran the excess crude money is put into a special account to grow the economy and to tackle poverty alleviation programme through the giving of loans to deserving Iranian Muslem communities. Unfortunately, in Nigeria oil revenue is not transparently managed. For instance, section 162 (1) of the constitution provides inter alia that:



The federation shall maintain a special account to be called the ‘Federation Account’ into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja[129].



The federal government had inspite of the above provisions set up an excess crude account into which the difference in terms of amount, between the budgetary bench-mark and the actual export price per barrel of crude oil is paid and thereafter further share this to the states and use, purportedly too, to pay oil subsidies.

Unfortunately, the different levels of government in Nigeria have not thought of planning in the direction of preparing for the day oil will dry up and addressing the environmental challenges in the Niger Delta which may precipitate full-blown rebellion. The current attitude of the governors in always insisting on distributing moneys in the “illegal excess crude account”, to enable them to embark on white elephant projects that are not strategic, coordinated and integrated, cannot create development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

In order to legitimate, through laws, the excess crude oil account, the Federal Government has sent a bill to the National Assembly on the creation of National Sovereign Wealth Fund and $1 billion seed money has been set aside for this purpose. The Source of the money is the “Excess Crude Account”. It is the writer’s opinion that if the provision of section 162 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria is not amended to provide for the National Sovereign Wealth Fund, the initiative will remain illegal to the extent of its source of funding.



Focused and Integrated Development Programme and Policies by the   Government and Oil Companies



The Niger Delta region has experienced massive and severe environmental degradation, continual destruction of flora and fauna, deprivations, unemployment, galloping gap between the foreign oil workers and the natives, and abject poverty. These conditions of underdevelopment are in most cases responsible for militancy and youth restiveness, social disorder and inter community/ethnic cleavages in the region.[130]

Gladly, the Federal Government has just secured the passage of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Contents Development Act, 2010 and soon too the impending Petroleum Industry Bill, currently before the National Assembly would be passed into law. The Nigerian Oil and Gas Contents  Development Act is established to enable the IOCs utilize the services of suitable local contractors in oil and gas sector as well as employ and train Nigerians in the oil and gas exploration activities, with a view to transferring technical and technological knowledge in the oil and gas industry to Nigerians.

The Nigerian new leader, President Goodluck Jonathan has said all regulatory authorities, operators, contractors subcontractors, alliance partners and other entities involved in any projects, operation, activity or transaction in the Nigerian oil and gas industry shall consider Nigerian content as an important element of their overall project development management philosophy for project execution.[131]

The Federal Government, pursuant to the said Act, has created a mechanism called the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, charged with the responsibility of developing procedure that will guide, monitor, coordinate and implement the provisions of the Act, in order to ensure a measurable and continuous growth of Nigerian content in all oil and gas arrangements, projects, operations, activities and transactions in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.[132] While this initiative is commendable, it is sincerely hoped that the board would muster enough courage and deal with the seemingly elusive political will evident in past and existing intervention mechanisms, to enforce strict compliance with the Act, by all the stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.

Another commendable and focused initiative embarked upon by the federal government in response to the continued restiveness and agitations by the youth and leaders of the Niger Delta region over the region’s environmental challenges with the attendant crisis of underdevelopment, is the Amnesty Programme – which has recorded momentous success so far.

As a follow up to the Disarmament Exercise under the Amnesty Programme, the militants would be rehabilitated and re-integrated. A total of 20, 192 ex-militants got registered by the Abbe-led Committee and they were to be camped at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Obubra, Cross River, as well as three other camps which were earlier agreed upon.[133] Some of the ex-militants are to be trained locally while others are to be sent to the United Kingdom, United States of America, Singapore, India and Ghana, for training particularly in maritime and welding technologies.[134]

Also to complement the federal government’s effort at tackling the youth restiveness in the Niger Delta so as to pave ways for sustainable development of the region, the various state governments in the region such as Bayelsa State government had announced the sum of N6.4 billion stimulus package earmarked for the post amnesty capacity building programme which is expected to train some 5000 youth of the state in various skills.[135]

The initiative should not only be for the ex-militants but should also take care of other youth who are not militants but who are unemployed, so that they do not see militancy as a means to an end of joblessness and unemployment. The federal government should urgently seize the period of respite in the region to embark on human and integrated infrastructural development, deploying all the necessary political will to tackle the environmental and developmental challenges of the region, so as to nip in the bud conditions that would bring back insurgent in the region.

The Federal Government while attending to the Niger Delta questions should at the same time develop the solid minerals in other parts of the country so that, in the long run, when oil shall have dried up or become less attractive – as the world – especially as the developed nations are tilting to bio-fuel mechanisms in preference to fossil fuel, the country can still maintain its balance sheet and grow its economy without any hue and cry. Also, there is the likelihood that if solid minerals are harnessed alongside oil and gas, the clamour for resource control would be welcomed by all the regions in Nigeria and indeed the desired derivation of 50 percent currently a sour issue to some states would be applauded by all stakeholders in the Nigerian project.

Equally, holistic development model which can connect one development initiative to the other is needed for sustainable development of the Niger Delta region. As things stand, development compass by both the states in the region, the IOCs and indeed the federal government, is urban-centred and is not well connected to the basic needs of the rural populace in the oil producing communities, where children of farmers and artisans dwell.

The need to provide educational opportunities to the youth of the region cannot be over-stressed. The needed education which can guarantee their future and take the youth off the street and gansterism is both vocational and technical education. This is because of the presence of industrial concerns in the area. Equally, there is the need to provide such facilities as fishing facilities, cool rooms and modern markets to enable the fishermen and the women whose livelihood depends on such related business activity to eke out a living for themselves. Moreso, the integrated provision of social amenities in these riverine areas would complement and create enabling environments for any meaningful social and economic activities to thrive.

Similarly, the need to build low cost houses for the down-trodden and poor people to alleviate their problems cannot be over-emphasized as go a long way to mitigate rising tides of restiveness among the youth. This way, the various level of governments can be seen to carry the people along in their development pursuits.

The IOCs have constantly viewed the agitation by the youth of the region as unwarranted opposition to their legitimate activities. To support this view the oil companies draw attention to the communal activities against them, the activities of militants, attacks on and destruction of oil facilities and pipeline vandalism by armed gangs, hostage taking and murder of oil workers and their rights to conduct legitimate business once they have reached agreement with government.[136] To deal with this opposition and end the crisis, it has been alleged that the IOCs have adopted a variety of means including but not limited to the following:



The arrest and detention of community activists opposed to their policies and activities, promotion of inter-ethnic and inter-nationality conflicts and wars in the area, deployment of massive propaganda, cooptation and incorporation of various levels and sections of local elites in the Niger Delta into the process of sharing the profits from the looting and plundering of the Niger Delta, flagrant human rights abuses, payment of little or no compensation for massive ecological damage; massive bribery of officials of the Nigerian State and so on.[137]



The IOCs must change their attitude and perception about the Niger Delta crisis of development by practically carrying the people of the region along whenever they intend to embark on developmental projects so that the people can have the opportunity of identifying to them their basic needs and not otherwise.



CONCLUSION



It is sad to observe that despite the quantum of natural resources to wit, the hydrocarbon exploited in the land of the Niger Deltans - with billions in foreign currency accruing to the country, the Federal Government and her intervention agencies cum the international oil companies in Nigeria, has with careless abandon ignored the environmental challenges arising from the oil exploration for the past 53 years in the Niger Delta region. This criminal neglect and the resulting underdevelopment in the Niger Delta Region has given birth to the current criminality associated with militancy and endemic corruption in the region in particular and the Nigerian society in general.



[1]       Ogege, S. O. (2006), Corruption and Niger Delta Crisis: A Theoretical Review. International Journal of Social and Policy Issues Vol.4, No.1 and 2. Ikot Ekpene: Development Universal Consortia, pp. 311-321.

[2]       Alawiye, A. (2010), Mrs. Oil records N1.05bn Profit. The Punch June 17.

[3]       Asada, D. and Matthew, O. A. (2008), The Legal Regime of Concessions Agreements in the Nigerian Oil Industry. International Journal of Law and Contemporary Studies, Vol.3, No.1 and 2. Ikot Ekpene: Development Universal Consortia, pp. 13-32.

[4]       Akpan, G. S. (1997), State Participation in Nigeria: Past, Present and Future. 8 Oil and Gas Law Tax Review. England: Sweet and Maxwell, pp. 310-316.

[5]       A. G.: FRN V A.G. Abia State & 35 ors (2002) 6NWLR (Pt.764)

[6]       Constitution FRN Cap C.23 LFN. Section 162 (1).

[7]       Obilade, A. O. (2001), The Nigerian Legal System. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, pp.17-18 and 33.

[8]       Ibid.

[9]       Ikpe, U. B. (2000), Political Behaviour and Electoral Politics in Nigeria – A Political Economic Interpretation, Uyo: Golden Education Publishers.

[10]     1960 Section 134 (1) & (6).

[11]     1963 Section 140 (1) & (6).

[12]     Mbeke Ekanem, T. (2000), Beyond the Execution: Understanding the Ethnic and Military Politics in Nigeria. 2nd ed, USA: Inland Publication Company.

[13]     Ibid.

[14]     Nwokeoma, J. (2010), Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. What Lessons for Nigeria. The Punch, June 17.

[15]     Ayankola, @ M. (2010, Nigeria can achieve 40 billion barrels Oil reserves before 2010 – Egbogah. The Punch, Thursday, November 81.

[16]     Editorial (2010), Nigeria and Gulf of Mexico Oil disaster. The Punch June 16, p.14.

[17]     Ibid.

[18]     Cap. P.10 LFN 2004 Section 1 (1) & (2).

[19]     Cap. E.17 LFN 2004 Section 1.

[20]     Decree No.6 1978 (now an Act Cap L.6 LFN 2004) Sections 1 & 2 (a-b).

[21]     FRN 2004 Section 44 (3).

[22]     Cap A 25 LFN 2004.

[23]     Cap F. 10 LFN 2004 Section 21 (1) & (2) & 22 (1).

[24]     1982.

[25]     Ibid Section 60 (3), See also Igiehon, M. O. and Park, P. (2001). Evolution of International Law on the Decommissioning of Oil and Gas Installations I. E. L. T. R. Issue 9 p.119.

[26] Supra.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33]     Atsegbua, L. (2004), Oil and Gas Law in Nigeria: Theory and Practice. Benin: New Era Publication, p.14.

[34]     Dada, J. A. (2008), Nigeria: The Challenges of Nationhood, Calabar: Optimist Press Nigeria, pp.40, 140 and 143.

[35]     Supra.

[36]     Supra.

[37]     Ibid

[38]     Ibid.

[39]     Supra.

[40]     Supra.

[41]     Ibid.

[42]     Ibid.

[43]     National Intervention Group (2010), Corruption Is King. The Punch, Friday, April 30, p 50.

[44]     Ibid.

[45]     Ibid.

[46]     Ibid.

[47]     Binuyo, K. (2010), The Plundering of NNPC Newswatch, April 19, p.15.

[48]     Ibid.

[49]     Ibid.

[50]     Supra.

[51]     Ibid.

[52]     Ibid.

[53]     Supra.

[54]    News, (2010) Youth Urge Mimiko to Probe OSOPADEC. The Punch April 14, p.10.

[55]     Charney, C. (2009), Political Will: What is it? How is it Measured? Available at www.charney research.com Retrieved in May, 2010.

[56]     Asek, S. N. (2006), Political Will and Sustainable Development Available at www.tigweb.org.Political Will and Sustainable Retrieved on 10 July, 2010.

[57]     Ibid.

[58]     Supra.

[59]     Ibid.

[60]     Chris, A. (2009), Why Niger Delta Rebellion May Escalate. Newswatch, January 19, p.27.

[61]     Ibid.

[62]     Ibid.

[63]     Ibid.

[64]     Supra.

[65]     Ibid.

[66]     Ibid.

[67]     Ibid.

[68]     Ibid.

[69]     Supra.

[70]     Supra.

[71]     Supra.

[72]     Chigbo, M. (2009), Poverty is the reason for illegal refineries. Newswatch, January 19, p.22.

[73]     Supra.

[74]     Supra.

[75]     Ibid.

[76]     Ibid.

[77]     Ibid.

[78] Dafinome, D. O. Road Map to Peace. Available at http//www.waado.org/niger delta federal govt/dafinone. Retrieved in May, 2010.

[79]     Supra.

[80]     See generally United Nations Stockholm Declaration of 1972.

[81]     See generally the United States Federal Council for Science and Technology, 1966.

[82]     Ayankola, M. and Ezeobi, O. (2001). Shell paid $36bn to FG in five years: Oil Companies to get new supply obligations. The Punch, May 24.

[83]     Oketola, D. (2009), Senate sets new deadline to end gas flaring. The Punch, November 25.

[84]     Supra.

[85]     Ikari, B. W. (2007), The Contribution of gas flaring in Nigeria to global warming. Being an excerpt from a talk given by the author in May 2, 2007 on Black and Green Wednesday Programme at St. Loius. He is the founder of Ogoni Children’s Cultural and Fundamental Rights Council (OCCFRC).

[86]     Supra.

[87]     Supra.

[88]     Air Pollution Alters Immune Function, Worsens Asthma Symptoms Available at Medical News Today. Com Retrieved 9 Oct., 2010.

[89]     Supra.

[90]     Supra.

[91]     Ibid.

[92]     Dublin, G. W. and Ire-Chukwu, D. O. (1998), Effective Regulation and Management of HSE Issue in Petroleum Industry. SPEDC’s International Conference on Health Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, held at Caracas Venezuala from 7-10 June, 1998.

[93]     Report issued by the Environment and Conservation Programme: Centre for Environmental, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) 6 Obo Nwanke Street Post Office Building Complex, Ogale Ncha, Eleme Rivers State Nigeria, Available at (www.chrd.Org). Retrieved September 28, 2009.

[94]     Nigeria the Ogoni Crisis: The Truth of the Matter. Lagos: Federal Ministry of Information 2d p 14.

[95]     Supra.

[96]     Texaco Oil Spill. Available at www.texacooil.org. Retrieved September 28, 2009.

[97]     News (2010) Mobil commences clean-up of Ibeno spill site. The Punch April 21, p 12.

[98]     Supra.

[99]     Supra.

[100] Supra.

[101]    See UNCLOS 1982 Article 60

[102]    Ibid Section 1.

[103]    Cap P10 LFN 2004.

[104]    Ibid Section 1(1).

[105]    Ibid Section 1(2).

[106]    Supra.

[107]    Cap L 6 LFN 2004.

[108]    See Ibid Section 1.

[109]    Ibid Section 2(1) (a-b).

[110]    Ibid Section 22.

[111]    Ibid Section 28 (2) (c).

[112]    Ibid Section 29(1).

[113]    Ibid Section 29(2).

[114]    An Address to the Press by the Military Governor of Lagos State Commander G. N. Kanu, on the Lagos State Land Use Law, delivered on 25 May 1978.

[115]    Supra.

[116]    See UNCLOS 1982 Article 60

[117]    Amnesty International, (2006), Nigeria Oil Poverty and Violence. Available at httpllweb.amnesty.org/library/index.ENGAFRA440172006. Retrieved May 9, 2007.

[118]    Egan, J. (1999), Troubled Times in the Niger Delta. Available at http//news.6.co.uk/2/h/programs/crossing-continents/3253-stem. Retrieved in May 2007.

[119]    Supra.

[120] Supra.

[121]    Supra.

[122]    Good Governance Available at http://www.2ohchr.org/english/issues/deelopment/governance. Retrieved on 14th October, 2010.

[123]    Ibid.

[124]    Oyegbile, O., Oghene, B. M. and Johnson, A. (2009), We-re being led by blind people – Akande. Tell Magazine, January 19, p.24.

[125]    Supra.

[126]    Ibid.

[127]    Ibid.

[128]    Ibid.

[129]    Supra.

[130]    Supra.

[131]    Chiedozie, F. (2010, Jonathan signs Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development Bill. The Punch, April 23.

[132]    Ibid.

[133]    Adebayo, (a) S. (2010) N’Delta: FG Commences re-integration of Ex-Militants May 9. the Punch, April 27.

[134]    Adebayo, (b) S. (2010). FG to train Ex-Militants in UK, US, Singapore Indian and Ghana. The Punch, Apr8l 14.

[135]    Lartey, O. (2010), Bayelsa announces N6.4bn stimulus package. The Punch, March 31.

[136]    Supra.

[137]    Ibid.
Share on Google Plus

Declaimer - MARTINS LIBRARY

NB: Join our Social Media Network on Google Plus | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin