The Niger Delta - Oil Rich Region Of Nigeria - Militant Haven

niger delta nigeria

The Niger delta region of Nigeria is a region rich with crude oil. But it is also a region where poverty and decades of neglect has bred militants who make it their business to cause trouble for the government and inhabitants of the region.

These militants engage in . . .

  • kidnap of foreign oil workers
  • bombing of flow stations and
  • assault of innocent people to catch the attention of the federal government.

    What do these militants want?

    They say they want emancipation of the Niger delta people. They want true federalism where each federating state control its resources (resource control). In the absence of that, they want 50% of the oil revenue to be given to the oil producing states.

    The issues listed above summarizes what the militants want. Perhaps they want more. You will never know unless you ask them.

    The government have taken military action including sending a team of military personnel to the region to attempt to quell the militancy in the area. Unfortunately, there have been little success.

    People who are conversant with history will readily tell you that 'violence breeds violence'. Attempting to smash a group of dissatisfied countrymen through brutal military action just does not work. You will only make them to grow stronger because . . .

  • their membership will swell as more and more people will become sympathetic to their cause as the feeling of perceived injustice to one of their own increases
  • they will attract greater attention from journalists who will write stunning headlines about the crisis - stunning headlines about greed and injustice sell their papers faster
  • they will become the center of attention by sympathetic nations who will be irked by the inhumane brutality of the federal government

    In simple words . . . blatant military action against militants in this oil-rich region of Nigeria will only make them more popular.

    Is there a solution to the Niger delta crisis in Nigeria?


    Is it an easy solution?


    Is it doable?


    So, what is the solution?

    Understand The Niger Delta Question

    Finding a solution to the region's dilemma requires first that the authorities understand the nature of the problem and the factors fueling the growth of the militants.

    So, Who are these militants?

    They are young people without jobs . . . desperate young people without a means of livelihood and without hope.

    They believe they have been cheated by the country of their origin. They believe the sprawling oil wealth of the nation came from their land. And they believe that they have been given far less than they deserve in view of the fact that the entire country feed on the oil revenue from their land.

    Some decades back, they use to be farmers and fishermen.

    They tilled the land and it produced abundantly. Their harvest was a joy to behold. Often the harvest was so bountiful that they sought for ways to move the excess to markets where they could sell to their neighbours.

    Their rivers had fish in abundance. They didn't eat fish unless it was fresh. And every meal had an abundance of fish . . . fish so plentiful that it was the subject of folk tale.

    That was a long long time ago.

    Today the rivers in the Niger delta are devoid of fishes. The farmland have been degraded due to oil prospecting and exploration activities. And what do they have to show for it? Thatched houses, a handful of schools, bad roads, poor utilities, and all the bad things that happen to people without a savior.

    The Solution

    The solution rests in providing gainful employment to these idle and unoccupied youths.

    No Niger delta man or woman who is gainfully employed and earns a reasonable living gets involved in militancy. They are too busy dealing with challenges in their respective offices to be involved in planning schemes to hurt the government and its allies . . . the oil companies.

    So, the solution is simple, really. Give them jobs!


    Turn these oil producing areas into mega cities with industries, shopping malls, mega power generating stations . . . and everything that makes a city proud to be counted among the developed cities of the world. Make the oil producing areas like the UK.


    1. Make the entire Niger delta region a free trade zone. Any company that establishes manufacturing facilities in the Niger delta area gets tax free operations for the first 10 yrs and 50% of the tax it should pay FREE for another 10 years.

    2. Establish international airport in the Niger delta region

    3. Establish functional steel processing facilities in the Niger delta region

    4. Establish mega tourist centres in the Niger delta region

    5. Open more universities and schools at all levels of education in the Niger delta region

    6. Give tax free operating licenses for 20 years to international schools that agree to open facilities in the Niger delta region

    7. Give further tax concessions to companies that agree to set up facilities along with energy facilities that serve the villages they set up

    Bottom line.

    Swam the oil producing areas with opportunities for investment - opportunities that make the jaw of investors drop.

    Investors are 'greedy' people. They put their money where the returns makes them absolutely richer than their dreams. They are rushing to China today because the opportunities are inviting, tempting, alluring.

    The federal government should do the same for Niger delta.

    Make the area an investment haven . . . the Dubai of Africa.

    Investors will come in droves. And jobs will become available in large numbers overnight.

    Construction work will ramp up. Manufacturing facilities will rush in. Hotels will spring up. All of these industries will call for people to work . . . abundant jobs!

    Less and less people will be interested in militancy as they see their villages transformed in a short space of time.

    The people will feel that they have won. And so will the government.

    P.S. Your entry must be at least 150 words to be accepted into the directory. Write from the heart.

    Niger Delta Forum

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