Niger delta human development report

Pollution of the N-Delta, by Oil Companies, Posted to the Web on August 15, 2006.

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People at the grass-roots unfortunately are not benefiting from the increased exploitation of non-timber forest resources. Middlemen package most of the harvest for urban markets, where they make huge gains. Very little returns to the rural economy; in general, there is a net transfer of resources from the rural to the urban areas.

Occupational Disorientation: One of the greatest challenges to human development in the Niger Delta region is how to win people back to the traditional livelihoods that sustained them in the past. As in other parts of the country, younger people have left the rural areas.

Many youths, even those still residing in rural areas, are mainly interested in rent-seeking from oil operations in the form of standby money or oil bunkering, hostage-taking and sabotage of oil pipelines areas. Fishing and agriculture have suffered so much from environmental problems and social challenges, and from the neglect of successive governments, that it is very difficult to motivate young people to take an interest in these livelihoods. Many youths, even those still residing in rural areas, are more interested in rent-seeking from oil operations in the form of standby money or oil bunkering, hostage-taking and sabotage of oil pipelines.

The fundamental issue is how traditional occupational pursuits can exist with oil production activities in an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and recrimination. Interest in traditional economic pursuits such as agriculture and fishing cannot be promoted as long as easy money flows from the oil companies, albeit on an unsustainable basis.

Another concern is the increase in the number of sex workers and indulgence in casual sex by both men and women. The repercussions are discussed in the following chapters on HIV&AIDS and livelihoods. (Read the whole of this very long article on Vanguard).

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