OIL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND THE PARADOX OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE NIGER DELTA, 1999-2017
Idama, Supreme Oghenerobo
Nigeria is a country blessed with various natural resources and one of the countries in Africa with regular discovery of new oil fields in the past decades. Nigeria is also endowed with human and better climatic condition which has enhanced the natural resources, which include the renewable and non-renewable resources. Despite these resources, Nigeria has continued to remain poor and underdeveloped than other countries without such potentials, a problem scholars have tagged “resource curse.” Scholars have attributed this paradox to a number of factors ranging from corruption, wastage, poor leadership recruitment and conflict of interest. The study sets out to investigate Oil Resource Management in Nigeria and the Paradox of Development in the Niger Delta. The main objective is to determine whether the poor management of oil revenue is responsible for the paradox of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta. The study deployed the Content Analysis and Focus Group Discussion as sources of data while mixed methods of data analysis was used. The study observed that there are various contending interests over the management and control of crude oil resources in Nigeria. The study is of the view that the underground current and the inter-play among the stakeholder are responsible for the abysmal management of the oil resource in Nigeria and have affected the development of the Niger Delta region. We recommend among others the convocation of a National Conference on Natural Resource Management in Nigeria with a view to taking a common stand on how the oil resource can be better managed for rapid socioeconomic development of Nigeria.
Key Words: Natural Resource, Management, Conflict of Interest and Development