N’Delta Under Development: Don Fingers Oil Firms


A university teacher, Prof Nekabari Nna has attributed the gross under development among Niger Delta communities to the neglect and sharp practices of oil companies operating in the region.
Prof. Nna disclosed this while delivering a paper at a one-day security seminar organised by the Association of Retired Senior Military and Paramilitary Officers of Ogoni (ARMPOO) in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State last Saturday.
Speaking on the topic, “Contemporary Security Challenges and Socio-Economic Development of Ogoniland,” the university teacher and political scientist, said the growing insecurity in Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta were a product of underdevelopment.
He recalled that Ogonis played host to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for decades, but have nothing to show in terms of corporate social responsibilities from the company, except the pollution of their natural environments. He said, “the operation of oil transnational corporations flare gases and spill crude oil that degrade our environment, and in this regard threaten our right to clean air, clean water and sustainable livelihood, thus creating security risks.”
He pointed out that the people of Ogoni and the Niger Delta, in general have lost their natural sense of existence and livelihood to the unguarded activities of oil firms who are primarily concerned about commercial interest than the development of their host communities.
Prof Nna who is a lecturer in the department of Political and Administrative studies, University of Port Harcourt, noted that such self serving policies on the part of some oil firms operating in the Niger Delta undermines the tenants of international best practices and the Millennium Development Goals. He urged the oil companies to ensure that they enter into social contracts with their host communities, and make their policies to conform with the Millennium Development Goals, especially on Poverty Eradication, Universal Basic Education and Environmental Sustainability.
The militarization of the Niger Delta, led to capital economic flight, with companies relocating from the region because of security threats, such as kidnapping of company staff and disruption of oil exploration activities. The consequences of these actions is deepening poverty and underdevelopment of the Niger Delta,” he said.
He called on all Ogoni stakeholders to work collectively towards addressing the prevalent security challenges in the area.