Don Blames Oil Firms For N’Delta Under-Development

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A university teacher, Prof Nekabari Nna, has attributed the development neglect in the oil rich Niger Delta region to the lack of commitment of multinational and other corporate organisations to the development of the area.
Prof Nna who spoke with The Tide in an exclusive interview in Port Harcourt at the weekend said the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region failed to adhere to global standards and international best practices in their policies.
He pointed out that the failure of these companies to comply with sustainable social engagement with the Niger Delta communities had resulted in conflicts and insecurity in the area.
“When the oil companies fail to engage in a sustainable social contract with their host communities, conflicts become meritable. This is responsible for the disengagement of most of these companies from the Niger Delta, as a result of kidnapping of their workers by aggrieved youth.
“These companies are expected to play key role in the development of their host communities, through sustainable community relations policies”.
Using the Shell, Ogoni debacle as a case study, the political scientist said the Ogoni revolted against the Royal Dutch Company because of its failure to develop the area after decades of operation.
He frowned against a situation where most of the IOCs complied with civilised standards in their foreign bases but operate double standards in Nigeria.
He said such institutional rots in the Nigeria oil and gas industry should be corrected to promote transparency and maximise impacts on the economy. Speaking on local content development, the university don said local participation should be encouraged in the oil sector to boost capacity development and avail Nigerians the opportunities to play active roles in the industry.
He called on the Federal Government to be proactive in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Development Act, which according to him, was inclined towards promoting indigenous capacity development in the oil sector.
He also called for total diversification of the economy, adding that emphasis on oil revenue had grossly undermined the country’s capacity to economic diversification.