The Role of Host Communities’ Involvement in Decision Making for the Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta

By Caroline Gallagher, Marcus Ogwu Edino, Leonard S. Bombom and Ibraheem Salisu Adam.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Nigeria produces about 2.7 million barrels of crude oil per day which makes her the largest crude oil producer in Africa. This natural resource which accounts for over 80% of the country’s revenue is solely produced in the Niger Delta region. The UNDP described the region as suffering from “administrative neglect, crumbling social infrastructure and services, high unemployment, social deprivation, abject poverty, filth, squalor and endemic
conflict”. Their poverty and its contrast with the wealth generated by oil has become one of the world’s most disturbing examples of social, economic and environmental injustice. This paradox has spurred formidable challenges to sustainable human development in the region particularly as conflicts over resources tighten their vicious grip. This paper therefore examines the role of host communities’ involvement in decision making to achieve sustainable development in the Niger Delta. Using mixed methodological research approach this work investigated the current decision making process and the factors responsible for shortcomings with a view to devising a method of improving it. 750 questionnaires were administered to heads of households in four oil producing host communities in the Niger Delta. 60% of respondents submitted that they have no involvement in decision making processes, 27% are involved at the implementation stage, 9% are brought in when conflict arise from implementation while 4% confirmed their involvement from conceptualisation to implementation. The findings suggested that the current system does not enjoy the support of the host communities, which are advocating an all-inclusive involvement in decision making process from conceptualisation to implementation. The current top – down approach to decision making in the Niger Delta which tactically excludes the host communities is central to the crisis which has engulfed the region over the years.

Keywords: Environment, Sustainable Development, Decision Making, Conflict, Environmental and Social Justice

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.375-388. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 814.065KB).

Dr. Caroline Gallagher

Lecturer, School of the Built and Natural Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Academic expertise lies within the areas of Health, Safety and Environmental Management, Environmental Impact Assessment and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Caroline is actively involved in applied research that informs policy and practice. Her main interests lie in the area of urban regeneration and the role that community renewable projects can play in achieving this end as well as the importance of greenspace in an urban setting.The Castlemilk windfarm project is a prime example of urban regeneration and renewable energy: Caroline develop the initiative from a desktop study to one that now involves a whole community. She has also carried out similar studies for the Scout Movement, a Country Park as well as a rural community.

Dr. Marcus Ogwu Edino

PhD Research Student, School of the Built and Natural Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Marcus Ogwu Edino is a second year PhD student at the Glasgow Caledonian University UK with the School of the Built and Natural Environment. He obtained an MSc in Energy and Environmental Management at the same institution in 2008 and won the Valpak prize for the best graduating student before commencing his research. Both degrees were funded by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund of Nigeria whose scholarship he won twice. Prior to this, he obtained an MTech in Environmental Pollution and Waste Management from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria in 2007 as well as a BSc in Geography (second class upper) from the University of Jos, Nigeria. He was named one of the 30 most outstanding black students in Britain in 2010. Edino’s research interest include: environmental and social sustainability; environmental and social justice; peace and conflict resolution; governance of extractive sectors; and corruption. His research focus is on sustainability issues with respect to primary commodities especially crude oil and other natural resources. Such work involves dealing with the environmental, social and economic impact of natural resource exploitation and the sustainable livelihood of communities who are host to these commodities. Edino currently teaches Environmental Policy at the University.

Dr. Leonard S. Bombom

Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA

Leonard S. Bombom is a PhD Candidate and Teaching Associate in the department of Geography, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA. He has a B.Sc in Geography and Planning (Second Class, Upper) and two Master’s degrees in Environmental and Resources Planning, and in Geography from the University of Jos, Nigeria and University of Northern Iowa, USA respectively. His research interests are in GIS applications in Urban and Transportation Planning, Environmental Resources Management, Time geography and Activity Analysis. He has also published in several reputable journals. Leonard lectures in the Department of Geography and Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Jos, Nigeria.

Ibraheem Salisu Adam

PhD Research Student, Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, UK

Ibrahim Salisu Adam is a PhD research student at the Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, UK. He obtained an MSc in Oil and Gas Accounting from the Glasgow Caledonian university in 2008.Prior to this, he obtained an MBA from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria in 2004 as well as BSc (Hons) in Business Administration from the same institution. He is a member of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) and a student member of the Association of Certified Chattered Accountants (ACCA). Adam started his career as an accountant in the Nigerian civil service where he was recognized in the implementation of a World Bank reform program in the service. Adams areas of research interest include Joint Venture Accounting (JVC), Accountability and governance of the oil sector, the stock market and the oil industry as well as the effect of supply chain disruption of the oil and gas industry. He has about ten years fruitful working experience in the public sector.

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