The Effect Of Change In Political Administration On The Niger Delta Problem

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta is situated in the south of Nigeria and centers on the natural delta of the Niger River. All of Nigeria’s oil production takes place on the land or waters of the nine oil producing states comprising the extended delta region. (Some of the delta’s key features are summarized in Table 1.1 below.) Beginning in late 2005 and until Amnesty was offered to freedom fighters in mid-2009, escalating unrest led to significant losses in production, at times exceeding 65 percent. Addressing the underlying causes of crisis in the delta has important implications for the economy and security of the whole of Nigeria. For this reason, maintaining the current fragile peace in the region has become a national policy imperative. Over half of the Niger Delta region is made up of a network of creeks and small islands, making it very difficult to navigate and to establish large settlements. The rural population tends to live in small, scattered hamlets of 50 to 500 persons, some maintaining links with larger towns such as Port Harcourt and Warri. The regional population, estimated to be 32 million, represents over one fifth of the national total; 62 percent are below thirty years of age. This population is also extremely heterogeneous, with approximately forty different ethnic groups speaking 120 mutually unintelligible languages and dialects. Of these, the Ijaw, who speak four distinct dialects, comprise the largest ethnic group. Others include the Ibibio-Efik, Urhobo, Isoko, the Itsekiri, and Igbo sub-groups living in both the western and eastern delta. Fishing and agriculture have historically been the main occupations in the delta, and they continue to account for almost half of employment. In urban areas, the informal sector predominates, notably trade, comprising twenty percent of overall employment and services, which constitute nine percent (NDDC 2005, p. 20). Young people tend to engage less in agriculture, and they often migrate to urban areas in search of livelihoods. While the percentage of people living in poverty in the Niger Delta is statistically lower than the national average,2 the region performs poorly in comparison with the rest of the country on social indicators such as education, health, and the quality of the natural environment. For example, the region has among the highest levels of infant mortality in Nigeria, a statistic commonly used as a proxy for measuring general welfare. Rates of unemployment and under-employment in the Niger Delta states are especially high despite their large oil revenues, reaching more than forty percent among youth. This condition has contributed significantly to youth restiveness in the region.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The developmental challenges facing the Niger Delta are closely intertwined with patterns of violent conflict and instability in the region. They are also driven by history. Behind the changes in the region’s economic and political systems that have unfolded over the past two hundred years, certain continuities are apparent. Most notable are those associated with the contestation with outsiders over control of local resources and the attendant sense of being unfairly exploited.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to determine the effect of change in political administration on the Niger delta problem.

Specific objectives include;

  1. To evaluate the effect of change in political administration on the Niger delta problem.
  2. To determine the factors that have contributed to violent conflict in the Niger Delta.
  3. To find out the factors that drive or mitigate violent conflict in the Niger Delta.
  4. To examine the dynamic relationships between them, and to draw conclusions for the future peaceful development of the region.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the effect of change in political administration on the Niger delta problem?
  2. What are the factors that have contributed to violent conflict in the Niger Delta?
  3. What are the factors that drive or mitigate violent conflict in the Niger Delta?
  4. Are there any dynamic relationships between them, and to draw conclusions for the future peaceful development of the region?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis I
  • H0: There is no the effect of change in political administration on the Niger delta problem.
  • Hi: There is an effect of change in political administration on the Niger delta problem.
Hypothesis II
  • H0: There are no factors that have contributed to violent conflict in the Niger Delta.
  • Hi: There are factors that have contributed to violent conflict in the Niger Delta.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is on the effect of change in political administration on the Niger delta problem in Delta State.


1.8 Limitations of the study

The demanding schedule of respondents made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all but is restricted to the selected respondents used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided. Other limitations include:

Financial constraint:

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint:

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Administration:

This the process or activity of running a business, organization, etc. Or the management of public affairs; government.

Political:

This is relating to the government or public affairs of a country.

Change:

Change, alter, and vary mean to make or become different. Change may be used for making such a difference in a thing that it becomes something else. They’ve changed the house into a restaurant. Change may also be used for substituting one thing for another.


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