Why is militancy still a huge challenge in the Niger Delta considering the fact that the funds for the Niger Delta Amnesty programme initiated by the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua has been largely sustained and increased.
Claims of environmental degradation, human rights violation, corruption and underdevelopment are widely believed to be the genesis of armed militancy in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The parlous living conditions that people in the region are subjected to prompted supposed emancipators to take up arms and ammunition against the government and major oil companies operating in the Delta region. The number of militant groups clamouring that the wealth gotten from under the feet of the people of the Delta be put in their hands are over 20.
In 2016 alone, Nigeria was said to have lost between $50 – $100 billion in oil revenue as a result of attacks on oil installations. Numerous lives have been lost on the side of the militants, oil companies, government, women and innocent vulnerable people who were unfortunate to have been caught in the middle.
Just recently, militant groups like the Supreme Egbesu Council and others have threatened to resume vandalisation of oil installations.
From all indications, it is clear that the security crisis in the Niger Delta is more than meets the eye. It is not an issue to be looked at as white and black as there are many grey areas to it. However, the grey areas will become clear to whoever wants; to whoever chooses to attend the foremost annual extractive industries conference in Nigeria, the Sustainability in the Extractive Industries Conference (SITEI).
This year’s Conference is themed Managing Conflict and Security in the Extractive Industries and the mandate is to bring together players from all areas of the extractive industries to give a clear perspective on the causes and effect of conflict and security breaches while also proffering solutions on how best the issues can be tackled.