Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Niger Delta Blues

IWHREKAN, NIGERIA -- In the early morning of July 21, deep below the ground, a 40-centimetre pipeline burst not far from the centre of this little town. Dark, pungent crude oil began to bubble, then spurt, then pour from the ground, soaking the soil, washing into a nearby creek, quickly running down into the river. It coated the leaves, the twigs and each blade of grass, filling the air with a dark, cloying smell.- Stephanie Nolen

Yesterday I addressed the news report on the notorious "Yahoo-Yahoo" Internet Scams and today I have to react to the well researched and well written reports on the agonies and ironies of oil exploration in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

Dino Mahtani of Financial Times and Stephanie Nolen reminded the world of the festering sores of our crude oil and politics plaguing the host communities in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Dino Mahtani's report "Nigeria Burns an Opportunity" was published on the Los Angeles Times online yesterday
(http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/)and Stephanie Nolen's report was published on http://www.theglobeandmail.com.

May I commend Stephanie Nolen for writing such a very down to earth feature on the critical situation of oil exploration in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

She wrote it with the sensitivity of one of us here in the Niger Delta as we feel the pains of the agonies and ironies of oil exploration in our communities.

Corruption and misadministration have done us more harm than good. And our government is to blame for the poverty plaguing us and neither Shell nor Chevron or any other multinational oil company could be found guilty of the underdevelopment in the oil producing states in Nigeria. And even here on Bonny Island where I live, the gross neglect of our communities is annoying and the government is to blame for the failures.

I advise that the multinational oil companies should re-negotiate the articles of the MOU with the Government of Nigeria and focus on how much should be given to the Government and how much should be used for the direct development of the host communities in the Niger Delta. The multinational oil companies can contract the Julius Berger to build resettlement estates for the host communities, roads, schools, hospitals, water supply depots and power supply stations and other modern amenities, facilities and utilities for the mutual benefit of the host communities as they have built the Nigeria LNG Residential Areas on Bonny Island.

Stephanie Nolen should come and see where I live in the Nigeria LNG RA, the perfect example of the model of how oil wealth could be used to develop the host communities in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.


John E said...

Hi there, good post and an enjoyable read,

See you again soon


Orikinla Osinachi. said...


"The more we understand eachother the better and merrier we would all be."
-Michael Chima

Monef said...

How right you are, economic development if the Niger Delta area will undoubtedly lead to greater political stability in the region. This will in turn drastically reduce incidences of sabotage, rioting etc thus saving oil companies a great deal of money. This is a win-win situation....if only there was someone with the eyes to see it. Maybe we need a female minister for petroleum too.......

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Yeah Monef,
We need another Dr. Dora Akunyili in the Oil and Gas sector to make things work.

God bless.

Black River Eagle said...

Thanks for this post. I need to learn more about what is really happening down in the Delta region.

I found and read the LA Times article on the problems with gas flaring at oil drilling sites. In addition to the multinationals being part of the problem with pollution and subsequent health problems due to the flaring of natural gas, the article also pointed out that the Nigerian government is part of the blame. A USD$ 1 billion shortfall by the government in funding to help alleviate the flaring and capture valuable natural gas for commercial use and export is significant. I'm certain that the oil companies can and need to do much more but the government must live up to its agreements too.

The link you provided to the LA Times article did not work, but the following URL will take your readers directly to the article:

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Thank you for the correction.
And your comments.