Nigeria and Shell Essay

4277 Words Sep 28th, 2013 18 Pages
Friend or Foe
Shell in the Niger Delta

Shell in the Niger Delta

There is a long and terrible record of environmental destruction and human rights violations in the oil-producing regions of Nigeria. The gross level of environmental degradation caused by oil exploration and extraction in the Niger Delta has gone unchecked for the past 30 years. Evidence shows that the oil companies operating in Nigeria have not only disregarded their responsibility towards the environment but have acted together with the military’s repression of Nigerian citizens. The profit-driven collusion between multinational oil companies and the past and present Nigerian governments has cost many lives and continues to threaten the stability of the
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As is the case with many oil-rich developing countries, oil reserves have proved a mixed blessing for Nigeria. Since 1974, only 14 years after independence, oil production for export has been by far the main source of revenue for the government. Today, oil sales account for more than 40 percent of GDP, 80 percent of the government’s budgetary revenue, and more than 95 percent of exports. With an average production of approximately 2 million barrels per day, Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil producers (O’Neill, 2008). The oil industry has expanded in Nigeria at the expense of other previously important production sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing. This has created regional imbalances and an increasingly unequal distribution of wealth between different sectors of society, deepening the potential for conflict in this complex multi-ethnic nation. The Niger Delta, one of the world’s largest wetlands, and the site of most of Nigeria’s biodiversity, is also the area where the main oil reserves are found. Almost one third of Nigeria’s oil is shipped directly to the US. Most of the balance is sent to other countries, mainly in Europe, and very little remains in Nigeria for refinement and consumption. During the last four decades, hundreds of billions worth of crude oil have been extracted from the Niger Delta wetlands, earning huge profits for a privileged few, while virtually robbing the affected communities of both life

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