This book, “Resource dependence, violent conflict, and development in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria”, highlights Dr. Tidi’s academic sojourn at the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), University of Ibadan, where he earned a doctoral degree in Oil and Gas Economics. Dr. Tidi is the Executive Chairman of Warri South Local Government Area, in Delta State.
The perspective was borne out of the significant efforts made to reduce conflicts from resource dependence and improve the development of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria with the establishment of critical agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs/Presidential Amnesty office and the increase in resource allocation through the instrumentality of 13% derivation.
Despite these arrangements, the region is still characterized with high level of poverty, income inequality and poor infrastructure, which have led to increased oil related conflicts. The book assesses the political economy of oil and gas resources and violent conflict and development in the region by adopting the stakeholder’s perception approach. The stakeholders in this respect include community leaders, oil and gas communities, multinational oil companies, militant groups, Ministry of Niger Delta and NGOs.
The engagement of these groups enabled the book to show the potential effect of oil and gas production activities on development indicators such as employment, household productivity, environmental degradation, the standard of living, poverty level and inequality as well as how these relate to conflict in the region.
Among the specific objectives are to identify the factors contributing to violent conflict in the Niger Delta; investigate the link between resource dependence and violent conflict in the Niger Delta; and examine the impact of resource dependence on development in the Niger Delta region. Empirically, two indices; institutional failure (poor governance, poor representation, non-democratic system and corruption) and growth failure (low income, poor standard of living and horizontal inequalities) were computed.
A model comprising a system of two equations – one for conflicts and the other for development – was estimated. This separation allowed the book to analyse the impact of resource dependence on conflicts and development in the Niger Delta. While the book clusters around the broad title – Resource Dependence, Violent Conflict, and Economic Development in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria – it is important to note that its 10 chapters focus on a wide range of policy issues in the Niger Delta region. The chapters have the common themes of highlighting the causes, effects, and solutions to the crisis in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
The book recommends a need for comprehensive conflict prevention measures that include programs, policies, and initiatives that focused on addressing the multi-faceted nature of the region’s problems. The author advises that there is no single solution from one actor, but rather, a collection of solutions from many actors. Second, it is not enough to simply build roads and open schools. Rather, conflict prevention should be approached holistically while putting the focus on human-centered values and norms of peace, social justice, and freedom.
By focusing on a wide variety of socio-economic, political, governance, security, and environmental issues, the disparate root causes of unrest can be addressed and resolved. Finally, there must a creative approach to conflict prevention in the region. Given the fact that the region is a complex and quickly changing environment, interested parties can understand the value of creative and compromising approaches for conflict prevention in the Niger Delta.