08 Dec Environmental Conflict and Internal Migration in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
Environmental Conflict and Internal Migration in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
Working Papers – Centre on Migration, Citizenship and Development (Bielefeld University)
Vol (No), pp
This paper examines environmental conflict and internal migration in Nigeria’s oil producing Delta Region. While it is true that the literature and discourse on the Niger Delta have dealt substantially with the violence and tensions resulting from the militarization of the region and brutal repression over the years of restive communities, it needs stressing that scant attention has been paid to the critical issue of environmental conflict and internal migration in the Delta region. The paper contends that the dynamics of environmental conflict and internal migration in the Niger Delta are deeply rooted in the contradictions thrown up by oil-dependent global capitalist system and the processes of globalization, which have fed into and escalated the complex dynamics of internal migration, the rentier character of the Nigerian state and the oil industry in the ecologically fragile Niger Delta region. The paper locates these contradictions in, among other things, the penetration of global capital into a largely rural society, environmental pollution and degradation, the nature of development which perpetuates inequality and differential access to resources, the paradox of poverty amid wealth, and the restiveness and violence it generates in the region. In conclusion, the paper argues that, while environmental conflict and internal migration pose serious challenges to the development of the oil-rich region, in particular, and the Nigerian state in general, the Nigerian state and its joint venture partners (the multinational oil corporations) must the challenge of genuinely tackling, in a holistic fashion, decades of exclusion and injustice, corporate neglect, environmental destruction and other oil-based contradictions that have continued to spawn environmental conflict and internal migration in this oil-rich, but ecologically fragile ecosystem.
Okwechime, I. (2013). Environmental Conflict and Internal Migration in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Working Papers – Centre on Migration, Citizenship and Development (Bielefeld University), 119. URL : http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/tdrc/ag_comcad/downloads/WP_119.pdf