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Title: Achieving short term justice : the Niger Delta oil crisis
Author: Maduforo, Emmanuel Chukwudubem
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 3892
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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Nigeria is currently the 10th largest oil producer in the world, accounting for about 2.2 million bpd in 2012, and it is the largest oil exporter in the African continent. Currently, the country’s oil resources generates at about $136 billion a year, accounting for more than 85 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue and approximately 90 per cent of her total exports. Given Nigeria’s substantial resources, it should be the jewel in the crown of Africa. But it is not. The country is struggling with abject poverty, political instability, social insecurity and underdevelopment. The huge revenue derived from oil have not improved the living conditions of the Nigerian people because it has not been optimally and wisely utilized. Communities in the Niger Delta whose land bears the oil have remained politically ostracised, economically disempowered, ecologically frustrated and infrastructurally underdeveloped. This is owing to rent mismanagement, profligate spending, kleptomania and the bad polices of successive Nigerian government. The excessive oil profits are being taken away by foreign oil companies. Apart from that the foreign oil companies collude with corrupt government officials to disobey environmental laws. This development has caused monumental environmental degradation. As a result of these prevailing circumstances, the Niger Delta region has resisted oil operations in their land by carrying out consistent protest, sectarian violence, and other forms of clandestine activities. For example, the militia groups have engaged in kidnapping of oil workers, destruction of oil installations, and extra-judicial killings. Hostilities from local communities have increased because oil exploration negotiations and bargaining process were unfavourable, unjust, lopsided and frustrating. In the light of these problems, the thesis argued that Nigeria’s oil resource is nothing but a curse and not a blessing. The situation has gone from bad to worse because too much emphasis has been placed on long term measures instead of short-term solutions. This is not more than scratching the surface while the substance of the problem is left untouched. The centrepiece of this thesis therefore is how the Nigeria government can approach the Niger Delta oil crisis in a short-term course. The thesis argued that short-term justice will help to provide the immediate needs of tens of millions of neglected and impoverished citizens of Niger Delta region in the meantime while the government continue to work on long-term solutions to her problems. However, l shall weave my argument around a method of justice as propounded by John Rawls to produce specific short-term solutions that will solve the problem of economic injustice, political marginalization, social conflicts, and revenue distribution imbroglio. In this regard, we are not going to be discussing how we can permanently solve all Nigerian’s problems or how we can leap from dysfunctional state to a functional state overnight. Our focus in this thesis is going to be on what we can do to make things better now even if there is still work to do before complete justice can be implemented. In attempting to develop solutions that will mitigate the Niger Delta oil crisis, l will apply John Rawls’s method of justice. Though many people have criticised Rawls’s theory as controversial, and inconsistent, this thesis is not going to join in the controversy or devote arguments to defend Rawls. I will assume that the Rawlsian method is at least plausible and a defensible way of developing specific principles of justice that will produce short-term solutions to the problem of distributive justice, impoverishment, and social conflicts. The idea will be to develop short-term measures that no member of the current conflicts can reasonably object.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available