Sustaining Economic Development: A Post Amnesty Therapy on Peace Building in the Niger Delta

Abstract :

The Niger Delta is the focal point of attraction in Nigeria especially when it has to do with the export of crude oil, which forms a major part of the country’s exchange earnings. In spite of this the people of the area are faced with harsh living conditions such as polluted air, underground and surface water pollution, destruction of aquatic life and land fertility, high level of unemployment, low life expectancy and lack of basic social amenities. This has forced the youths into taking up arms to make their voice heard, which has resulted into a lot of casualties. The federal government knowing that a robust economy thrives under an atmosphere of peace instituted the amnesty program for militants in the area, where they were trained, paid stipends and rehabilitated back into the society. Unfortunately this did not last long as certain corrupt political leaders hijacked the entire process for their selfish interest. This paper focused on the challenges that the people of Niger Delta are faced with after the ex-agitators embraced amnesty and what led to the youths taking up arms again, with the aim of ensuring peace to the area. The paper employed the use of primary and secondary data, quantitative research method was used with simple random sampling techniques, 381 copies of questionnaire were administered to respondents in selected Oil producing communities in Rivers State Nigeria. The data obtained from the field were coded and run on SPSS software such that they were presented with the aid of frequency tables and research questions were answered based on this. The research findings shows that the Niger Delta is not getting better even with the efforts and structures but in place. The recommendations made includes that there is need for a level playing ground for transnational companies in the region and the host communities through the implementation of corporate social responsibilities, increased employment and vocational training for the youths which will reduce social unrest and enhance the standard of living.??