The Modular Refinery Policy and Sustainable Peace and Development in the Niger-Delta Region of Nigeria
Background: The Niger-Delta region of Nigeria has been turbulent for decades until recently. Harmful explorations by the multinational oil companies and alleged government negligence were said to be parts of the reasons for the tempestuous agitations in the area. Intermittent kidnapping of oil workers and illegal bunkering are major sources of financing violent outings in the region.
Objective: This study seeks to interrogate the peace-building mechanism inherent in the Modular Refinery Policy.
Methodology: This study adopts the qualitative research approach for data collection and analysis. The unstructured interview was conducted among randomly selected stakeholders. The respondents were selected from among the community heads, youths, ex-militants, players in the oil and gas industry and a few members of the academic community in the Niger-Delta.
Results: It was found that the Modular Refinery Policy of the federal government enabled the participation of the people from the region in the governance of the oil industry, which has been one of the main causes of the violent agitations. The study also revealed that the policy ensures the ease of access and adequate provision of social services to the people. Finally, it was found that the policy has ensured trust-building and social cohesion between the people and the government. These peacebuilding mechanisms are necessary for peaceful coexistence in the region.
Conclusion: A people-centred-policy-oriented administration has the potential to reduce incidences of violent tendencies in the Niger-Delta region now and in the future.
Unique Contribution: The study succeeded in establishing peacebuilding mechanisms inherent in the Modular Refinery Policy of the government by responding to some of the requests of the people which include participation in the governance of the oil industry in Nigeria; increased and adequate provision of social services by the Modular Refinery Companies in the region; and trust building through the actions and inactions of the government in nourishing the policy to success.
Key Recommendation: The government is required to continue to explore ways of strengthening the policy through the Bank of Industry to assist those who invest in modular refineries in getting access to funding. This should be made a key part of the policy in order to institutionalize and also ensure its success.
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