RESTRUCTURING THE GMOU APPROACH TOWARDS PEACE BUILDING IN OIL-BEARING COMMUNITIES OF THE NIGER DELTA

Celestine Lekia Poroma (PhD), Menuchim Levi Miller Levi-Okpara

Abstract


The Niger Delta region of Nigeria has been plagued with plethora of conflicts ranging from violence, sabotage, organized crime, cultism, pipeline vandalism arising from perceived disequilibrium in the distribution process of the surpluses accrued from oil exploration and   environmental degradation. Consequent upon this ugly narrative, the paper reviewed the impact of Global Memoranda of Understanding (GMOU) a sustainable development vehicle introduced by Royal Dutch Shell in the Niger Delta area of operations as well as the active participation of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to achieving peaceful ambience, social wellbeing and sustainable community development. The paper argues that the approach deployed to address the issue of underdevelopment has been counter-productive and largely unsustainable as it does not stimulate economic development of the area. However, the GMOU vehicle was effectively deployed with a broad-based collaborative structure; Communities, IOCs, Local and State governments and particularly the NGOs who made a significant impact in driving the process towards restoration of peace. The paper suggests the restructuring and emplacement  of a more robust GMOU approach that incorporates the locals as critical stakeholders in the petrol Dollar business and initiating sustainable pro-poor based GMOU projects with only credible and competent NGOs engaged in its implementation. The paper also proposed that oil and gas companies and government authorities engage services of conflict experts and development agencies in achieving stable, peaceful and sustainable development in the region.


Keywords


Global Memoranda of Understanding, Conflict, Peace building, Sustainable development

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