The video below by photographer Ed Kashi gives a visual description of the realities of the Niger Delta – the main oil producing area of Nigeria
- Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country – 140 Million people live in a country roughly twice the size of California
- Nigeria won its independence from the UK in 1960
- After years of military rule Nigeria elected Olusegun Obasanjo, who was elected again in 2003. Obasanjo’s successor Umaru Yar’Adua was elected in 2007 amongst international criticism that the election was not free and fair
- Despite the transition to democracy – Nigeria is still considered one of the top 5 most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International
- Oil is Nigeria’s main export accounting for 95% of the country’s revenues
- Despite Nigeria’s wealth in natural resources, it’s considered by the World Bank to be one of the 20 poorest countries in the world
- Oil was found in Nigeria in 1956 the small Niger Delta village of Oloibiri by Royal Dutch Shell
- Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa
- Nigeria is the 11th largest producer of oil in the world
- Nigeria is the 8th largest exporter of crude oil in the world
- In 2006 42% of the country’s oil was exported to the United States
- Nigeria fluctuates from being the 5th to the 3rd largest exporter of oil to the Untied States
More Statistics on Nigeria
- 1 in 5 Nigerian children dies before the age of 5.
- Many of them die from preventable diseases.
- 38% of kids under 5 are chronically malnourished.
- 70% of Nigerians live on less than $1 a day.
- Life expectancy in Nigeria is 44 years.
- Medical attention for most villagers is hours away by boat.
- More than 15 million Nigerian children work.
- 36% of Nigerian kids enrolled in grade 1 reach grade 5.
- Nearly all schools in the Niger Delta are in extreme disrepair.
- Niger Delta unemployment is 40% for ages 15-24 and 70-90% for adults.
- More than 6,000 oil spills have been recorded since 1976.
- Less than 25% of spills are remediated.
- Many Niger Delta residents suffer from oil poisoning.
- More gas is flared in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world.
- Over 250 toxins have been identified in gas flare emissions.
- Breathing particulate from flaring is linked to disease and premature death.
- Potable water in the Niger Delta creeks region is virtually nonexistent due to oil contamination.
- Oil pollution has killed off fish, fouled the soil and caused wildlife to vanish.
- Handmade fishing nets can become useless in 6 months from acid rain caused by flaring.
- Acid rain acidifies bodies of water, damages vegetation and decays building materials.
- 130 million people live in Nigeria, 20-30 million in the Niger Delta.
- 9 out of 36 states are in the Delta but the region is politically marginalized.
- Oil revenue from the Delta is 80% of the federal budget.
- The government and oil companies split the oil money 60-40.
- The oil companies operate in joint ventures with the Nigerian government.
- The 1969 Petroleum Act transferred all energy earnings to the federal government.
- The 1978 Land Use Act assigned all oil-bearing land ownership to state governments.
- Less than 20% of the Delta region is accessible by good roads.
- Less than 20% of Delta communities are connected to the national electrical grid.
- Nigeria’s corruption score is 2.2 out of 10 one of the worst rankings in the world.
- Oil revenues since the 1970s are estimated at US$300 billion.
- 80% of oil and gas revenues accrue to just 1% of the population.
- By law, 13% of the oil money should go to producing localities; it doesn’t get there.
- Niger Delta state governors are said to divert most of these funds for personal use.
- Local government chairs are paid by the federal government, with no local accountability.
- The Niger Delta Development Commission claims to receive a fraction of its allotted funding from the federal government.
- Audits show a huge gap between what oil companies say they paid and what the government says it received.
- There are said to be 20 fortified militia camps in the Niger Delta.
- An estimated 12-15 armed militant groups operate in the Delta.
- The number of illicit weapons is thought to be about 70,000.
- About 15,000 Nigerian Joint Task Force troops are deployed in the Niger Delta creeks region.
- The Nigerian military has razed communities and killed thousands of civilians with impunity.
- Between January 2006 and May 2007, more than 200 hostages were taken by militants.
- Surges in global oil prices have been linked to announcements by the militancy.
- In January 2006, increased tension pushed oil prices to $68/barrel.
- In February 2006, oil prices rose sharply in response to a series of kidnappings by MEND.
- In April 2006, oil prices spiked toward $70/barrel after MEND issued a threat of renewed attacks.
Compiled by Marisa Peña, Sweet Crude researcher www.sweetcrudemovie.com