Clearing Niger Delta’s Augean Stable

Clearing Niger Delta's Augean stable
Clearing Niger Delta’s Augean stable
To buttress the imperatives of Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, practice to the nation, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, former Governor of Lagos State and now the Minister for Housing and Works while commissioning the Ajose Adeogun Street, a road executed by Zenith Bank limited, in September, 2008, remarked as follows:
“We recognise that the engine of growth and development for any developing nation today lies in the ability to strategically cultivate and harness private as well as public sector effort, thereby opening up vistas of opportunities for the public-private partnerships that will contribute not only to the millennium development goals but also the nation’s overall development.”
Indeed, the multifaceted challenges facing nations globally (Nigeria, in particular) give a fillip to the theory that the economy of developing the nation should by no means be left in the hands of the government alone. It has been opined development professionals that these challenges and burden of running the economy. Providing infrastructures have become too enormous for the government to bear.
Other areas of ‘interests’ include tackling youth’s unemployment/restiveness, insecurity, environmental pollution and degradation, poor funding of education, hyper inflation and economic recession.
These challenges without a doubt signal the compelling need for the nation to look at the direction of our corporate citizens for assistance. This exercise however, is by no means new to us as a people. Some organisations both local and internationals operating in Nigeria have been involved at one time or the other. Their list and areas of intervention cut across different spheres.
Unfortunately, even as this fact is highlighted, when we take a look at the Niger Delta region, what we have is the exact opposite. For over five decades, when crude oil was discovered in commercial quantities in the region, instead of envisaged corporate social responsibility practice expected of the operators, a fierce war has been raging between ethnic and social forces in the region.
It is a province stripped of equity, justice, peace and development. Here, no one upholds the argument that without equity and justice, there will be no peace. It is a location where successive administrations and International Oil Companies, IOCs, operating in the region covertly demonstrate the ‘conviction’ that so far the eggs are secured, the condition of the goose that laid the eggs becomes secondary.




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