Community Relations and Development of Oil Producing Rural Communities of the Niger-Delta, Nigeria
This paper qualitatively looks at the relationship between Community relations and rural development with special reference to oil producing communities in the Niger-Delta. It points out the adverse effects of oil exploitation and exploration by the multinational oil companies on the oil producing rural communities of the Niger-Delta. The oil producing rural communities are faced with mass unemployment due to the problem of environmental degradation, ecological problems are not adequately addressed, roads, electricity, water, education and health facilities are in terrible condition, youth restiveness and all sorts of crimes due to little or no community relations; thereby making the condition of living not conducive for the local people. This negligence has left the operations of the multinational oil companies in chaos due to the activities of the restive youths. As checks to these developmental challenges the oil companies consciously carried out some developmental works in the oil producing rural communities yet the problems of pipeline bombing, vandalism, etc continues. The paper believes the multinational developmental efforts were not appreciated because the power structures of the oil producing rural communities were not consulted. The paper therefore stressed the need for consultation to determine the felt-needs of the local people to foster good neighbourliness between the oil companies and the oil producing communities.
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