Killing for Banana:Government Land Grab, Violence and the Fogotten Rights of Ogoni Farmers

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Despite the opposition of thousands of rural smallholder farmers, the Rivers State Government is adamant about its plans to appropriate over 2,000 hectares of ancestral farmlands of Ogoni communities in Tai and Khana Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state. The state government intends to hand over the land to a private company registered in Mexico, Union De Iniciativa S.A. de C.V., for the development of a commercial banana plantation. This is a prominent example of property speculation via so-called public-private partnerships, which leads to displacement of urban and rural populations. Read full report

Wasted Billions

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2012 was a rehearse of routines that have defined Nigeria’s oil wealth for decades: huge crude earnings averaging $86 billion according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), dismal response to the nation’s needs through poor budgetary allocations and the lining of a few pockets with public funds.

This study spotlights the performance of five Niger Delta states of Akwa IbomBayelsaDeltaEdo and Rivers in the management of revenues and expenditures in the year 2012. The study is based on months of field evaluation of performance, budget reviews and interviews with local residents and relevant officials. Besides analyzing the budget parameters across the five states, the study appraised the implementation of randomly selected projects as related to three key sectors of Education, Health and Food Sufficiency (including Agriculture). The goal, amongst other things, is to enhance understanding of how and why the earnings by states in this strategic region contributed to or detracted from the goal of sustainable development. Read Full Report

Fuels of Dissident: Politics, Corruption and Protest Over Fuel Scarcity in NIgeria

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On the 1st of January 2012 the Federal Government of Nigeria effected an increase in the consumer price of petrol, in what was described as the withdrawal of subsidy. The price of the product was hiked from 65 Naira to 141 Naira, with serious implications for livelihoods of Nigerians who depend on the fuel for transportation and electricity generation. The mass protests that attended the price hike have been described as the largest and most intense in the history of Nigeria, which forced government to partially reinstate subsidies.

But was there really a subsidy on petroleum products? What is the value of this subsidy? Why does the government need to import a product that the country produces? This briefing paper examines how the fuel subsidy regime reflects corruption in the petroleum industry, and the role of the Nigerian political leadership in sustaining the systems of fraud.

Fuels of Dissent is a must read for all interested in understanding the political economy of oil and the Nigerian state.  Read Full Report

Joint Position Paper on PIB

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The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) pending before the National Assembly is a positive attempt to deal with the multifaceted problems of the industry, including inefficiency, corruption and environmental degradation. In this position paper, we outline some of the broad policy issues that should be revisited to ensure an improved consolidated Petroleum Industry Bill. We have examined the Senate and House versions as compared with the original proposals of the Federal Government during the Yar’Adua and Jonathan’s Presidencies. In all, our overriding focus is with the concern of communities that host and have been victimized by decades of crude oil and gas exploitation, transportation and processing. While we believe that leaving oil in the soil is ultimately better for the Nigerian society., and for the livelihoods of communities, we are making this intervention principally because of the grave and immediate risks a faulty PIB portends for Nigeria. Read Full Report

Counting the Votes

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‘Counting the Votes: Citizens Report on State and Local Government Budgets in the Niger Delta,  2011’ is the fourth  in a series of budget advocacy reports by the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform (NDCBP). The volume presents an analysis of the 2011 budgets of the governments of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers States, as well as an independent assessment of budget implementation during the year. In the analyses, the income and expenditure preferences of these state governments were examined against their income generation, policy priorities, compliance with fiscal discipline and transparency mechanisms as well as their overall responses to development challenges.  In both the budget analysis and monitoring processes, special emphasis was placed on the education and health sectors. The level of transparency in the budget process, which could be assessed in part by the level of access which citizens have with respect to budget documents, and the opportunities for public participation in the budget making and implementation processes, also informs the conclusions herein presented. Read full report

Spend and Borrow

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Spend and Borrow contains findings of Budget Analyses and Monitoring activities by the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States, conducted in 2010. In analyzing the budgets, the focus has been on examining how expenditure preferences relate to global targets of development as well as the policy statements of the administrations, especially in the areas of education and health. Monitoring activities were carried out on randomly selected projects in the areas of education and health.

Spend and Borrow also presents a detailed background on the topical issues that relate to the political economy of Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Read Full Report

Beyond Amnesty

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A new report by the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform (NDCBP) contains findings of analyses and monitoring of the implementation of the annual budgets of the governments of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State in 2009. The report examines the sustainability of the budgeting process and the level of prioritisation of the health and education sectors by state and local government administrations. Appropriated projects were randomly selected for monitoring. Read Full Report

Fuelling Discord

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There is an alarming increase in the incidences of communal conflicts in the petroleum bearing Niger Delta area. These conflicts, which very often manifest in full-blown wars within and between communities, have resulted in the killing of numerous community members and the destruction of whole villages and towns. At the root of these conflicts is the manner of oil and gas exploitation and policies of the government and oil and gas companies in security contracting, ‘surveillance’, execution of ‘community development’ projects etc. The responses of government and industry agents to community agitation and protests have been designed to silence or weaken opposition by manipulating filial ties to create divisions among community members.
Decades of impoverishment of the local people, destruction of their sources of livelihood, pollution of their environment through oil spillages and endless gas flaring, joblessness and neglect of the community by the oil companies and government among others, worked as catalysts for conflict. As communities impacted by petroleum exploitation seek ways of redress, different manifestations of conflicts are being experienced. This report examined the evolution of three cases to explain the remote and immediate causes of communal crises in oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta area.
Almost two decades after Shell was forced out of Ogoniland following community protests and international outrage over state sponsored murders, the company and the government are working in concert with some influential Ogoni leaders to perfect plans to bring back oil drilling and production companies. However, some community members continue to demand state action to address the demands of the people as contained in the Ogoni Bill of Rights. Skirmishes have already been reported between and within communities as tensions mount over government and oil company plans to restart oil production activities without addressing the fundamental demands of the Ogoni people. Read Full Report

“Carry Go”

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By Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform

This independent report by the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform (NDCBP) is based on summaries of analysis and monitoring reports of the 2008 state and local government budgets in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State. The report documents, from the perspective of citizens, how state and local government budgets have been formulated and implemented. It identifies the causes, processes and outcomes of the corruption and mismanagement of public funds in the states and local government areas of the Niger Delta.

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