A Theoretical Model for Sustainable Peace and Development in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

A Theoretical Model for Sustainable Peace and Development in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Author: 
Stanley Inye Lawson
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
Despite being responsible for more than 90% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, the Niger Delta region of Nigeria continues to experience severe underdevelopment, poverty, and crisis. In this qualitative grounded theory study, the perspectives and lived experiences of 36 ordinary citizens and 12 opinion leaders from the region were explored. Using Internet survey questionnaires and face to face semi structured interviews, answers to the research question - What are the theoretical underpinnings for the continued underdevelopment and crisis in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria were obtained from the participants. The conceptual framework for the study bestrides the modernization and dependency theories of development. The data obtained from the participants’ responses were analyzed using the Nvivo software. The study findings revealed that inequitable distribution of oil and gas revenue, insufficient funding of the regional development agencies, and poor internal governance, are the major reasons for the subsisting underdevelopment and crisis in the region. The study recommends a three-pronged solution requiring deliberate actions by leadership at all levels of government and the indigenes of the region. The Federal Government will need to significantly increase the derivation portion of revenue allocation to the region, and put in place structures and policies to ensure transparency and accountability at all levels of government. The regional government will need to take over the ownership, control, and funding of the development agency for the region. The indigenes of the region on their part will need to consistently demand and insist on accountability from the region’s leadership.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to my wife, Ubile, whose unflinching support, encouragement, and inspiration throughout the course of this work were simply phenomenal; and to my children, Ibim, Tonte, Sotonye, and Nimi for the numerous adjustments and sacrifices they had to make while the journey lasted. You were all there for me and that made the entire doctoral journey interesting and fulfilling.
Acknowledgements: 
The achievement of this doctoral milestone has been made possible by the help of several special people that whole-heartedly provided me with guidance, support, and encouragement all through the journey. First, I am profoundly grateful and indebted to the Almighty God for life and good health. I bear witness that his faithfulness is unflinching and for evermore. My deep thanks and appreciation also go to all the members of my dissertation committee Chaired by Dr. Raj Singh who tirelessly and ever willingly provided me with so much support and continuous feedback; Dr. Mohammed Miah who was ever so willing to listen and support me; Dr. Macharia Waruingi who unfortunately resigned from the University faculty; he always provided very insightful comments and feedback; and Dr. Tarique Hossain for his valuable contributions and prompt response when I called on him at short notice to be a member of my committee. I would also like to thank all my siblings and relations for their tireless support and kind words of encouragement throughout the program. I am profoundly grateful to my colleagues in the office that selflessly held the fort whenever I had to be away from the office as a result of the study. Particular mention must be made of Donald Lawson, and Mr. Antai Effiong who were both unrelenting in their support and assistance. Finally, I would like to thank my wife and best friend, Ubile, as well as my wonderful children for their understanding, patience, and sacrifice during all the endless hours spent in the study room. The support and encouragement which you all ever so lovingly gave was simply immeasurable. Thank you.