Tackling Under-Development in the Niger-Delta through a Dynamic Approach

Master's Thesis, 2016

45 Pages, Grade: B


Table of Contents


1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1.4 Research Question.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
1.6 Scope of the Study
1.7 Significance of the Study.
1.8 Limitations to the Study
1.9 Definition of Terms

2.1 Conceptual Review
2.2 Empirical Studies
2.3 Theoretical Framework

3.1 Research Design
3.2 Population of the Study
3.3 Sampling Procedure
3.4 Method of Data Collection
3.5 Model Specification
3.6 Recursive Analysis by a Network Model.

4.1 Model Analysis

5.1 Summary
5.2 Conclusion
5.3 Recommendations
5.4 Contributions to Knowledge
5.5 Suggestions for further research




The study analyzed a mathematical model that would help to facilitate the development of the Niger Delta region in a phase by phase approach. The region has been bedeviled with the problem of underdevelopment culminating into youth restiveness, violence and militancy, poverty and environmental degradation despite the abundant oil wealth. The study utilized secondary data. A network model was drawn to practically and mathematically demonstrate the journey from under-development towards development and analyzed by applying the forward recursive equation formulated for study. Findings showed that the Niger Delta region could be developed through a phase by phase development plan. The study recommended that Federal and State governments, Ministry of Niger-Delta, Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDCC) and Multinational Companies are advised to be very sincere to the development plan and also adopt a dynamic approach in executing development projects and programmes for the region.

Key words : Underdevelopment, Development, Dynamic approach, Mathematical model and Niger-Delta.



1.1 Background to the Study

The Niger Delta region has been begging for development since independence in 1960.The region was adjudged the producer of oil and gas since 1956 in commercial quantity which contributes over 90% of national income of the country. However, the region has been bedeviled by underdevelopment due to neglect by successive governments of the country till date. As a result of the deliberate abandonment and insensitivity of the government to the peculiar characteristics of the Niger- Delta region, unwarranted upheavals have brewed in the region.Currently, it has gone out of proportion and poses an uphill task to the Federal and State governments.

Though, several ad hoc commissions and summits had been set up to look into the unique nature of the Niger-Delta question, no concrete development has been recorded in the area. There has been the Sir Henry Willinks Commission in 1957 in response to the concern of ethnic minorities over their perceived slim chance of survival in the Nigerian enterprise by colonial administration. There had been the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) via Supplement Federal Government Gazette No56 vol. 46 of Sept. 1959, Niger-Delta Basin Development Authority(NDBDA) Decree 1979, Special Fund Oil Producing Area by Revenue Act of 1981, Presidential Task Force for the Development of Oil Producing Areas of 1989, Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Committee (OMPADEC) of 1992, and subsisting Niger- Delta Development Commission,(NDDC), 2000, Gen Ogomudia Committee 2002, Coastal States, 2007, Technical Committee on Niger Delta of 2008, Creation of the Ministry of Niger-Delta in 2008, and Petroleum Industry Bill granting 10% right to Oil bearing/impacting Communities in October, 2009 that was not implemented (Emma Okah, Sunday Sun, May 23, 2010).

From the foregoing, the Federal Government has made twelve different attempts to marshal a way for developing the region by successive military and civilian regimes. The question is what is actually hindering these committees from making appreciable progress? Without much ado, we can confidently say that, there is lack of political will to stamp a concrete and comprehensive programme for the real development of the region. These frantic efforts of government were mere political charades in the words of former Vice-President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and open avenues to perfect their tricks. Gen. Useni argued that, solving the problem in the Niger-Delta goes beyond the establishment of a ministry. He advocated that, leadership must be sincere, fair and just in getting the right people to solve the problem (Vanguard Tuesday, October 28, 2008).

The Niger- Delta environment is depleting every day as a result of the oil and gas activities that are destroying the eco-system which is posing huge challenges to the Government and the well-being of the people. In similar vein, the President of Nigerian Conservative Foundation (NCF) noted that, within the context of these challenges, there are roles for the governments, individuals, Oil and Gas companies. He contended that, the government and multinationals should play leading roles and develop strategies for economic development with clear environmental agenda. A rapid and well planned strategy to reduce poverty, clean up the rivers and creeks, well laid out settlement with adequate infrastructure of energy, portable water supply, transportation are some of the ways to resolving the grave crises in the Niger-Delta (Financial Vanguard, Nov. 3, 2008).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem of under-development in the Niger-Delta is no longer a mean issue because it has transcended from national to international dimension. It is complex and hydra-headedsince it has resulted to youth restiveness and taking of arms against the government. Jobless youths are tired of failed promises to provide job opportunities and enabling environment for private businesses. More so, the activities of oil exploration and exploitation have depleted the ecosystem. Environmental degradation through theactions of oil spills aredestroyingfarm lands and rivers.In such a precarious situation in the Niger- Delta, Mere political pronouncements or jamborees cannot and will not solve this sickness from its roots. This is why a multi- dimensional approach must be applied (if and onlyif) the government must develop the Niger-Delta area. It is against this backdrop that, the researcher is working on the possibility of developing adynamic plan for solving the problem of under-development plaguing the Niger- Delta region.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The major objective of the study is to develop a model that will assist in solving the problem of under-development in the Niger-Delta. Consequently, the following specific objectives are to demonstrate that:

i. the use of an integrated development plan based on dynamic approach can solve the problem of underdevelopment.
ii. through a recursive equation underdevelopment issues can be solved by a network model.

1.4 Research Question.

The research question, can the problem of under-development be solved through an integrated development plan based on dynamic approach was examined

1.5 Research Hypothesis

There is no significant relationship between an integrated plan and development of the Niger-Delta region.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study covers the Niger-Delta region in Nigeria. However, data collection was restricted to three States, namely, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers and Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The study considered 1967 - 2015 as the duration for assessing the impact of underdevelopment in the region.

1.7 Significance of the Study.

First, the dynamic approach ( model ) would help to address the problem of underdevelopment by simplifying it into solvable stages.

Second, stakeholders, government in particular would have a scientific blue print known as development plan to work on.

Lastly, if the recommendations of the study are diligently carried out by government and Multinational corporations, peace and security would return to the region and the country.

1.8 Limitations to the Study

Operation research being a new field of study in higher institutions in Nigeria, has not enough materials to consults as regards the peculiar problem facing the Niger-Delta. Another limitation was the difficulty faced with the conversion of project cost and timeframe of completed projects into numerals to ease the mathematical analysis of the model. Also, developing an appropriate recursive equation for the problem was a herculean task. However, through the rigorous and indepth study of related literature with specialty in diverse empirical studies these itemized limitations were surmounted.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Dynamic approach : This Concept entails a scientific and mathematical approach of decomposing a complex problem into phases to ease the process of arriving at a solution for the original issue.

Underdevelopment : This is state of affairs characterised with incidences of poverty, ignorance, or diseases occasioned by misdistribution of national income , administrative incompetence and corruption in public offices.

Development : This is situation that connotes an entire transformation of an economy from a less desirable to a more desirable state. It reflects improvement in the general well being of the citizens of a country.

Mathematical approach : It the procedure that uses the tools of additions, substractions, divisions and multiplications and formulas consciously built in a model for solving complex problems



2.1 Conceptual Review

The study reviewed related literature on the following sub-headings; development, underdevelopment, strategic planning, mathematical and economic model and dynamic programming. Empirical studies and theoretical framework on which the research was built were equally diagnosed.

Meaning of Development.

Development is a dynamic process. It is a many sided process in human society. At the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well-being. Some of these are virtually moral categories and are difficult to evaluate depending as they do on the age, in which one lives, ones class origins, and one’s personal code of what is right and what is wrong? However, what is indisputable is that the achievement of any of those aspects of personal development is dependent on the state of the society (Rodney, 1972).

Sanusi Daggash (Vanguard 14th October, 2008) opined that, development is a highly normative concept, which cannot be given a single line definition. He stressed that, it is a situation that is characterized by growth, progress, modernization advancement, and social transformation.

He further enunciated that, development is a process of transformation that brings about positive outcomes. It is multi-dimensional process involving structural, institutional, social, political growths and economic transformation. Technically, it's increased economic efficiency of a nation expansion in productivity on sustainable basis that adapts to various exogenous and endogenous shocks. He supports the views popularized by Amartya (1999) which focus on freedom. These include freedom from famine and malnutrition, freedom from poverty, access to healthcare and freedom from premature mortality.

Development to the layman is about consistent and sustainable improvement in the quality of his life as well as modernization of his environment. In fact, nations are categorized based on their level of development and prosperity, using indices such as income per capita.

McKinsley’s Global Industries ranking of World Economics divided the world into three segments, namely , the foot hill countries’ (with per capita income less than $7, 500), the ‘slope countries’ with per capita income between $7, 500 and $27, 000 and the ‘mountain country’ with per capita income above $27, 000. This categorization implies that development has as inverse relationship with poverty and quality of life. In fact, they are diametrically opposed to each other, as strange bed fellows (Vanguard Oct. 14, 2008). Nigeria per capita income is currently hovering around $1200 using Mckinsley’s Global Ranking. This means, poverty is draining the population to death.

A number of economists have indeed emphasized the definition of development in terms of an increased in per capita income. Meier (1976), defines economic development as the process whereby the real per capita income of a country increases over a long period of time subject to the stipulations that the number below an absolute poverty line does not increase and the distribution of income does not become more unequal. Baran (cited in Jhingan, 2008) offers the view that economic development refers to as increase over-time in per capital output of material goods.

Economic development is nowadays seen as an end in the whole efforts to liberate the poverty—ridden people of the less developed countries (LDCs) not only from the shackles of ignorance, diseases, and squalor, but from the even more tasking problem of environmental degradation, political instability, threat to individual liberty, and unhealthy socio-cultural institution to changes in the faces of modem demands of economic development (Leonard 2000). This is exactly the case of the Niger Delta people. That is why the uproar is high.

It is therefore necessary that an acceptable definition of development must emphasize its multidimensional process involving changes in structures, attitudes and institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality and eradication of absolute poverty. This process enhances the worth of values of economic development to the countries that have achieved and can sustain it (Leonard, 2000).

Meaning of Underdevelopment

Under-development may not exactlymean the opposite of development. It is difficult to give a price criterion of underdevelopment. Underdevelopment can be defined in many ways, by the incidence of poverty, ignorance, or disease, by misdistribution of national income, by administrative incompetence and by social disorganization (Jhinghan, 2008).

The concept of ‘underdevelopment’ refers to an all-embracing condition of society, its social institutions, its political organization, its economic characteristic of the underdeveloped country. It is the economic ones that are the most readily listed and least likely to be disputed. They include, such phenomenon as the co-existence of market and predominantly self-subsistence economies (the former responding relatively quickly and the latter relatively slowly to financial inducements), the under-utilization of resources (capital, labour, land and material) and the absence of corrective institutions (Labour, exchange, bonds and shares market, discounting houses, future markets, marketing services, agricultural extension etc), the paucity of research, and the multiplicity of barriers to innovation, the adoption of techniques unsuited to the resource mix of the country, and the general failure to synchronize interdependent activities (Griffin 2004).


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Tackling Under-Development in the Niger-Delta through a Dynamic Approach
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Ovuokeroye Edih (Author), 2016, Tackling Under-Development in the Niger-Delta through a Dynamic Approach, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1165757


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