Instead of prosperity for its people, oil has indeed brought misery and extreme hardship for Nigerians living in the oil production states. This is sad and reflect the corruption of the Nigerian government as well as the greed of the multi-national oil companies that have not reinvested in the communities from which they extract the oil.
The environmental toll and public health hazard caused by these illegal refineries and gas flaring by big oil companies is unimaginable. I wish the Nigerian government can be wise enough to realize that its biggest asset is her citizens, unfortunately it’s wishful thinking on my part.
@ Jennifer Domingo, I would appreciate it if you can define what you mean by stricter measures because the last time I checked, it was shoot dead at sight for all those boys that ‘cook oil’.
@ Lukas Reiner, I agree somewhat about the multinationals, but it is for them to constructively invest in the communities, with sustainable projects that will create human capital and eventually develop such communities.
Now to the question of oil bunkering: In my travels around the creeks, I have come to realise that the oil bunkerers have a large market that they service, they even service places in the uplands. They are also members of communities, bringing income and better livelihood to their families and communities… so this makes it a delicate situation as their communities will defend and hide them whenever the government taskforce comes around.
As such, I think the government should get the ‘bunkerers’ to register with them, then the bunkerers should pay tax or percentages of what they make to the government or the government should levy them a certain amount. This way, the bunkerers make some money, continue to meet the needs that they meet, and the government makes some money too, so nobody go lose for the mata!
@Brymore, it seems you did not consider the environmental implications of what bunkers are doing. Regulating it simply means the government will open it citizens to untold hardship that will arise form environmental pollution.
For this question, I think there is no one answer fits all. We should start addressing the root causes which has to do with creating job opportunities for the youths, ensuring equal development of all parts of the country and then ensure that proper security measures are put in place for our pipelines. First things first!