OIL PIPELINE VANDALISM AS A THREAT TO HUMAN EXISTENCE AND BARRIER TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY OF NIGER DELTA
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Samuel Olasode Olaleye
pipeline vandalism, human existence, economic development, Niger Delta
The Niger Delta region is blessed with enormous deposit of crude oil which serves as the major source of income to the Nigerian government. However, the exploration and exploitation activities have caused environmental problems. There has been a tendency to heap the blame on the oil companies. The oil companies, in turn, have blamed pipeline vandalism. Either way, the resulting oil spillage has led to environmental degradation and loss of government revenue etc. This invariably affects human existence and leads to a fall in economic development. This study seeks to investigate how pipeline vandalism has impacted on human existence and economic development in the region. The use of econometric analysis such as the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and the Spearman’s rank correlation to estimate the relationship between pipeline vandalization and human existence on the one hand and pipeline vandalization and economic development on the other hand. The Spearman’s rank correlation established a significant inverse correlation between pipeline vandalization and human existence (r=-0.983; p= 0.000) and a significant inverse correlation between pipeline vandalization and economic development (r=-0.989; p= 0.000). The regression coefficient stood at 0.934 and 0.948 for human existence and economic development respectively, thus indicating that over 90% of the variation in human existence and economic development in the region were as a result of oil pipeline vandalism. This study recommends provision of employment opportunities, dialogue between the government, oil companies and members of host communities etc. to tackle the menace of pipeline vandalism in order to ensure human survival and development of the Niger Delta.