Oil And Gas Exploration in the Niger Delta: Assessment of Its Impact on Rural Development in Bayelsa State

Audu, Nathan Pelesai, Arikawei, A. Righteous


This study was conducted in Bayelsa State South-South oil and gas rich region of Nigeria and one the thirty-six States. The study assessed the impact of oil and gas exploration on the development of rural communities’. The paper made use of variables identified in the received literature as it relates to the empowerment and rural development in Bayelsa State. Data employed for this study were obtained from primary. The primary data were collected through a well-structured questionnaire that was administered to 2000 randomly selected respondents from the three senatorial district of Bayelsa State. The primary data obtained from the questionnaire was analyzed, thirteen variables was identified and group into two test two hypotheses using ordinary least square (OLS) econometric technique. The results from the regression were robust, as it reveals that skill acquisition (SAT), building of schools (SCH), provision of buses and boats (PBB), granting of loans (GOL), building of healthcare centres (BHC), building of markets (BMS), building of schools (BSS) and construction of roads (CRS). In the light of the forgoing, we recommend that all tiers of government in Nigeria should create conducive environment for oil and gas exploration to strive. Rural community’s empowerment programmes and development projects by oil gas exploratory firms do not operate in ambiance but in a macroeconomic environment (government empowerment and development agenda). It is therefore necessary that the environment should be one that is amenable to contemporary living standard. We therefore recommend that in order to improve rural empowerment and development in Niger Delta, efforts must be geared towards gathering rural empowerment and development data and variables at a more precise level that would be used as a data base for future use. Also, oil and gas exploration firms must execute programmes and projects that would be beneficial to the host community rather that those that impact minimally on the life of the people and their environment. This is so because these exploration activities have devastated their aquatic life and farm lands which the people depend upon on their livelihood. Therefore, committed effort must be made by both government as well as oil and gas exploration firms with the sole aim of revamping their only source of livelihood in Bayelsa State in particularly and Niger Delta in general.

Keywords: Oil, Gas, Exploration, Rural community, Niger Delta, Rural empowerment, Rural development, Bayelsa State

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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