This multi-award winning channel produces programmes made by volunteers trained by the charity WORLDwrite

Subscribe to our podcasts using your preferred service:

Help with our podcasts

Africa and oil


Africa and oil

The oil industry in Africa is indicted for causing massive environmental damage, for the role of oil money in propping up corrupt regimes and for disrupting the traditional livelihoods of indigenous people. Yet it is undeniable that oil production directly benefits the economies of many African countries. If growth is not to come from oil, are the critics of Big Oil saying that Nigerians and other countries should go back to the land and develop less? Speakers in this debate include: Dara Akala, Living Earth Foundation; Barnaby Briggs, Shell; Joseph Hurst, Croft Stakeholder Democracy Network and Dipo Salimonu Ateriba,  Africa Confidential.

Recommended links:

Related topics: Debates, Economy, Global

Subscribe to our newsletter


Leave a comment now

Say said:

Nigeria is rich in oil and its oil industry accounts for a large proportion of the country’s income. However, the country is failing and its citizens in poverty.

There can be many reasons as to why the country is failing and will be difficult to determine which factor contributes the most to its failure. It could be solely the Nigerian government at fault, taking bribes to benefit themselves at the expense of its citizens. It could be Shell not setting minimum standards and best practises as a result of cost cutting. It may be a combination of both and many other factors.

A short-term solution to the problem is to increase transparency, accountability and responsibility. Just like there are increasing pressures within the UK for MPs to publish their expenses and the revolution of wikileaks publishing confidential information. The same should be done for the Nigerian government, where those who are involved in corruption, taking bribes or cutting corners should be named, shamed and fined.

Although there may be many years worth of reserves in oil within the Nigerian borders. Because oil is not a renewable resource it is no way to sustain a long-term strategic plan to get its nation “back on its feet.”

Aisha said:

If companies and governments, like Shell and Nigeria, can work in tandem with each other to meet there INDIVIDUAL GOALS…then thats great. But in the case of this debate, it seems like the governments ability to manage the wealth being generated by the oil it sells, is not as efficiently and equality dispersed as how well Shell have managed to disperse the profits they makes back to there shareholders. It’s as though the Government of Nigeria are adopting corporate measures when retaining the wealth within the officials and the already wealthy, meaning that because of global pressures of “Corporate Responsibilities” Shell are having to take on roles the government thats have been neglected. I think this role reversal between Government and Corporate responsibility, whereby the state of Nigeria in relation to wealth distribution has shrunk, but its greed for wealth has swelled, hence the absence of Governmental responsibility concerning, the lack of investment in healthcare, the void of infrastructure; has now left that Governing role to Shell, to support hospitals, funding schools building infrastructure.

Its just an example of the power and control that Multi-nationals like Shell have over a country, whether they intend to or not, and also the backlash that is inevitable when the core roots of a country are not addressed before money and financial investment are considered.