A Human Rights Perspective to a Responsible and Accountable Land Ownership and Use in Niger Delta
Uploaded by: Society For Research And Academic Excellence
The aim of the paper is primarily to articulate the human rights needs in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. It examines the issues from the perspective of corporate governance in respect of the land grabbing tactics of Multinational Oil companies (MNOCs) like Shell, Total, Agip, Chevron. These companies have a passion for oil exploration, exploitation and exportation and do operate with the tacit endorsement of the federal government, but sadly without leaving any traces of reasonable benefits in the hands of the local communities whose landed properties are expropriated in the process. Moreover, this article also shows that in a case where rights of inhabitants are violated without any hope of redress, the multinational companies (MNCs) have a moral obligation to see to it that such violations are stopped, and that the needs of the host communities are promptly addressed. Stakeholders, in order to fulfil their roles as stewards of the earth's resources as deposited in the Niger Delta have both a legal and moral obligation to exercise ownership of the land and use it in a way that is not only sustainable, but also in a responsible and accountable manner. It is the argument of this paper that where neither the federal government of Nigeria (henceforth referred to as FGN) nor the multinational oil companies (henceforth referred to as MNOCs), are willing to assume the obligations imposed on them legally and morally in addressing the problems created by their operations on land and sea in the area, then the people themselves have no alternative than to seek this redress by any other means possible and within the ambits of the law, the law in this case being the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (henceforth referred to as UN UDHR)!
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