Dr Michael Watts Presentation

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Fragile? Conflicted? Explosive?: Recent History and Nigeria’s Post-Election Future

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Michael Watts
Peace Corps Conference
Berkeley June 4th 2015

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A New Dispensation-The end of the PDP?
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Twin Insurgencies since the Return to Civilian Rule in 1999 Image:Insurgency Map.png

Nigeria: Too Big to Fail

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The Biafran War 1967-1970
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A Regionalised Multi-Ethnic Federation


The Shifting Religious Landscape




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Nigeria as a Petro-State in The Gulf of Guinea Image:PetroState.png

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The Oilfields of the Niger Delta

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Nigeria is referred to as a “gas province with some oil”
Non-associated gas

Tremendous gas production, but not sufficient demand to absorb it all
West Africa Gas Pipeline, GTL
Proposed projects: power gen, fertilizer, direct gas sales

Growth in proved gas reserves in last five years due to LNG development
6 major LNG projects proposed and/or under development  would provide an additional 75 mmtpa by 2012
Not all will proceed, or be completed by projected dates  EPC constraints, gas policy, Niger Delta violence

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An Overview of the Oil and Gas Sector
9th largest oil producer; 9th largest reserves; 7th largest gas reserves
oil output 2.6 bbl/d (2.4 crude)
Estimated oil reserves 35.9 billion: gas 185Tcf (perhaps 660)
14 export terminals (5 onshore, 9 FPSOs)
4 refineries (two managed by Chevron)
5284 wells, 7000 kms pipelines, 275 flow stations
Ten gas plants; 43% gas flared (2008 elimination date)
Major LNG (Bonny, Brass, Escravos, Olokola); 5 train Bonny
LNG 17 million tons /a; first US exports 2006. Govt. est. 50% oil revenues LNG by 2010.
Estimated direct labor employment: less than 100,000

The NOC and IOC Operators

Shell (SPDC)
ENI (Agip)

Nigerian production can be considered a “core asset” in each IOCs’ global portfolio
Production is evenly spread between onshore, shallow and deep-water, as well as LNG production
However, onshore and shallow-water operations are vulnerable to a variety of risks, impacting project cash flows

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A Petro (Oil Dependent) State

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The Rise of an Oil State
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The Bottom Billion and Development Traps

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World Bank Report 2011: Conflict & Development

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Nigeria’s Political Trajectory

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Oil and Failed Secular National Development

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A Resource Curse?
According to the IMF, oil “did not seem to add to the standard of living” and “could have contributed to a decline in the standard of living“ (Martin and Subramanian 2003:4).

Oil revenues since 1960 amount to close to $1 trillion

An Emerging Market or a Demographic Nightmare?

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A Fragile and Conflicted State

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MEND and Boko Haram: 2005-2012
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Boko Haram: Abuja, UN Compound, August 26th 2011

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Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
(MEND: Abuja, Independence Day, October 1st, 2010

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Islam Insurgent: the Kidnapped girls from Chibok, Northeastern Nigeria

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An Insurgency in the Niger Delta Creeks

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The Geographies of Insurgency

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The Delta and Swamp Forests of the Niger Delta and its Paramount Chiefs

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The northern Savannas and the relics of the Sokoto Caliphate

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Crises of Youth and Crises of Authority

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People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad

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The Institutional and Discursive Shifts within Northern Nigeria’s Muslim Community (umma)


The attack on the UN Compound, Abuja 2011

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Boko Haram’s coordinated Attacks, Kano 2012
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Boko Haram and the landscape of Reform (Tajdid)
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Boko Haram (mid 1990s (?)-2012)
Yobe (Nigerian) Taliban
Followers of the Prophet
People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad
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Islamist splintering
Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Movement for Islamic Revival
Yan Izala A and B
Muslim Student’s Society
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Agrarian Recession and Industrial Decline in Northern Nigeria 1960-2005

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Insecurity Conferred by Security Forces


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Insurgency in the Niger Delta 1998-2009

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The Delta Oil Infrastructure across Nine States

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The Social Field of Violence
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MEND: 2006-2009 (?)
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January 11, 2008.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) confirms that its Freelance Freedom Fighters (FFF) working inside the oil industry detonated a remote explosive device that caused the fire on a tanker in Port Harcourt, Rivers state of Nigeria today, January 11, 2008. How can the government of Nigeria fight an enemy that is within and can not be seen? MEND salutes the patriotic agents and also use this opportunity to commend our friends inside the military and secret service for valuable information and resources. We call on all oppressed citizens of the Niger Delta to do your own bit in your own way to regain freedom and win the fight against injustice. Even if it means to poison the drinks and food sold to the soldiers that rape our women and brutalize and kill our youths, just do it. Again, we are appealing to residents inside the Niger Delta to avoid milling close to military vehicles and check points as we want to avoid the loss of civilian lives. The military seems to be deliberately using civilians as human shields.

Long live the Niger Delta!

Jomo Gbomo

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Nigeria's shadowy oil rebels

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A Panoply of Militias: MEND, NDPVF, NDV…….

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The Cast of Characters

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Tom Polo (MEND)
Assri Dokubo (NDPVF)
Ateke Tom (NDV)
Boyloaf (MEND)
Farah Dagogo (NDSF)
Henry Okah (MEND)
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Niger Delta Attacks: October 2008

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The Bonga Field Attack: June 2007

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Oil ‘Bunkering’ (Theft)

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MEND and Boko Haram Compared: The Politics of Precarious Classes

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