A further problem in Nigeria exacerbating the already
conflict ridden country is the theft of oil, known as 'bunkering.' 10% of the
oil exported from Nigeria every year, which equates to several billion dollars
is due to theft. (Walker, A (2008) [Accessed 16 June 2010] It is thought that
the government is wary to stop such operations in the fear that it will lead to
further fighting and conflict. Local officials are said to be making so much
money from the illegal theft of oil that they will revolt if it is stopped.
Many Nigerians are now convinced that economic and
political development will only be achieved when the extraction of oil is no
more. This is unlikely to be in the imminent future as the nation is thought to
have 30 billion barrels in reserve. (Bremmer, I (2009) [Accessed 16 June 2010])
Oil in Nigeria not only accounts for approximately 95% of the countries export
earnings but 80% of its total revenue. (O'Neill, T (2007) [Accessed 16 June]) The
Government's budget is filled with what is known as petro
dollars, but despite
this, Nigerians are among the poorest and most violent on the continent.
According to the World Bank, most
of Nigeria's oil wealth is siphoned off by 1%
of the population (this 1% are mostly those in positions of power), leaving
more than half of the country to live on less than a dollar a day.