Niger Delta Militancy: Onset, Resurgence and Implications for Nigeria's Economic Development


Garba, Dimas


This paper examined the onset and resurgence of Nigeria's Niger Delta Militancy, and its implications on Nigeria's economic development. It drew from two prominent theories of conflict onset i.e. Frustration-Aggression Theory and Greed vs Grievance Theory, which respectively argue that armed rebellion is triggered by frustrations and greed. Beyond conflict onset, the paper argued that frustration and greed can equally interact to provide strong motivations for conflict resurgence. How? Where natural resources and the opportunity to loot exist, rebels can use popular frustration to justify their resurgence. The paper used secondary sources of data and content analysis methods. It showed that while the onset of Niger Delta Militancy was informed by popular grievances, its resurgence in 2005 and 2016 were driven by the interaction of frustration and greed, especially when the militants discovered extorting of oil resources and political patronage as sources of income to sustain their struggle and enrich themselves. Key negative implications of the militancy for Nigeria's economic development include discouragement of foreign direct investment, reduction of oil production and revenue generation for the Federal Government of Nigeria, which makes it incapable of promoting adequate economic development. The paper concluded that a more severe militancy resurgence will occur, if the Niger Delta region's core grievances remain unsettled, especially as the ongoing amnesty terminates in December 2017. Its recommendations include: the government should settle the region's core grievances politically, diversify the economy, penalise patronage of militants by political elites and use advanced technologies to prevent oil resource extortion.


How to Cite
Dimas, G. (2017). Niger Delta Militancy: Onset, Resurgence and Implications for Nigeria’s Economic Development. The International Journal of Humanities & Social Studies, 5(8). Retrieved from