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Some staggering statistics

Life Cycle

  • 1 in 5 Nigerian children dies before the age of 5.
  • Many of them die from preventable diseases.
  • 38% of kids under 5 are chronically malnourished.
  • 70% of Nigerians live on less than $1 a day.
  • Life expectancy in Nigeria is 44 years.
  • Medical attention for most villagers is hours away by boat.
  • More than 15 million Nigerian children work.
  • 36% of Nigerian kids enrolled in grade 1 reach grade 5.
  • Nearly all schools in the Niger Delta are in extreme disrepair.
  • Niger Delta unemployment is 40% for ages 15-24 and 70-90% for adults.


  • More than 6,000 oil spills have been recorded since 1976.
  • Less than 25% of spills are remediated.
  • Many Niger Delta residents suffer from oil poisoning.
  • More gas is flared in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world.
  • Over 250 toxins have been identified in gas flare emissions.
  • Breathing particulate from flaring is linked to disease and premature death.
  • Potable water in the Niger Delta creeks region is virtually nonexistent due to oil contamination.
  • Oil pollution has killed off fish, fouled the soil and caused wildlife to vanish.
  • Handmade fishing nets can become useless in 6 months from acid rain caused by flaring.
  • Acid rain acidifies bodies of water, damages vegetation and decays building materials.


  • 130 million people live in Nigeria, 20-30 million in the Niger Delta.
  • 9 out of 36 states are in the Delta but the region is politically marginalized.
  • Oil revenue from the Delta is 80% of the federal budget.
  • The government and oil companies split the oil money 60-40.
  • The oil companies operate in joint ventures with the Nigerian government.
  • The 1969 Petroleum Act transferred all energy earnings to the federal government.
  • The 1978 Land Use Act assigned all oil-bearing land ownership to state governments.
  • Less than 20% of the Delta region is accessible by good roads.
  • Less than 20% of Delta communities are connected to the national electrical grid.

Money Trail

  • Nigeria’s corruption score is 2.2 out of 10 one of the worst rankings in the world.
  • Oil revenues since the 1970s are estimated at US$300 billion.
  • 80% of oil and gas revenues accrue to just 1% of the population.
  • By law, 13% of the oil money should go to producing localities; it doesn’t get there.
  • Niger Delta state governors are said to divert most of these funds for personal use.
  • Local government chairs are paid by the federal government, with no local accountability.
  • The Niger Delta Development Commission claims to receive a fraction of its allotted funding from the federal government.
  • Audits show a huge gap between what oil companies say they paid and what the government says it received.


  • There are said to be 20 fortified militia camps in the Niger Delta.
  • An estimated 12-15 armed militant groups operate in the Delta.
  • The number of illicit weapons is thought to be about 70,000.
  • About 15,000 Nigerian Joint Task Force troops are deployed in the Niger Delta creeks region.
  • The Nigerian military has razed communities and killed thousands of civilians with impunity.
  • Between January 2006 and May 2007, more than 200 hostages were taken by militants.
  • Surges in global oil prices have been linked to announcements by the militancy.
  • In January 2006, increased tension pushed oil prices to $68/barrel.
  • In February 2006, oil prices rose sharply in response to a series of kidnappings by MEND.
  • In April 2006, oil prices spiked toward $70/barrel after MEND issued a threat of renewed attacks.
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