Although Nigeria is one of the largest oil reserves in the world, the majority of the Nigerian people have seen little benefit, with poverty and subsequent criminality making living conditions even worse. VICE correspondent Gianna Toboni headed to the heart of Nigeria’s oil production and witnessed the fight over the control of oil in the Niger Delta.
As explained, the government and global energy companies have been exploiting the resource for years, bringing poverty, pollution, and violence to the Niger Delta. In response, local militias fighting for oil control have deteriorated the situation, while Nigerian citizens are also involved in the illegal oil market simply for survival. Oil theft is rampant, and the booming black market has transnational oil and gas consultants concerned about the effects on global oil markets.
As the government continues its assault on illegal refineries and barges carrying stolen oil, local militias are retaliating. One of the most notorious militias is the Niger Delta Avengers, attacking pipelines and infrastructure, significantly affecting environment and economy.
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