Appraisal of the Impacts of the Interventionist Projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on the Sustainable Livelihoods of Oil-bearing Communities of Abia State, Nigeria

David D. Eni, Ifeanyichukwu K. Ibekwe, Eja E. Iwara


The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was set up in 2000 by the Federal Government of Nigeria to execute interventionist projects intended to, among others, ensure the rapid socio-economic development of the oil-rich Niger Delta region. The projects were also intended to tackle the sustainable livelihood challenges, occasioned by oil and gas exploration and production activities, of households in the area. This study therefore, evaluates the impacts of these projects on the livelihoods of households in the oil-bearing communities of Abia State. A hypothesis to guide the study was formulated, thus: government interventionist projects have not contributed significantly to sustainable livelihoods of households in the oil-bearing communities. A combination of the survey and participatory research appraisal methods was used to collect the primary data analyzed. A total of 392 copies of the questionnaire were administered in Umuorie, Owaza, Umuokwor/Obiga and Uzuaku/Imo River communities in the Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. The multiple regression technique was used in testing the hypothesis. The results show that government interventionist projects have contributed significantly to sustainable livelihoods in these communities by encouraging the diversification of livelihood options and through the construction of roads, educational and healthcare facilities, skill acquisition training, among others. However, these projects have failed to resolve the livelihood challenges of the people by ensuring that farming and fishing (the traditional livelihood options of the people of the area) remain sustainable. The study recommends an immediate clean-up and remediation of oil-impacted soil and the urgent cessation of gas flaring as the main vehicles for achieving the sustainability of livelihoods in the region.

Keywords: Niger Delta, interventionist projects, sustainable livelihoods

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