Why are host communities where oil companies are operating in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria undeveloped despite huge contribution of petroleum resources to the economy? This question has led to debates among scholars on the role and operation of multinational oil companies in Nigeria. To address this question, detailed literature search was conducted including reviewing archival documents, company information and media reports in order to gain a richer understanding why there is so much poverty, absence of social mobility and negation of socio-economic and infrastructural development in the Niger Delta region. This study also examines how Nigeria’s abundant wealth is distributed by some public agencies in oil and gas sector in contemporary Nigeria. The study found that transformative leadership would involve not only the government, but also collaboration and support from crude oil companies, NGOs as well as the local communities. Essentially, the government, politicians, local leaders and crude oil companies must provide a fertile business footprint which can allow less privileged people and communities within and outside the Niger Delta region to develop their capacity and creativity. This study recommends that the concept of community co-operatives which would make a difference to the wider population in the region is a model that must be embraced.
Key words: Nigeria, Niger Delta, corporate governance, CSR, stakeholders, public agencies, wealth distribution, economic development, poverty alleviation.
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