Nigeriaâ€™s government must open up talks with community leaders and double the amount of oil revenues the country provides to its 46 states in order to end militant attacks in its delta region, according to a report.
The International Crisis Group released a report on Thursday where it recommended ways to improve the troubled Delta region to the countryâ€™s government, energy companies and foreign countries that have oil interests in Nigeria. The militant attacks in the southeastern oil-rich delta have forced 25 percent of Nigeriaâ€™s oil output to be shut down this year.
Nigeria had estimated oil export revenues or US$45 billion (35.2 billion euros) in 2005, but the slow pace of systematic reforms and the lack of jobs, electricity, water, schools and clinics in large parts of the Delta have boosted support to insurgents, said the ICC report.
According to the group, the main causes for the militant insurgency in the countryâ€™s oil-rich delta are corruption, poverty and underdevelopment.
The group suggested that more revenue should be under state control as it would help defuse anti-government militancy. It would also provide valuable incentives to diversify Nigeria's economy and develop mineral resources, agriculture and industries that have been allowed to wither since the oil industry expanded in the 1970s.
Nigeria is the continent's largest oil producer, as it has the capacity to produce 2.6 million barrels of oil a day, and is also the fifth-largest supplier of crude oil to the United States.