AN EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF THE AMNESTY PROGRAMME ON CRUDE OIL EXPLORATION IN NIGER DELTA THE IMPLICATION TO CRISES MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC RELATIONS
The major purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the amnesty programme by Nigerian government to the Niger Delta militants on crude oil exploration in Niger Delta and also, look at the implication to crises management in public relations. Six research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. This study utilizes the ex post facto and historical research designs. Data on Crude oil production, export and prices by NNPC from 1961 to 2010 were collected for the study. The data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. One-tailed test was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The major finding of the study was that immediately after the amnesty program, the crude oil production appreciated by 181 million barrels in 2010 and this increase amounted to $14.659 billion or N 2.2 trillion. It was concluded that the amnesty programme had significant improvement on the level of crude oil exploration and on the level of revenue generated from crude oil from Niger Delta region. (1) It was recommended that the government and the oil multinationals should use every public relations and crises management strategy to rebuild, sustain and maintain peace in the Niger Delta region as this will guarantee steady growth in oil revenue. (2) The government and the oil multinationals should be transparent and accountable enough and ensure participatory development schemes that should foster development in the Niger Delta communities. (3) The Niger Delta crisis requires a negotiated political resolution as any attempt to use military solution would always be disastrous for residents and risky for the oil industry. Most facilities are in the maze of creeks and rivers that are particularly vulnerable to raids by well-armed militants with intimate knowledge of the terrain. (4) Greater effort should be made to stop illegal oil “bunkering” as it accelerates the conflict and provides militant and criminal groups with funds to purchase arms. (5) To encourage faster development of Niger Delta and in an effort to deflect growing public impatience, government should spend, more than ever, greater amounts on community projects. The Oil industries should also contribute to greater extent to the development of the region and should not leave the developmental efforts to the government alone.