Economic and Natural Resources

The Economic and Natural resources is working to reduce grievances in target areas around economic opportunities and the distribution of resources. Deep-seated grievances about economic inequalities and poor governance underlie many of Nigeria’s violent conflicts.

The problem

Excluded from making a living through the labour market, young men with low levels of education are particularly vulnerable to being recruited to groups and gangs that engage in criminal and violent activities. In rural areas conflicts between farmers and pastoralists in the Middle Belt have turned increasingly violent in recent years whilst in the Niger Delta, oil exploration and extraction have had multiple and devastating impacts on livelihoods. The resulting feelings of grievance do not always lead to violence. However, when scarcity and competition is compounded by a belief that Nigeria’s elites are not interested in the difficulties of ordinary people, and use the country’s oil wealth solely to shore up their own power and reward supporters, then frustrations can grow into violent conflicts.

How we believe change will occur

We can help reduce economic grievances by encouraging behaviour change amongst two population groups: those with grievances who may condone or even use violence, and those with the power to change the way that resources are distributed and conflicts are mediated. NSRP is therefore supporting interventions aimed at providing incentives for change amongst two population groups:

By supporting both demand and supply side institutions in five target states, and by giving them the opportunity to meet together to identify reform strategies together, we believe there is an opportunity to reduce the grievances that so often lead to violence.

To find out more about our economic and natural resource area, read about our work on youth employment, land and water use and preventing oil spill.