Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
The Niger Delta militancy ravaged the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector between 2004-2009, bringing it to a standstill. In response, the Nigerian state adopted an amnesty policyâ??a globally recognized tool for conflict resolution and peacebuildingâ??to protect the sector and the economy from collapse. Little is known, however, about the unintended consequences of the amnesty implementation for the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector. Thus, the purpose of this study was to fill this gap in the research literature on the Niger Delta amnesty program. Polarity management was the conceptual framework applied; relative deprivation and polarities of democracy constituted the theoretical foundation for this qualitative case study. Face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with 29 purposefully selected participants from the senior ranks of the petroleum industry, sector trade unions, relevant government agencies, and a regional university. Data were inductively coded as part of content analysis, the data analysis strategy. Participants viewed the amnesty policy as being poorly conceived and implemented due to the many unintended negative consequences arising from the policy implementation. The key finding from the study indicates that both the sector and the Niger Delta region are worse off post the amnesty policy implementation. The study concludes that by adopting and implementing the study recommendations, stakeholders may be able to mitigate the identified unintended consequences, position the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector for sustainable growth, address the root causes of the militancy, and deliver a positive social change for the residents of Niger Delta.