Dr Neil Ford

Dr Neil Alexander Ford has been a freelance consultant and journalist on African affairs for more than two decades. He covers a wide range of topics from international relations and organised crime to cross-border trade and renewable energy. Consultancy clients include international organisations, law firms and financial services companies, and he has acted as an expert witness in Africa-related legal cases. He has a PhD on East Africa’s international boundaries, ranging over the effect on regional economies; cross-border political disputes; and the impact of the boundaries on local communities, such as the Maasai.

Nigeria’s obsession with oil and the history of its leaders syphoning off oil revenues have had a huge impact on the country as a whole and the Niger Delta in particular. It has created a perception that the best way to make money is by tapping into oil money by whatever means possible, whether through oil theft, fuel subsidy scams, or illegal refining. Petrocrime has permeated the Delta in much the same way that oil spills have soaked into the region’s soils. When Nigeria became independent in 1960, hopes were high that the new nation could use its natural resources…

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