Insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world, presented by Max Pearson. Today, a special essay by the BBC's Nigeria correspondent, Will Ross.

Swamp full of dollars?

The Niger Delta, in Nigeria's southeast, has witnessed conflict over resources for many decades. Nigeria is the biggest oil producer in Africa, and nearly all of that natural wealth is extracted from the Delta. The area is rich in natural resources - but has been blighted by a reckless disregard for the environment and by what local people see as a disregard for their rights.

One of the many ways in which some have chosen to fight back against the major oil companies - and, indeed, against the government - is by simply helping themselves to the oil. But it’s a very dangerous, as well as illegal, business. In recent years scores of people have died after explosions around pipelines and tankers as locals gathered to scoop up stolen fuel. And the practice of 'bunkering' - the illegal private refining and transport of oil - has had a marked ecological impact on the land itself.

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10 minutes

Last on

Fri 27 Jul 2012 03:50 GMT

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