Nigeria: Rapid Community Engagement
Minerva staff devised rapid-impact interventions to help the national subsidiary of a major oil & gas corporation manage on-site tension linked to local inter-community violence.
Poor corporate understanding of inter-community social, political and conflict dynamics, exacerbated by suspected local management corruption, had allowed many jobs at a recently-constructed oil storage facility in the Niger Delta to be given to men from the nearest community. The consequent uneven distribution of new wealth shifted local power dynamics and caused resentment among communities who missed out, driving up inter-community tension, triggering violence and leading to demands for equal employment opportunities. In a misguided attempt to restore balance, the subsidiary’s management had belatedly employed scores of men from the most aggrieved community in menial roles on site, so unwittingly importing tensions into the company’s facility.
Minerva staff deployed to Nigeria to lead a multi-national team to rapidly analyse the drivers and triggers of local conflict, probe the roots of management malpractice and devise rapid-impact interventions to reduce tension. Their report enabled corporate senior management clearly to understand the underlying and proximate causes of conflict, including the nature of company-conflict dynamics, and recommended a range of options to help senior management regain effective influence over the situation within and around their facility.