1.1 Background of the Study
Multinational Corporations and the issue of development in general have been a contentious one and at the centre of most scholarly arguments in the recent past. The discussions arose as a result of inability and or refusal of the multinational oil corporations in the Niger Delta to carryout socio-economic development in their host communities which would in turn translate into national economic development. The discovery of oil and gas and the activities of the multinational companies have brought the attention of scholars to their contributions towards economic development of host countries. Nigeria is one country that hosts several Multinational Corporations, particularly Oil Multinational Companies. Following the discovery of oil in commercial quantity, Nigeria has depended so much on it as a major export product for her earnings. Oil has contributed more than 80% to Nigeria revenue generation. According to Odularu (2008) oil and gas accounted for 98% of export earnings and close to 83% of federal government revenue. In the early 1970s there was oil glut in the international market that led to what Nigeria called “oil boom”. Between then and today, the oil giants and indeed Nigeria have generated more than six (6) trillion Dollars to say the least. The implication therefore, is that revenue generated from oil and gas by these oil multinationals, should be geared towards economic development of the host country, Nigeria. The major oil producing companies in Nigeria are SHELL, AGIP, TEXACO, CHEVRON and MOBIL among others. There is no doubt that these companies have made a lot of profit from their activities in the country but one would be poised to ask: to what extent has these oil giants contributed to the economic development of Nigeria? Mobile Producing Nigeria has been in operation in the country since the 1980s and the issue of its contribution to national economic development have been called to question. Some scholars have argued that they have made contributions to Nigeria’s economic development through the transfer of technology and other skills required in the oil industry (Hassan, 2013).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The role of multinational corporations in the economic development of Nigeria has been viewed by several scholars as being negative and at the detriment of the host communities. Arguably, multinational corporations in the oil and gas industry including Exxon Mobil have not fully engaged in socio-economic development of its host country, Nigeria. Nna and Ibaba (2012) assert that Shell’s activities have caused serious damages to the environment and ecosystem in the Niger Delta while the people are left in sufferings arising from these activities. The region is fraught with difficulties resulting from lack of good drinking water, hospitals facilities among others. Exxon Mobil Multinational Corporation has not been excluded from non-performance in terms of Corporate Social Responsibilities to host communities as there are pockets of agitations by indigenes of these communities where oil and gas activities are carried out. Most scholars looked at the implication of oil exploration activities on the environment and its spill over effects. This study however takes a look at the contribution of Exxon Mobil to the economic development of Nigeria.
Notwithstanding the huge revenue generated by these Multinational Corporations and particularly Exxon Mobil, these appears to be a disconnect between the people, the country and the oil giant. The present state of the economy in Nigeria calls for the question of Mobil producing unlimited contributions, its own quota to the National revenue. There is high level of underdevelopment, poverty and infrastructural decay, hence for the need of this research to find out if the company pays its share of the revenue to the Federal Government.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are;
To determine the role of Exxon Mobil in the economic development of Nigeria;
To ascertain the empowerment programme of Exxon Mobil aimed at economic development in Eket and Nigeria;
To ascertain the revenue allocation from Exxon Mobil towards the economic development of Nigeria in general.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the role of Exxon Mobil in the economic development of Nigeria?
- What are the empowerment programmes of Exxon Mobil aimed at economic development of Eket and Nigeria?
- To what extent has Exxon Mobil made revenue contributions towards the economic development of Nigeria in general?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
- The more Exxon Mobil contribute its share of revenue to Nigeria government, the more economic development Nigeria is likely to attain.
- The more Exxon Mobil engage the people in empowerment programmes, the more likelihood that economic development would be attained.
- The more Exxon Mobil contributes due revenue, the more improvement in the economic development in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the study
One of the major significance of this study is to showcase the role of Exxon Mobil in the economic development of Eket in particular and Nigeria at large. The study will be important for policy makers in multinational corporations as it will serve as a framework for the implementation of economic policies geared towards economic development. It will also showcase the financial contributions of Exxon Mobil towards the economic development of Eket and Nigeria in general. It will serve as research material to future researchers in areas of multinational financial contributions to Nigeria economy.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of this study is Multinational Corporations and Nigeria’s economic development with a direct focus on Exxon Mobil in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.