This paper x-rays the conflict management strategies adopted by several oil-rich countries. It juxtaposes the strategies employed by oil companies in Nigeria with those of the analysed countries namely Peru, Ghana, Russia and Canada. The key stakeholders (oil companies, government, host communities/indigenous peoples and civil society organisations) in the oil sectors of the analysed countries were assessed and their behaviours described.
The extractive sector can be said to be naturally prone to conflict. Every resource-rich country has had to deal with one or more conflict issues; albeit on varied scales. While countries like Canada and Russia can be said to have successfully managed conflict and related issues in their oil sector, countries like Nigeria, Peru and Ghana are still struggling to optimally manage people, processes and resources.
In the analysis, it was observed that the use of a 'coercive' resolution strategy as has been practised by many have done more harm than good. The most effective resolution strategies remain 'prevention', 'mediation' and 'negotiation', which stakeholders of many oil-rich countries have successfully deployed in managing conflict. Another conflict management strategy, which is more of an outcome of the 'avoidance' and 'negotiation' strategies, that has worked is the use of social investments. It is imperative that all the involved stakeholders are willing to work in agreement and that all the stakeholders have a say in the resulting agreement. The government and companies should be proactive on conflict issues by creating the needed framework for managing conflict.
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