‘Oil Politics’ and Development in Nigeria



Discovery of oil in 1956 by Shell and subsequent exploration of same, gave Nigeria the needed leverage to develop but existential realities, say contrary despite the huge oil wealth. In the face of this, there is immense struggle for the control of oil resources by the ruling class that has accentuated internal political dissension due to 'over reliance' on the oil economy. In the midst of this, intense minority struggle for resource space, remain palpable, pitching groups against selves, as a cut-throat struggle for power at the center with often ethnic coloration, remain evident. Consequently, national and regional development question remains largely unanswered in the face of the intriguing oil politics that tilt political power to plan development and actualize same, along strict political interest, dwarfing efforts made by successive administration to achieve positive development outcomes.  This paper addresses the intricate 'oil politics' in Nigeria and how same shape development.

KEY WORDS: Oil rents, rent-seeking, corruption, Niger Delta, ethnicity, primordial interest, Flawed federalism

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3232 ISSN (Online)2225-0573

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