I’m pleased to announce that my chapter on “The ‘Resource Curse’ and the Constraints on Reforming Nigeria’s Oil Sector” is now published. It is one of three chapters on Nigeria’s oil economy in the Oxford Handbook on Nigerian Politics.
The analysis goes beyond the ‘resource-curse’ and uses political settlements theory to argue that the dysfunctions in Nigeria’s oil sector are linked to the country’s political settlement and constrained policy choices.
Many thanks to Professors Carl LeVan and Patrick Ukata for bringing together a diverse group of brilliant Nigeria scholars. These include Peter Lewis, Michael Watts, Olly Owen, Nonso Obikili, Kingsley Moghalu, Elizabeth Donnelly, Max Siollun, Toyin Falola, Kyari Mohammed, Idayat Hassan and many others.
Here is an abstract:
This chapter analyzes the dysfunctions of Nigeria’s oil sector, often framed as the “resource curse.” The resource curse thesis has for long been employed to explain the developmental challenges of veteran oil and mineral exporters such as Nigeria. This chapter examines the weaknesses of the resource curse thesis especially its commodity determinism, and argues for a political economy approach for a more encompassing understanding of the political constraints to reforming Nigeria’s oil sector. Using a political settlements framework, the chapter argues that the horizontal elite, vertical societal, and external constraints on successive ruling elites generate suboptimal policy choices for the oil industry. These political constraints generate competitive, distributional, and fiscal pressures from key stakeholders on Nigeria’s ruling elite towards these suboptimal policy choices. The analysis here covers the twenty-first century, from 1999, when Nigeria transitioned to electoral democracy.