PUBLISHED: My Book Chapter on “The ‘Resource Curse’ and Constraints to Reforming Nigeria’s Oil Sector”


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.

The book is available at Oxford Handbooks Online to those with an institutional subscription and for purchase from Oxford University Press and Amazon.

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.


5 thoughts on “PUBLISHED: My Book Chapter on “The ‘Resource Curse’ and Constraints to Reforming Nigeria’s Oil Sector”

  1. I am sure it is an incisive examination of the challenges we are still unable to overcome. Recently the Governor of Edo State “walked into the offices” of the DISCO in Benin City and ordered his underlings to physically arrest and move out of the premises the CEO of the DISCO (who also happens to be a lady – patriarchy at play I assume) for the reason, according to the Governor, people of Edo State have not been supplied electricity. Thereafter the Governor appealed to the Federal Government to revoke the privatisation of electricity distribution in Edo State. The paradox of our times.

    Ms. Usman is there any likelihood of getting the book on bookshelves of book sellers in Nigeria? I have had occasion to order books on Amazon only to be informed that Nigeria is not a destination for delivery of the books I ordered for on Amazon.

    1. I don’t think it had anything to do with patriarchy…
      Most politicians behave arrogantly and their behaviour often have nothing to do with whether you are a man or a woman. The gender question would come in if we can honestly argue that he wouldn’t do that to a man.

      A big shame…

      Help me ask Zainab very well about this delivery thing o. Very needed 🙂

  2. Congratulations on this, Zainab. Well done. I will try to get to reading it.
    Thank you for your continuing contribution to knowledge on our ‘scape. I wish you a beautiful new year and so much more. Cheers.

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