Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
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Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.1, No.4, Sep. 2015, Pub. Date: Aug. 3, 2015
Rentierism and the Natural Resource Curse: A Contextual Analysis of Nigeria
Pages: 422-433 Views: 1439 Downloads: 1029
[01] Elias Chukwuemeka Ngwu, Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
[02] Anthony Chinedu Ugwu, Department of Political Science, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
Over the years, the view that a negative correlation exists between natural resource endowment and development outcomes in resource-abundant developing countries has become something of an article of faith in development literature with the causal link said to run from resource abundance to negative development outcomes. Also, from the myriad of contending theoretical assumptions, rentierism has since emerged as the dominant theoretical postulate for the explication of the contradiction between resource endowment and development. Consequently, the focus of discussion has since shifted to the domain of prescribing appropriate policy tools to mitigate the consequences of this paradox. This paper takes as its point of departure the minority view that the context of natural resource discovery matters and actually shapes, to a high degree, the development trajectories of such states. It interrogates the explanatory utility of rentierism as the central organising concept for the explication of the phenomenon using Nigeria as its focus of analysis. The study employed qualitative descriptive analysis and identifies the colonial context of oil discovery in Nigeria as the paramount contextual variable that accounts for the contradiction between resource endowment and development in the country. It further argues that the failure of the Nigerian state to adopt measures that would change oil abundance from a liability to an asset is a consequence of the capture of Nigeria’s oil industry by powerful external forces.
Resource Abundance, Resource Curse, Development, Rentierism, Capture Effect
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