Petroleum and Structural Change in a Developing Country: The Case of Nigeria

Petroleum and Structural Change in a Developing Country: The Case of Nigeria

Petroleum and Structural Change in a Developing Country: The Case of Nigeria

Petroleum and Structural Change in a Developing Country: The Case of Nigeria

Synopsis

This work explores problems in national development in the Third World using Nigeria during the petroleum boom as a case study. The book explores how historical, political, ideological, economic, social, and cultural factors affected Nigeria's development and policies. Special attention is devoted to the development paradigms that influenced Nigerian development thinking, the national planning apparatus, nationalist ideology, and the role of world market and multinational corporations. Petroleum and Structural Change in a Developing Country concludes that Nigeria has experienced growth without change and that unless structural change is implemented, real development will remain elusive.

Excerpt

In trying to determine the basic problem that has caused Nigeria's growth without change, my own thoughts about Nigeria's major problem have undergone a transformation. I had previously believed that the basic problem was a lack of efficient and effective leadership, that Nigeria could have broken the underdevelopment syndrome if it had had competent leaders running the government. There were several reasons for that belief. Born and raised in Nigeria, I witnessed the transformation of its economy from an export-agriculture one to a petroleum-based one. I was in Nigeria when it gained political independence from Britain in 1960, during the civil war, and during the oil boom. Throughout those periods, the direction of the country seldomly seemed sure; the leadership was often challenged.

During my research, I came to realize that even with the right people in the right positions, Nigeria's condition would have been the same. This is because, as I discovered, the lack of autonomous development in Nigeria can be traced to a structural condition of underdevelopment.

The situation in Nigeria is a complex one. Hence, this study is an attempt to provide a comprehensive analysis of the political economy of Nigeria from 1860 to 1985. This allows the book to cover all aspects of national development efforts in Nigeria before and after independence. Nigeria's failure to achieve autonomous development despite the oil wealth of the 1970s is only a symptom of a specific problem. This book offers a solution to that puzzle.

This study is intended to provide a basis for further research into the problem of autonomous development and its attainment in Nigeria, and also in other developing countries that are facing problems similar to those confronting Nigeria.

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