CRUDE OIL EXPLORATION AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: A RESOURCE CURSE ANALYSIS
Being rich with crude oil and other numerous natural resource, Nigeria is potentially among the
richest countries in the world. Yet, it suffers chronic underdevelopment. Could the Resource
Curse theory apply to it? The study examines the resource curse hypothesis of the Nigerian oil
rich State. Globally, the country is perceived as structurally disconnected from the abundant
natural and human capital resources. The discovery of crude oil in Nigeria provided for its
socioeconomic viability and has contributed to recent upsurges of institutional uncertainty and
insecurity. The ongoing debate about the deplorable state of human and natural resource
development in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, signifies concomitant threat to the natural
environment by oil and gas exploration. This situation has resulted to some forms of excruciating
poverty, restiveness, criminality, human rights abuse, and attendant underdevelopment crisis
that have been more conspicuous in recent time. It has been argued that the oil producing areas
of this region suffer from grave discord, negligence, development politics taint with endemic
violence and wanton insecurity. These have continuously threatened the foundation of
sustainable livelihood survival of the people. It is argued that the eco-unfriendly activities of the
multinatioal corporations in the region has resulted in environmental degradation, and
environmental degradation in turn engenders multifarious forms of human and environmentalresource curse like cultism, kidnapping, loss of biodiversity and economic recession as a result
of overdependence on oil revenue for national development thus constituting grave plague to
sustainable socioeconomic and political ascendancy. The study explores the analytical content of
the present state of resource curse to explain interconnectedness between oil exploration and
underdevelopment in Nigeria. It noted some constraints for achieving sustainable oil exploration
and development of Nigeria.
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