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The dynamic relationship between oil wealth and economic growth: the case of Nigeria.

Sa'eed, Zainab Musa


Zainab Musa Sa'eed


Alex Coram

Brian Scroggie

Linda Kirkham


The problem of weak economic development in Nigeria despite a substantial inflow of revenues from oil exports especially from the early 1970s and other subsequent periods is an important issue to examine. This outcome presents a number of problems for any government regime in Nigeria seeking to provide solutions to enable the country to escape the adverse effects of natural resource wealth. At present, the Nigerian government is still struggling to find solutions to tackle the deteriorating state of affairs, particularly in terms of unemployment, rising food prices and internal security. The main aim of this study is to help understand the dynamic relationship between natural resource wealth and economic development. This research study analyses the trajectory of economic and political development in Nigeria over the period 1960 to 2010. This study employs historical political economy and empirical approaches in examining the relationship between oil wealth and economic development. This method distinguishes the study from others carried out in the literature, particularly from those on Nigeria where the common approach in this strand has been to examine the relationship using economic theories alone. The rationale for the approach employed in this study is that Nigeria has its own unique development in terms of politics, which has been influenced by the social structure and colonial history of the country and thus the impact of oil on economic growth should be investigated separately using a historical and empirical approach so as to capture time trend interactions between societal issues, politics and economic outcomes. First, this study examined the relationship between oil and economic performance using social, political and economic factors such as ethnic and regional differences, political instability, changes in ownership structure of the oil sector and government expenditure, which is largely financed by oil revenues. Next, the research empirically examined the impact of these factors on economic sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. Afterwards, it analyses the impact of political and economic events in the preceding periods on the current or subsequent period that coincided with a return to democratic rule on major economic sectors. In general, the results show that the period, which marked a transition to a stable political regime, has no impact on economic performance from 1999 - 2010. Implicitly, this means that democracy in isolation is not a process that accompanies economic development and that a strong policy which could foster national unity and overcome regional and ethnic differences is needed. In order to promote sound economic development this policy should be dynamic, specific and directed to the promotion of a national agenda that will target and benefit important sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing through creating forward and backward linkages in a multiplier effect.


MUSA SA'EED, Z. 2017. The dynamic relationship between oil wealth and economic growth: the case of Nigeria. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 18, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 18, 2017
Keywords Agriculture; Crude oil; Economic growth; Government expenditure; Manufacturing; Multiplier effect; Nigeria; Natural resource curse; Political economy; Political regime
Public URL
Award Date Feb 28, 2017


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