Energy and Development: Lessons from Nigeria
By Anna Khakee
Policy Brief No. 1 - June 2008
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Nigeria, and in particular the Niger Delta, have all the components of failed development: deep poverty, corruption and neglect, disenfranchised ethnic minorities, self-serving multinational oil companies, environmental degradation, destruction of livelihoods, gang violence, civil strife, and despair. During the 2007 elections, EU election monitors did not dare venture into the Delta. European (and American) oil companies still do conduct business in the region, for now willing to pay rising security premiums for extraction of the sweet, light oil of the Niger Delta.
This policy brief examines how Nigeria's conflict over energy has affected development and how the European Union has attempted to tackle the development-energy linkage. It highlights the main elements of Nigeria's "oil curse" and how European Union policies have been split between support for a stable, democratic and economically advancing Nigeria on the one hand, and for secure energy supplies on the other hand.
The analysis of the causes of underdevelopment in Nigeria - including the nexus between governance, corruption, violence and the workings of the oil industry - has become more refined. But without major changes to its policies, the EU is unlikely to be making a positive impact to energy-development-governance linkages in Nigeria in 2020.
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