, Volume 75, Issue 5, pp 459–507 | Cite as

Resource control, revenue allocation and petroleum politics in Nigeria: the Niger Delta question



The Niger Delta question represents one of the most intractable sources of political destabilization, constitutes a profound threat to national security, and economic development of the Nigerian state. Therefore, the study of the intricate dynamics among multinational oil corporations, the Nigerian State, and insurgent militias illuminates the root causes, societal schisms and the political economy of resource induced conflicts in Africa’s major oil producing nation state. This case study illustrates and explicates the “paradox of plenty”, the “resource curse”, the “shadow state syndrome”, and the debilitating effects of petroleum politics in Nigeria. Economic exploitation of the region’s vast crude oil reserves by multinationals and government authorities is juxtaposed with the specter of environmental devastation, excruciating poverty, and recurrent rule of impunity. National elite contestations concerning the legalities of resource control, internecine squabbles over revenue allocation formulas and derivation principles have been compounded by incessant disruptions of crude oil pipelines, necessitating drastic reduction in the country’s petroleum output and revenues derived from the global economy. Due to the multi-layered dimensions of the effects of crude oil, guns, profits, and geo-territorial instability, the protracted problems of the Niger Delta thus, provides us with pertinent analytical and contextual frameworks for the study of the dynamics, volatility and transparency issues in global extractive industries. In the muddled rivers and creeks of the Niger Delta, characterized by regional destabilization, there has emerged a clandestine economy of protection syndicates, marked exponential increase in kidnappings and targeting of expatriate workers, as well as state sponsored military reprisals against self-styled insurgents, warlords, and militia movements.


MEND Ethnic militias Land Use Act Surveillance contract Host community Revenue derivation formula Oil bunkering Onshore/offshore dichotomy Force majeure Joint task force Resource control Fiscal federalism Environmental degradation Oil Pipeline Act 



Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative


Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People


Niger Delta Development Commission


Niger Delta Volunteer Force


State Security Service


Corporate Social Responsibility


Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta


Shell Petroleum Development Company


Niger Delta Vigilante


Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force


Coalition of Military Action in the Niger Delta


Egbesu Boys of Africa


Kaiama Declaration


Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation


Mobile Police


Small arms and light weapons


Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission


Sovereign National Conference


Joint Task Force


International oil corporations


Ijaw Youth Council


Ministry of Niger Delta


Niger Delta People’s Salvation Front


Niger Delta Strike Force


People’s Democratic Party


Disarmament, Demobilization, and Rehabilitation


Ogoni Bill of Rights (1990)


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


Petroleum Industry Bill

Supplementary material

10708_2009_9320_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1111 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politics DepartmentLake Forest CollegeLake ForestUSA

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