The Underdevelopment of Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region: Who is to Blame?

  •  Dele Babalola    


This paper principally expounds the corruption-underdevelopment nexus within the context of the Nigerian rentier state. Specifically, it aims to examine the impact of corruption on the Niger Delta region of the country. Nigeria’s bulk of centrally collected revenue comes from oil, which is found largely in the Niger Delta, making the region the most central to the country’s economic survival, yet underdevelopment remains the main feature of the region. Elite from the region have persistently blamed this paradox on the lopsided distribution of Nigeria’s oil wealth, but the central argument in this paper is that the underdevelopment of the region is firmly rooted in the systemic corruption that has almost become a subculture among regional public office holders. Corruption is one significant aspect of the region’s political economy that cannot be ignored in any meaningful analysis of the region’s underdevelopment.


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