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Managing Nigeria's Resources: The Route to Development

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One long term effect of the resource curse is the reduction in the quality of institutions and in the government itself. Boschini, Pettersson, and Roine contend that for the resource curse theory to be true in the first place there must be a dearth of strong institutions capable of countering any negative effect associated with the abundance of natural resources. Consequently, resource abundant countries are not cursed as long as there are strong institutions capable of directing actions and managing resources properly. Resource abundance becomes a curse only in the absence of institution quality.

Another unfortunate effect of the resource curse is the widening of the income gap. In the absence of strong institutions, government ceases to bother itself about the unfair and unequal distribution of income. It is this very attribute of the resource curse that encourages rent seeking and criminality, and ultimately breeds conflict. Indeed the resource curse appears to be a vicious cycle.

Nigeria and Non Oil Growth – Is There Any Hope?

Nigeria’s abundant natural resources can be a viable path to development. But then development does not mean the absence of poverty, rather it means that there are better living standards for everyone, that quality of life is enhanced, that there’s more to life and its expectancy improved. Indeed development means many things and connotes different expectations. 

The key for Nigeria is diversification. The need to shift focus becomes even more apparent following Nigeria’s slide into recession in 2015 simply because of shocks and dwindling oil revenue. Apart from oil, a significant portion of Nigeria’s resources remains untapped. This is directly attributable to Nigeria’s unhealthy dependence on oil. It must be said that the contributions of non oil resources to GDP is dependent on their being exploited in the first place. The mining and quarrying sub-sector contributed 33.13% in 1971 compared to 36.0% for Agriculture and Allied sector. Its share increased from 39.3% in 1971/1972 to 43.4% in 1972/1973 and to 45.5% in 1974/1975. In 1975 to 1976 however, there was a drastic fall in the share of GDP to 21.9%  compared to 26.9% by the agricultural sector. In 1976 to 1977, mining and quarrying resumed the lead in contribution to GDP and maintained that status until the second decade of Nigeria’s independence.

Furthermore, the production of solid mineral in Nigeria has been increasing. For example, the production of solid minerals was 763,511 tonnes in 1970, but increased to 2,069.233 tonnes by 1973, representing a 171.1% increase.


As more nations seek routes to industrialization, it is expected that the exploitation of both renewable and non-renewable resources will increase. If resources are not used wisely, then an “unsustainable situation” could arise where natural capital (the sum total of nature’s resources) gets used up faster than it can be replenished. Sustainability thus requires that resources are used at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally.

Today, there is the realization that the dependence on natural resources for economic growth coupled with the manner in which these resources are derived has had a negative impact on the environment. Indeed there is an abundance of literature on the numerous effects resource exploitation and management has had on the climate, such as forest depletion, water scarcity, and atmospheric emissions to name a few. If unchecked, these have strong implications on future generations. Sustainable development thus relates to the management of renewable resources in a manner that is responsible and will be for the good of the human and natural community. The ultimate objective of sustainable development is to devise means through which present generations can enjoy the resources without compromising the availability of those same resources for generations to come and more importantly, to do so without damaging the environment and eco system. Resources must then be utilized in a manner that does not diminish so that it is renewable and available for future generations.

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Managing Nigeria’s Resources: the Route to Development. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from
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