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Nigeria’s Oil has been More of a Curse than a Blessing

Weak institutions of state and poor governance in managing the vast revenues have led the country to fail to realise its full potential in a textbook example of what academics know as the “resource curse”. The subject of extensive research, the resource curse, or “paradox of plenty”, points to an inverse relationship where wealth brings a detrimental impact. Nigeria – the largest oil producer in Africa, the sixth-largest global exporter, holds the tenth-largest proven oil reserve in the world – is arguably such a “cursed” nation. Resource wealth can have a devastating impact. Oil-exporting nations such as Nigeria, Venezuela, Angola and DRC have seen livelihoods and economies devastated, but there have been many countries throughout history, such as Norway, Canada and Botswana who have bucked the curse through strong state management and institutions that can stand against corruption.