From Agriculture to Petroleum Oil Production: What Has Changed about Nigeria’s Rural Development?

Nseabasi S Akpan


Rural development in Nigeria has been at the core of public policies over the past ten decades beginning from the colonial up to the post-independence arrangements. The main objective of the study was to make a comparative assessment of the practical impact of long years of policy practice produced on Nigeria’s rural areas within the context of two distinguishing economic periods characterized by agricultural production and petroleum oil exploration. The study used a range of secondary materials including the review of relevant literature, analysis of development policy documents, national development plans, local publications and discussions with relevant experts and academics as a way of gaining ideas and opinion to support discussions. The results showed that rural development in Nigeria has not been successful whether viewed from the perspectives of agricultural development or oil resource exploration. While a number of factors such as political instability, corruption and long years of colonial exploitation have been discussed as important factors that work against rural transformation, the paper argues that rural development in Nigeria over the years has not been a conscious policy practice; but largely subsumed under various sectorial and infrastructural policies. The implication of these findings is that the challenge of developing Nigeria’s rural areas does not lie on the various agricultural development policies discussed neither does it depend on the exploration of oil resources. The challenge of leadership, absence of institutional capacity and political commitments are the main factors working against the development of rural areas.


rural development, agricultural production, oil resource exploration, Nigeria

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

International Journal of Developing Societies

ISSN 2168-1783/ e ISSN 2168-1791

Copyright © 2012-2018 World Scholars, LLC, USA