Oil and politics: the Nigerian crisis syndrome

A survey of Nigeria’s international standing and domestic economic and political situation brings out the factors which must be taken into account in any political risk analysis. The real art of political forecasting lies in the recognition of such critical factors as such. Nonetheless, the military coup of December 31, 1983, took the professional analysts by surprise at that point in time. Although the worsening economic and social crisis could have supplied a reason for intervention, such an event was thought more likely during the time after the elections in the summer of 1983. If the military accepted the election results to begin with, then it was assumed that no dangerous political situation would occur before at least 1986/87. With the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to uncover the weak sides of the scenario analyses which were prepared in September 1983 during a discussion between experts on Nigeria from universities, economics and politics. The trends and factors brought out in these scenario analyses still retain their validity, however, and cannot be ignored in any long-term calculation of the Nigerian risk under the conditions of a (temporary) military regime.

Title:Oil and politics: the Nigerian crisis syndrome
Author: Veit, W.
Year:1984
Periodical:Vierteljahres-Berichte: Probleme der internationalen Zusammenarbeit
Issue:96
Pages:205-215
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:A survey of Nigeria’s international standing and domestic economic and political situation brings out the factors which must be taken into account in any political risk analysis. The real art of political forecasting lies in the recognition of such critical factors as such. Nonetheless, the military coup of December 31, 1983, took the professional analysts by surprise at that point in time. Although the worsening economic and social crisis could have supplied a reason for intervention, such an event was thought more likely during the time after the elections in the summer of 1983. If the military accepted the election results to begin with, then it was assumed that no dangerous political situation would occur before at least 1986/87. With the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to uncover the weak sides of the scenario analyses which were prepared in September 1983 during a discussion between experts on Nigeria from universities, economics and politics. The trends and factors brought out in these scenario analyses still retain their validity, however, and cannot be ignored in any long-term calculation of the Nigerian risk under the conditions of a (temporary) military regime.