Working Paper

IDS Working Paper 554

Demanding Power: Struggles over Fuel Access in Nigeria

Published on 13 August 2021

Why do some fuel protests in Nigeria lead to a response from government, but others are barely noticed? What are the politics behind government response and who are the winners and losers?

Using a multi-method approach, this study focuses on the period between 2007 and 2017 to investigate the dynamics of fuel protest in Nigeria to ask how, and under which conditions, struggles over energy access in Nigeria produce accountability and empowerment. The findings suggest that accountability and empowerment outcomes of the struggles over fuel access in Nigeria are severely limited by the very conditions that define the state as fragile: weak institutions, elite capture, widespread corruption, and a citizenry that is protest-fatigued and disempowered. This could be true of other fragile and conflict-affected settings. Therefore, frameworks that open up the civic space for dialogues between the government and citizens may produce better outcomes than protests.

Cite this publication

Atela, M. et al. (2021) Demanding Power: Struggles over Fuel Access in Nigeria, IDS Working Paper 554, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/IDS.2021.054


Marjoke Oosterom

Power and Popular Politics Cluster Lead

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies


About this publication

Related content