Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy (The)

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Addressing the energy consumption-economic growth nexus: The Nigerian case

Omolola Olarinde, Abraham Adeniran


Energy is critical to the survival and expansion of any economy. In Nigeria, energy consumption has been skewed towards household use, and below thresholds for sector-driven growth. The article updates, in time and methodology, those studies highlighting the significance of energy use for economic growth, using the Bound test and the Auto Regression Distributed Lag (ARDL) to establish the long- and short-run relationships between disaggregated energy consumption and economic growth in Nigeria from 1990 to 2016. The variables considered are real GDP, energy consumption decomposed into electricity and petroleum consumption, labour and capital. The findings show that, in the short and long run, petroleum consumption and labour have a significant positive relationship with GDP. Furthermore, the causality results show that feedback causation between economic growth and energy consumption as well as labour exists, while one-way causation runs from labour to economic growth. The study recommends diversification of the power-generation portfolio in the country, as this will improve energy consumption. Also, full deregulating policies in the energy sector would encourage industrialization and move energy demand towards increasingly productive uses. Finally, a strong institutional framework is needed to ensure energy policies achieve their objectives and targets.

Keywords: Energy Consumption, Economic Growth, Industrialization, Error Correction.
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