Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Ernesto Escobedo


Proceeds from crude oil export account for about 90% of the revenue of the federal, state, and local governments in Nigeria. Given the vagaries of the international oil market, scholars have advocated the need for the government to look beyond oil for other revenue sources with little or no success to date. Despite the plethora of research on the phenomenon of political will, there is no research on how the construct affects revenue diversification at the subnational level. This study examined how central political will is in the design of expansionary revenue policies in Delta State, Nigeria. Developing an understanding of the enablers of political will for revenue enhancement policies in Delta State was also a goal. Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith’s advocacy coalition framework formed the theoretical base for this qualitative study. Research questions focused on factors contributing to the absence of a political will and inability to expand sources of revenue and how policymakers can build the coalitions required to expand revenue in Delta State. The case study design and purposive sampling were used to select 15 research participants drawn from key actors within the policy subsystem for semi-structured, in-person interviews. Data derived from the interviews were coded and used to construct meaning. Cultural beliefs, weak institutional and personal capacities as well as conflict of interest amongst others, emerged as the root causes of the lack of political will which was found in this study as critical for mobilizing required resources to sustainably diversify revenue sources in Delta State. This study may lead to positive social change by informing practice and enriching the understanding of policymakers, scholars, and non-state actors on effective strategies for revenue diversification.