Negotiations, mobilisations and everyday reproduction of electricity infrastructures in Ibadan (Nigeria)

By Mélanie Rateau, Monica Biberson

This paper explores the everyday and negotiated reproduction of electricity infrastructures in Ibadan (Nigeria) in the midst of a deep crisis in the electricity sector. The study focuses not on the activities of the institutions and workers officially in charge of the service, but on the relations and interactions between urban residents and the electricity company, and on the ordinary practices of access to electricity in order to examine how and by whom the infrastructures are maintained in a relatively functional state. The community mobilisations, negotiations and compromises around official norms and the securing practices observed turn out to be ambivalent: they help keep local infrastructures in operation on a day-to-day basis, but threaten the overall economic and technical balance of the sector. Finally, the study demonstrates the importance of paying attention to both the mobilisation and negotiation within the grid and the securing practices, whether on- or off-grid, because of their functional interdependence.

  • access to electricity
  • infrastructure
  • everyday reproduction
  • negotiations
  • Nigeria
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