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

By Mélanie Rateau

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 interrogate how and by whom the infrastructures are maintained in a relative state of functioning. The community mobilisations, negotiations, arrangements with official norms and securing practices observed turn out to be ambivalent: they participate locally in keeping the infrastructures in operation on a day-to-day basis, but threaten the overall economic and technical balance of the sector. Finally, the research demonstrates the importance of paying attention to both the mobilisation and negotiation within the grid and the securing practices, whether they are in or off-grid, because of their functional interdependence.

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