Published 25 April 2017
Addendum OGEL 1 (2017)
Environmental pollution resulting from oil and gas exploitation has become part of the everyday lives of the inhabitants of Nigeria’s Niger Delta. This situation persists despite the existence of various legislations and regulatory authorities put in place to check the degradation of the environment. This is largely due to conflict of interest and the unfettered and arbitrary use of ministerial discretion created by the existing regulatory regime. The article examines key legislations governing relevant aspects of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and the main government agencies regulating the industry to bring to the fore problematic provisions that created the conflict of interest and unfettered use of discretion. The first part of this article briefly examined the contractual framework for the exploitation of petroleum in Nigeria. The article then analyses the key legislations, pointing out the possible conflict of interest issues and the dangers of unfettered discretion. This is followed by a discussion of the key regulatory agencies and how their operational methods may be compromising efforts aimed at halting the pollution of the environment. The article concludes by discussing the implications of these issues on the environment and the local population alongside possible ways of addressing these challenges.