Published 14 December 2018
For the purpose of exploring and exploiting its crude oil resource, Nigeria depends heavily on multi-national oil companies. While these companies are considered to be major contributors to the economic growth of Nigeria, there are frequent well-founded allegations that they violate the human rights and degrade the environment of the communities in which they operate. This paper analyses the current status of the laws and institutions meant to address these issues; it finds them inadequate and, thus, makes recommendations for the way forward. As this paper argues, the inadequacies of the relevant laws and institutions have been sustained largely by the government compromising its regulatory role in the manner in which it is collaborating through joint ventures with the oil companies, and given that the country’s economy is mainly hinged on the oil industry which in a way has made it a ‘sacred cow’. The article concludes that until the government effectively takes its place as regulator of multinational oil companies and as protector of the environment and livelihood of those in oil producing communities, the relationships in the oil industry (between the government, oil companies, the communities/environment) would practically remain unbalanced and dysfunctional.
This paper will be part of the OGEL Special Issue on "Energy Law and Regulation in Low-carbon and Transitional Energy Markets". More information available here https://www.ogel.org/news.asp?key=564