Petroleum Industry Act In Nigeria: An Analysis of the Impact of the Novel Host Communities Development Trusts Provision (Published)
The repealed Petroleum Act of 1969 in Nigeria became inadequate and largely incapable of meeting the emerging best practices in the oil industry the world over. In particular, the said Act could not address, to a greater extent, the hope and aspirations of the people of the oil bearing states. Since the inception of oil exploitation in Niger Delta region, agitations by the youths of the oil bearing and impacted communities against the activities of the IOCs and subsequent establishment of intervention agencies to address environmental degradation and crisis of underdevelopment in the region failed to engender the needed peace in the region. This work adopts doctrinal research method. The work, therefore, examines and analyses the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act 2021 in Nigeria, as regards the Host Communities Development Trusts provision. The paper found that the new Petroleum Industry Act creates the host communities development trust as an interventionist body, which is remarkably different from other previous and existing intervention mechanisms in the petroleum sector and as applicable to the Niger Delta region. This work also found that the host communities’ development trust is to be established, specifically, to address the developmental needs of the oil bearing and impacted communities in the region. Also, the Trust is to be established by the settlor, that is, the oil companies operating in the upstream petroleum exploration. The work recommends among other things that besides the novel provision in the new Act, there is a need for the settlor to avoid the temptation of allowing interference in the appointment of persons into the Board of Trustees of the host communities’ development trust by politicians and the relevant state governments in the region.
Evaluation of Some Oil Companies in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: An Environmental Impact Approach (Published)
The Niger Delta region of Nigeria has no doubt played a major role to Nigeria’s growth and acted as the backbone of the Nigerian economy, hence the export of oil and gas resources by the petroleum sector has substantially improved the Nation’s economy over the past five decades. Activities associated with petroleum exploration, development and production operations have local detrimental and significant impacts on the atmosphere, soils and sediments, surface and groundwater, marine environment and terrestrial ecosystems in the Niger delta. The Niger Delta consists of diverse ecosystems of mangrove swamps, fresh water swamps, rainforest and is the largest wetland in Africa and among the ten most important wetland and marine ecosystems in the world, but due to oil pollution caused by exploration, the area is now characterized by contaminated streams and rivers, forest destruction and biodiversity loss, in general the area is ecological wasteland. This affects the livelihood of the indigenous people who depend on the ecosystem services for survival leading to increased poverty and displacement of people. Discharges of petroleum hydrocarbon and petroleum – derived waste streams have caused environmental pollution, adverse human health effects, socioeconomic problems and degradation of host communities in the oil producing states in the Niger Delta region. However, the oil industry located within the region has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country, which is a fact that cannot be disputed but unsustainable oil exploration activities has rendered the Niger Delta region one of the five most severely petroleum damaged ecosystems in the world.