Enforcement challenges in the protection of the environment from upstream petroleum operations in Nigeria: the need for judicial independence

Agbaitoro Godswill* (Corresponding Author), Amakoromo Mark , Eddy Wifa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


With continuing environmental degradation as a result of oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, many of the affected communities have taken to either litigation as a means of seeking redress or the "taking up of arms" to express their grievances. Where litigation is involved, the objective is to maximise the level of monetary compensation that
the courts are prepared to award (with aggrieved persons seemingly resorting to militant activities in response to awards that they feel do not address their complaints). Whichever option is taken, the problem of environmental degradation still persists. These issues are, in the authors’ opinion, caused by the absence of a sufficiently robust environmental regulatory regime; what have been described as insufficient enforcement mechanisms; a lack of public participation; and, arguably, possible conflicts of interest on the part of the industry regulator. In this article, the authors examine both the legal and regulatory framework for environmental protection in the Nigerian petroleum industry and the challenges facing enforcement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Energy Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2017



  • Enforcement
  • Environmental protection
  • Nigeria
  • Oil and gas industry
  • Oil and gas production
  • Pollution

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