OIL AND GAS REGULATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS’ PROTECTION IN NIGERIA: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ACT 2021

Abstract

The discovery of oil and gas deposits in any society is welcomed with promises to the higher heavens as it signals the society’s journey into economic growth, development and prosperity. This is more so, as oil and gas is the engine that drives the wheel of modern development even before the emerging development in ICT. However, the nature of the oil and gas industry is webbed in so many complex activities. Oil exploration and production projects span through many phases including the land survey, land clearing and clearing of trees for seismic lines, establishment of seismic and drilling camps, sites preparation, geological, geophysical, geochemical, and infrastructural construction, drilling for oil and laying of pipeline for product transportation and marketing. The right to a safe and healthy environment, right to life, right to development and property rights of Nigerians within the oil and gas producing communities are violated by these activities. This paper aimed at examining the impacts of oil and gas exploration on human rights. Adopting the doctrinal research methodology, it is revealed that oil and gas exploration activities at all streams and stages impact negatively on the life, health and development and property rights of Nigerians. It is concluded that the right to life, right to a safe and healthy environment, settlement, livelihood and property right are some of the rights threatened and violated by the oil and gas projects. It is recommended that precautionary and due diligence approach be adopted by operators to forestall further human rights violation.

Key Words: Petroleum, Human Rights, Healthy and Safe Environment, Development

 

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