A Legal Framework for Host Community Participation in the Oil and Gas Industry of Nigeria

  • Deborah Amauchechi Dorothy Kobani

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis explores and promotes the need to incorporate host community participation into the legal and institutional frameworks of oil and gas industry of Nigeria. The industrial activities associated with the exploration and production of petroleum have related to substantial environmental degradation, pollution, and social crisis, posing a potential threat to Niger Delta’s sustainable development. The Niger Delta region which is the engine of Nigeria’s economy because of its immense oil wealth is now left with a polluted environment and rife poverty. This thesis argues that the historical failure of governance at all levels, and the limited participatory opportunities or biased policies that disregard the affected local communities from participating in shaping the decisions that govern their lives that has led to the supposed ‘resource curse’ hampering the Niger Delta. As a general objective to advance sustainable development in the Niger Delta and conflict resolution in the management of the oil and gas industry, this thesis explores public participation in environmental decision-making. In so doing, it highlights the need for host community participation in the oil and gas industry of Nigeria. The thesis adopts a theoretical approach to evaluate access to environmental information and representation in the public participation process by studying frameworks on public participation. Thus, it identifies the various groups and subgroups of the oil host communities in Nigeria and fosters the inclusion of all groups in the participatory process to promote effective participation in environmental decision-making. The thesis considers the 1992 Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Act of Nigeria including its strengths and weakness, as the main framework which formally gives participatory rights in the environmental decision-making process in oil and gas projects. This ensues in a comparative analysis of the public participation methods in the EIA systems of other countries (UK, US, and South Africa). The lessons learned are used as a guide to address effective public participation in Nigeria. their lives
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorMarco Odello (Supervisor) & Gerald Schaefer (Supervisor)


  • Nigeria
  • Nigel Delta
  • oil & gas production
  • public participation
  • host community
  • environmental impact assessment
  • environmental law
  • international law

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