Legal Status of Sections 10 and 12 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) Under the GATT Regime
The Nigerian Federal Government in 2010 made a regulatory intervention in the Nigerian oil and gas industry by enacting the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (The “Act”). The Act prescribes in sections 10 and 12 that preference should be given to ‘...goods manufactured in Nigeria’. This paper considers the legal standing of these sections in international trade law against the backdrop of the national treatment principle contained in Article III of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). A comparative analysis is made using Article III to establish that the two sections flagrantly violate the obligations of the Nigerian state as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and GATT. An unexplored contract alternative to legislation argument is then advanced and recommended.
Keywords: Local content, trade, GATT, WTO, national treatment