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An appraisal of the scope of provisions under the 1999 Nigerian constitution for the control of pollution arising from the oil and gas industry

Amaka G. Eze
Ted C. Eze


Environmental issues came to the front burner in Nigeria in the 1980s upon the advent of the dumping of toxic waste by an Italian businessman at a farm in the port town of Koko in the Delta State of Nigeria. Again, oil exploration and exploitation in Nigeria leaves on its trail a catalogue of environmental devastation and degradation. This has occasioned a wave of militancy and unrest in the Niger delta area of Nigeria. The situation is worsened by the paucity of the legal framework for environmental protection in Nigeria. This paper appraises the provisions for environmental protection under the 1999 Nigerian Constitution with a view to ascertaining the extent of protection they afford environmental rights. It examines the provisions for environment protection in the constitution of some selected countries in order to engender a comparative insight. The paper makes a case for the entrenchment of environmental rights as enforceable rights under the Nigerian Constitution.

Key words: Constitution, control, pollution, oil and gas