Land, minerals and environment in Nigeria: Contested legal issues

Egba, Emmanuel E. (2018) Land, minerals and environment in Nigeria: Contested legal issues. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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This study investigates landownership, mineral and environmental contested legal issues in Nigeria. Examining aims Land Use Act gives governors control over land while Constitution leaves minerals ‘only’ to the federation, severing minerals from ‘state or private-ownership’. The Act authorises compulsory land acquisitions for public purposes including mineral exploration. But Constitution supports individual’s rights over movable or immovable property and authorises compensations for compulsory acquisitions. Nevertheless, it makes enforcement of environmental rights non-justiceable by disallowing anyone to enforcing it. The ambiguities in these laws resulted to contests of landownership, mineral control and environmental degradation which the author examines. Effects of splitting minerals from landownership caused non-passage of Petroleum Industry Bill, poor implementation of Local Content Act among others were discussed. The author adopted doctrinal methodology, implementing three techniques involving finding, reading and updating the laws to give best results. We made comparisons with other legal systems because, the thesis involves diverse legal and social doctrines. This enabled the author to comparatively analyse Nigeria landownership, mineral and environmental regimes. Researcher noted effects of ‘mineral-landownership’ split and gaps in Nigeria laws which propelled her courts to take on foreign decisions in settling mineral litigations. We found that non-oil mineral law considers community in mining-lease. This was not provided under ‘petroleum’ laws. Again, the splitting statutes have led to loss of property and environmental rights in Nigeria. The law did not secure state land rights. It promotes cycle of poverty by giving federal exclusive authority over mineral exploration against state right over land. Compensations for compulsory land acquisitions were not well spelt out because of federal legislative power over minerals and interests it generates. These resulted to landlessness, discontents, contests and litigations. The researcher concludes that the existing laws cannot adequately tackle issues of landownership, mineral and environmental management in Nigeria thus require reformation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: Land, Minerals, Environment, Niger Delta, Acquisition, Compensation
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 16:16
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:57

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