LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION IN OIL AND GAS MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA: PERSPECTIVES ON THE MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE APPROACH
This thesis explores the potential and practicality of incorporating multi-stakeholder participation into the legal and institutional frameworks for managing Nigeria’s oil and gas. Despite the natural resource wealth embedded in the Niger Delta, her people suffer greatly from social, economic and infrastructural underdevelopment and this thesis argues that failure to respect the right of the Niger Delta communities to participate in Nigeria’s oil and gas management and in developmental projects that affect their lives is the foundation of the resource curse besetting the region. As a solution to the resource curse problem of the Niger Delta and in response to the incessant conflicts, environmental degradation, social, economic and infrastructural underdevelopment and military injustice perpetrated in the region, this thesis promotes the enforcement of the right to participation of the Niger Delta peoples through the incorporation of the United Nations promoted Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Approach (MSDA) and this argument is based on the Participatory Development Theory (PDT). The thesis proposes legal and institutional frameworks to ensure the effective incorporation of the MSDA into Nigeria’s oil and gas regime. Other than the human rights basis for promoting the participatory development of the Niger Delta peoples, the thesis examines the business case for participatory development as an incentive to encourage oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta to inculcate the values of the MSDA. This thesis establishes that incorporating the MSDA into Nigeria’s oil and gas legal and institutional regime in furtherance of the participatory development of the Niger Delta communities will promote environmental sustainability, peaceful coexistence, better informed decision making processes and economic and social sustainability among others. Though there are other rights infringement issues that bear on the development of the Niger Delta communities, it is anticipated that recognition of the Niger Delta peoples as stakeholders and their effective participation in Nigeria’s oil and gas management will give them a voice and opportunity to significantly address other human rights issues and to hold other stakeholders accountable.
Right to Participation, Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Approach, Niger Delta, Participatory Development
Master of Laws (LL.M.)