The Nigerian Natural Gas Industry: Critical Policies and Legal Issues

Maduekwe, Nkiruka Chidia (Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies)



Notwithstanding the fact that commercial oil discovery has been fifty-plus years in Nigeria; the Nigerian natural gas industry is known to be a developing industry. Thus, understanding the huge potential this industry presents to its economy, the Nigerian government has sought to implement policies that will bring about development in this industry. The paper seeks to examine the policies and the legal framework (if any), in order to ascertain to what extent the policies have been able to develop the industry and if not, why? In addition, the paper examines the adequacy or otherwise of the present legal framework. The paper finds that the successful and sustainable development of the natural gas industry hinges on the existence of adequate legal framework, as policies can only serve as aspirations and sought-after-goals without the backing of sufficient legal framework to support their implementation. The paper finds that in light of shale gas development in Nigeria's investors cum market geography, time is fast running for Nigeria as there is the urgent need to address the situation as Nigeria is gradually losing not just investors but her natural gas market as well.