THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY GOVERNANCE BILL (PIGB), 2017: Implications for the Environment and local communities

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In May 2017, the Nigerian Senate passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which is revised version of the original Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that was presented to the National Assembly by the Yar’adua administration in 2008. This briefing paper by Social Action provides an analysis of the PIGB, which focuses almost exclusively on the creation of new commercial entities to manage privatized national petroleum assets. There is a glaring neglect of host communities’ interest in the proposed new institutions. The PIGB does not provide for health, safety and environment concerns; there is no provision for an end to gas flaring. The PIGB proposes to remove all powers of the Federal Ministry of Environment (and its agencies) over environmental regulation and enforcement in the petroleum sector. Read Full Report

State of Open Budgets in Five States of the Niger Delta

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This new Social Action briefing presents findings of research into the extent to which 5 states of the Niger Delta- Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Bayelsa- operate their fiscal processes in line with the principles of open budget. It equally examines how citizens in these states relate with and perceive government and its officials on fiscal matters.

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THE CROSS RIVER SUPERHIGHWAY: Route to Land Grabs?

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The Cross River basin in south-eastern Nigeria contains the largest remaining natural rainforests in Nigeria. Most of the forests have been protected by the government and through community initiatives. However, a new Super-Highway project by the government of Cross Rivers State could open up the forest to more land grabs for property speculation, commercial agriculture and logging. This briefing paper examines how the road construction is violating the livelihood rights of several forest dependent communities whose rights to land and access to the forests for food, medicine and energy is being threatened. The Super-Highway also calls to question the viability of the controversial United Nations-backed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD+) scheme in Cross Rivers State. Read Full Report

POLICY OPTIONS FOR ADDRESSING ARTISANAL CRUDE OIL REFINERIES AND POLLUTION IN NIGERIA

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This briefing paper by Social Action highlights the challenges of addressing the enormous environmental and social costs of artisanal crude oil refineries and related crude oil theft in southern Nigeria. The briefing is based on a year of monitoring of artisanal refining sites and the responses of government agencies and the state security apparatus in Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States. The Briefing concludes that security measures have been inadequate and often compounds pollution and human rights abuses. It recommends that effective policing of the creeks should be accompanied with actions to ameliorate the problem of inadequate access to energy services, scarcity and the high cost of consumer fuels, poor environmental standards of oil and gas companies, impoverishment and youth unemployment in communities, and corruption in the security services. Read Full Report

NIGERIA AND EU’s ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT (EPA): Economic Cooperation or Economic Slavery?

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Nigeria is yet to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which is inspired by the European Union (EU) with the aim of eliminating trade restrictions between it and ECOWAS member states. Following years of secretive negotiations led by the EU, the EPA text was finalised in 2014 with promised benefits to developing countries like Nigeria including better access to EU markets and integration into a global economy. However, with negative reactions from Nigerian manufacturers, civil society actors and trade experts citing the imbalanced benefit to European producers having unfettered access to the Nigerian market over local industries, the former President, Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign the EPA. During the 49th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS, in Dakar, Senegal in June 2016, the government of Muhammadu Buhari delayed endorsing the EPA, opting instead to continue consultations with Nigerian citizens. As a contribution to the consultation process, this briefing examines the EPA in the context of the Nigerian economy and offers alternative paths for sustainable economic development. Read Full Report

Cleaning in a Vacuum: Framework Gaps in the Implementation of the UNEP Report on Ogoniland

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On Thursday June 2, 2016, the Nigerian federal government organized a ceremonial launching of the clean-up and restoration of polluted sites in Ogoniland. The government used the ceremony to announce its commitment to implementing the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme’s  Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland report.

This briefing paper by Social Action examines developments prior to and following the flag-off ceremony. It analyses crucial processes and highlights institutional lapses that threatens to mar the entire clean-up process.

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Amended 2012 PIB: Opportunities and Limitation for the Environment and Development

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First introduced in 2008, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is Nigerian government’s effort to enact a single legislation to address the legal, fiscal and regulatory frameworks governing the oil and gas industry. Following controversies and uncertainties surrounding earlier versions, the executive arm of government introduced a revised PIB to the National Assembly in 2012. Following responses from interest groups including Social Action and other civil society and community groups that demanded for better provisions to address the impacts of oil and gas on local communities and the overall growth and development of the country, legislators have introduced some amendments to the Bill. This Briefing Paper by Social Action explores those amendments to determine strengths and makes recommendations to address areas of weakness.. Read Full Report

Media Briefing on Outcome of Flood Disaster Management in Bayelsa and Rivers States

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Social Action is calling for probe into the death of Mrs Maureen Lucky, an HIV positive woman who was ejected from Okwuzi flood relief camp in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State on the orders of Mr. Tele Ikuru, the Chairman of The Rivers State Flood Management Committee and Deputy Governor of the State. Mrs. Lucky, an indigene of Okwuzi community was one of the many persons whose homes were submerged by the recent flooding that occurred in parts of the state and country. She along with her children subsequently went to seek refuge in the camp set up by the state government in Okwuzi. Following reports by Social Action about the condition of Mrs. Lucky and other sick residents in the camps, the Deputy Governor Mr. Tele Ikuru and the Chairman of the Local Government Council, Mr Raymond Wokocha, visited the Okwuzi camp where they ordered the forceful eviction of the Mrs. Lucky who, with her children, ended up in an  uncompleted building where she died a few days later, on November 24th 2012. Read Full Report

EIA Report: Compromise of Community Rights

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The Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (Brass LNG) project is one of many ventures intended to harness Nigeria’s abundant natural gas reserves in the Niger Delta region of the country. With projections for an increase in global demand for natural gas, the Brass LNG, and similar projects, promise significant revenues for the government and huge profits for corporate promoters. Host communities of the Brass LNG also hope that the project will bring ‘development’ to areas that have borne negative impacts of over fifty years of oil and gas exploitation. Read Full Report

OVERCOMING NIGERIA’S ENERGY CRISIS: Towards Effective Utilisation of Associated Gas and Renewable Energy Resources in the Niger Delta.

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This Social Action Briefing addresses issues of poor energy access for communities amidst routine  gas flaring by oil companies that operate in joint venture with the Nigerian government. With Nigeria flaring more gas than any other country in the world, there is avoidable wastage of energy resources in addition to contributing to local pollution and climate change.

This briefing provides an understanding of Nigeria’s energy policy with an emphasis on identifying options for utilising associated gas and renewable energy resources. It show how readily available energy resources can be utilised towards addressing the needs of Nigerian citizens. Read Full Report