Rethinking the Legal Paradigm of Energy Resource Management in Oil-Based Economies: Nigeria as a Case Study.

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John, A.A
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The most crucial challenge of nationhood which confronts Nigeria is how to transit from the state of mere ground rent collector from transnational oil companies who dominate the nation’s extractive industry, to a modern State economy in which there is a reciprocal linkage between the extractive industry and the non-extractive sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing and agriculture. Oil remains the linchpin of the Nigerian economy and since its ascendancy in the 70s as the major foreign exchange earner, (it contributes about 95 per cent of federally generated revenue), and there has been no significant transformation in the living standards of Nigerians. There is pervasive mass impoverishment and a total disconnect between Nigeria’s stupendous petroleum and gas resources and mass impoverishment. Nigeria’s chequered post-colonial history is a classical case of the paradox of abundance and want, its stupendous oil resources seems to be a curse rather than a blessing. The study establishes a causal link between the collapse of the parliamentary system in Nigeria in 1966 through degeneration and revolutionary ouster; resultant normlessness; statelessness which has since then characterized its bodypolitik and abysmal State failure. The unconscionable state of the rule of law, arbitrariness and very wide latitude for discretion characterizing the Nigerian State results in pervasive corruption pandemic as competing rent-seeking elites are content to control resources rather than innovate for diversification. The study implicates the lack of centrality of law and the rentier structure of the Nigerian petro-State in the colossal market (economic) and State failures characterizing the Nigerian bodypolitik. The convoluted evolution of the Nigerian legal order disparages the creation of an environment of formal rational law which would have diffused and induced a highly predictable and calculable economic environment in which expectations of all economic actors are not wilfully disparaged by arbitrary rule. The macro economic model which derives from the study’s multi-dimensional analysis is subsequently invoked in the legal prototype which will drive and catalyse the far reaching changes which are necessary to diversify the Nigerian economy away from the dominance of the extractive sector to the non-extractive tradeable real sector. The legal paradigm constitutes a charter for the efficient husbandry of Nigeria’s petroleum resources such that at full depletion, Nigeria would have accumulated sufficient stock of non-oil capital and assets in the post-oil epoch from which it will earn continuous stream of external receipt from strategic perspective investment of oil revenue, complemented by a carefully calibrated development of infrastructure.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos.
Legal Paradigm , Energy Resource , Management , Oil-Based Economies , Research Subject Categories::LAW/JURISPRUDENCE::Other law::International law
John, A.A (2012), Rethinking the Legal Paradigm of Energy Resource Management in Oil-Based Economies: Nigeria as a Case Study. A Thesis Submitted to University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies Phd Thesis and Dissertation, 679pp.