Analysis of safety and environmental regulations for downstream petroleum industry operations in Nigeria: Problems and prospects

Ambisisi Ambituuni*, Jaime Amezaga, Engobo Emeseh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The Nigerian economy depends on the petroleum industry for revenue and fuel to drive its growth. However, the petroleum industry has been associated with major issues of accidents and disasters which have contributed to vast safety and environmental problems. This is especially true for all sectors of the industry including the downstream. Against this back-drop, this paper critically examines the provisions in various environmental and petroleum laws and the institutional arrangements for monitoring and enforcement to evaluate their adequacy for ensuring safety and proper environmental management within the downstream sector. The review revealed the limitations of the framework such as incoherent laws, overlaps, duplications and conflicting regulatory functions. In addition, the paper looked beyond the regulatory framework to factors within wider socio-political and governance context that contribute to the lack of effectiveness of the regulatory framework. Poor governance, rent seeking culture and inadequate funding were also identified as the key contributing factors to implementation deficit. However, the paper did find that provisions in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) (Draft) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Amendment Bill offers some prospects that address some of the limitations within the reviewed framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This journal article is part of a three years PhD research work at Newcastle University fully funded by the Nigerian Government via the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) to whom much appreciation is accorded.


  • Downstream petroleum industry operations
  • Nigeria
  • Safety and environmental laws and regulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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