n Malawi Law Journal - Environmental rights : a case study of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1996-7675



Nigeria generates billions of dollars from oil exploration yearly. Yet the Niger-Delta communities, where oil prospecting activities take place, have continued to suffer from the effects of environmental degradation. The laws in place have been ineffective in protecting the rights to a suitable environment of the people in that region. As a consequence, human rights abuses in the Nigerian oil producing communities have continued to take place despite the transition from a military to a civilian regime in 1999. This article ponders over the question of the extent to which the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other laws of Nigeria protect the environment. The right to a healthy environment requires the government to ensure that natural resources are exploited and used sustainably without sacrificing the environment, and to regulate the activities of oil companies so that they do not cause damage to the environment. An appraisal of the existing laws and evolving mechanisms for the enforcement of environmental rights in Nigeria reveals a need for a more effective legal framework for environmental justice in Nigeria.

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