After years of Military dietatorship1 which witnessed monumental profligacy and widespread corruption in the polity, Nigerian heaved a sign of relief when the 1999 Constitution2 ushered in a democratically elected government on the 29th day of May, 19993
            Sooner the administration came to power than the littoral state or the states with rich mineral deposits commenced their agitation for the expropriation of such mineral and mineral deposits. This can be  best described as the demand for resource control by the lifforal state. The concept of resource control denotes the control of the gift or nature or natural resources.

            Mineral and mineral deposits are not in the direct control of the coastal states. The control and regulation of how it will be expropriated are under the direct supervision of the of the Federal Government4. The Federal government grants oil prospecting license to oil companies to explore mineral and mineral deposits for term of years. The Ministry of petroleum resources is responsible for the granting of these license and lease to oil companies.
            It should be noted that compensation for these expropriation by the Federal Government to the States endowed with these Mineral and mineral deposited are not adequate in that estimation5  As a result of this, the oil producing state became “masters of their faith by joining forces to press for resource control. The demand resulted to legal battle as seen in the celebrated case of AG of Federation VAG of Abia State & 35 ors6.
            This case which was instituted in the supreme which has the original jurisdiction as regards the interpretation of the provisions of a legislation was resolved in favour of the Federal Government. This is because section 44 93) of the 1999 constitution (as amend) is very clear on this area of law not minding the provision of the Land Use Act7. This decision has not deserved these states endowed with mineral and mineral deposits from further sustaining the tempo and pressure   in their demand for the control of their resources.

Reasons for Expropriation of Mineral and Solid Mineral Deposits.
            There have been structures from some quarters that the fundamental idea behind the agitation for resource control by the state with natural enchowment is characterized by avarice and dissatisfaction with the formula for Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal policy of the Federal government. But upon a critical view of the situation, it goes beyond that. The factors responsible for its demand are as follows.

National Interest
            The current 1999 Nigerian constitution, section 44(3) affirms the Federal Government’s proprietorship and control of all Minerals, mineral oil and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria, its territorial waters, and exclusive economic zone. All such minerals, oil and gas shall vest in the government of the Federation and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly8. The essence of this provision by the constitutions to protect and promote national interest. Quite often, the government as a controller and regulator may wish to separate some minerals from the general classifications for special reasons, such as projection of National interest. Within this category are fuels like coal, ignite and thorium9. This is so because if the expropriation of mineral and solid mineral deposits is granted to the individuals or sate government as the case may be there will be inequitable distribution of the proceeds of from such exploration.

Equitable Distribution
            Another reason for the expropriation of Minerals and solid minerals deposits by the Federal Government is for equitable distribution of the Natural resources. The 1999 Constitution10 sets out the base guidelines for the inter governmental sharing of the majorly collected revenue form minerals and solid deposits in Nigeria. It provides for the payment of the revenues in a federation Account, which is to be allocated, according an Act of the National Assembly11 based on the recommendation of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RM-AFC. Any such Act, according to the constitution. Shall take into account the allocation principle of population, equality of states, internal revenue generation, Land mass, terrain, as well as population density,12 while the principle of derivation shall be constantly reflected in any approved formula as being not less than thirteen (13) percent of the revenue accruing to the Federal Account form any natural resources”13. Derivation revenues are set aside before eligible remaining revenues are distributed form the Federal Account.
            Currently, revenues in the Federation account are distributed in the proportion of 48.50 percent to the central government, 26.72 percent to states, 20.60 percent to localities and 4.18 to centrally controlled special funds14. The Federation Account revenues devolved to the sub-national governments are shared among the states and among the localities on the basis of the following indices and percentage weights. Equality (equal shares to each state or locality) 40 percent. Pixilation 30 percent social development need 1 percent, land mass and terroum 1 percent; and internal revenue generation effort 10 percent. This aside form the derivation rule, which allocates 13% of natural resources revenue to exclusively on a derivation or constituent unit- of-origin basis. All these constitutional and statutory provisions are geared towards an equitable distribution of revenue accruing from the exportation of minerals and solid mineral deposits by the Federal government. These constitutional and statutory provisions notwithstanding. Federal revenue sharing has remained one of the most intractable and controversial issues in Nigeria.

Political and Economic reasons.
            For political and administrative expediency, Nigeria is divided in geo-political zones.15  The south/South geo-political constitutes the states that produce oil in large quantity in Nigeria. If one can take the benefit of events antecedent, this region has no voice in our in national political discourse in spite of the obvious fact that the country economy is sustained by what is obtained din this region. Even when they have a voice in our national political discourse, such discussion for resource control will be futile. This is because the constitution is supreme and has provided that ownership all the minerals in Nigeria belong to the Federal Government17 As a result of this, this geo-political zone has been calling on other geo-political zones to give them the produce the next president or Nigeria. According and them, once the political block is broken, economic emancipation and the control of their resource is realizable. Sadly enough even if the post of president in given to this area, as is the case now, the constitution which is the highest law of the land must be amended in this area.
            It should also be noted that the power of the Federal government over the exploration of mineral deposits in Nigeria is to ensure that each geo-political zone get what is due to it. This is so because, there will inequity in the distribution (politically) if it is left in the hands of geo political zone in Nigeria.
            From the economic perspective one can take the benefit of  hind sight. Precisely, before oil was discovered in Nigeria, the main stay of national economy were cash crops like groundnuts from the Northern part of the country, cocoa and Kolanuts from the western part of the country, cocoa and kolanuts from the western part of the country and palm oil from the East.
            The business of producing these agricultural produced were to a reasonable extent Laissez-faire.18  except to the extent that the Federal Government then imposed taxes on them. It must be borne in mind that within this period, no state or states agitated for the control of this agricultural product. Secondarily, the government purchased these products form the producers and export them. Individuals as well had the right export. The business was regulated by the Nigeria Agricultural produce Board. The Federal Government realized little form these agricultural products. Then our national economy was shored up by aids, grants and technical assistance from advanced society. This is because, the Federal Government declined interest in the management of these agricultural crops.
            The, these agricultural business thieved especially the palm produce which was regulated by the Nigeria Palm produce Board.19 the United African Company (UAC) was then a trading concern. It ventured into burring and selling the produce. It bought at relatively price and at times paid supplement liers of palm produce peanuts, which mostly resulted in frietion and legal action as can be seen in the case of Edet Akpan Afia v. United African Company (UDC) Ltd20.
            It should be noted that there was no time the Federal Government had monopoly of those agricultural products. The reason is without contradiction, the revenue that accrued there from was Minimal compared to what we get from oil and other minerals and solid pleposits now. How ever, with the discovery of oil and other natural resources, the Federal Government took over the control and expropriated of the oil sector. The reason is not far fetched, as leaving such in the lands of the endowed state will amount to negligence of other states that are not richly endowed with oil and other mineral deposits.
            The must have been reason why the constitution in its wisdom enthrusted the management and control of Minerals and solid mineral deposits in Nigeria in the hands of the Federal Government.
            Economically, Nigeria is a capitalist-welfare state, as opposed to a purely capitalist or purely welfares state. As a characteristic of this economic arrangement, certain aspects of the economy is the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government21. The land in any state of the Federation is by law and as enshrined in the Land use Act22 and, entrenched in the Nigerian Constitution24 belongs to the Nigerian people and is only held in trust by the State governments. Any natural resource, therefore, found within the geographical boundary of Nigeria belongs to the Nigeria people as a whole, since sovereignty. Over these lands and their Mineral resources belongs to the Nigerian people.25 Prof. Yadudu has cited several examples in the World with this type of arrangement.26  In a pure capitalist state, such as United state, however, individuals or business may prospect for mineral deposits on the Lands they owned anywhere in the country and sell whatever they obtained from their labour as their land belongs to the owner not the government. The state and Federal Government may levy taxes on the business, but they do not own the mineral deposits or control those resource. This is the distinction that those clamoring for the so called resource control failed to appreciate. It is totally illogical to compare what is wrought by the land to that which nature has provided this, then, mean that the derivation which those so-called oil producing states have been receiving is illegal and extortionist. Nevertheless, nothing stops the federal Government from selling of the NNPC, and granting who has Oil Company to prospect for soil anywhere. There would then be no derivation accruing to anyone, including the government, or the so-called oil producing states.

Environmental facts/reasons
            Another striking point that gave rise to the control of mineral resource by the federal Government is the tendency of devastation and neglect of the environment in which inhabitant of the oil rich communities live. This is so because if the control of these mineral resources is enthused in the lands of these oil producing states, the above will definitely be the case. This effect of oil companies on oil communities will be discussed under the environmental impact assessment of oil exploration.
            There have been conscious government afford to custion the effect of oil exploration activities in this region and giving meaning to the lives of the people history there. For instance, one time or the other, there have been instated developmental institution like the oil mineral producing areas development commission (OMPADEC) to bring development in this region and also to bring succoker to the people in the event environmental degradation. But most unfortunately the agency became a conduit pipe to dram the fund mean for development.
            The death of (OMPADEC) could be attributed to the appointment of its chairman and other key member of the organization. This is so because some of these persons did not come form the oil producing states of the Federation. The objective of the institution was not achieved contracts were awarded to relations and friends of those at the helm of affairs. Contracts were inflated thereby diverting funds mean for development into private pockets. Also, the account of the institution was not audited.
            From the forgoing, it should be noted that if establishment of OMPADEC could not help in taking care of the problem caused by exploration of mineral oil, what then will happen if such exercise is left in the hands of state on the sole ground that she is richly endowed with mineral oil.
            Notwithstanding the reason given for the control of the oil sector by the Federal Government, the social imbalance in Nigeria is not limited to environmental neglect alone, it affects various apheres of national development. Some of the most glaring is the inadequate attention the Federal Government gives to agricultural development, education and employment27. while some oil companies destroy the fishing and farming areas of Nigeria Delta, desertification is eroding the destroying significant size of arable lands in the far North and south of the country. And if appears the Federal Government is not doing any thing to help matters in these region even when 85% of national income come from oil and mineral oil.

Environmental Impact Assessment of oil Exploration
“Partnering puts consultation into a new light. It converts consultation into dialogue, it affirms equally between the partners, it identifies share goals, deepen co-operation, creates a sense of mutual benefit and mutual respect, generates willingness to pool resources and reduces risk. At the end of the process we are all winer”.28
            One of the grates  scourges of oil production is spillage. Over 400 cases of oil spillages are recorded annually according to Chief Mike A.A. Ozek home29 in a paper he presented at the international conference on Nigeria Delta at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State from 23rd to 25th November, 2000. This according to him emits over 2,3000 cubic metres of oil. These include minor spoilage, blow outs from oil wells and evaporation effects consequent upon the very light nature of Nigerian crude oil. He further stated that in 1978, a major oil spoilage was recorded at shell Opukoship flow station close to the village of Obolobo in Delta state. This forced the entire members of the village to relocate to new sites.
            As part of its operations, in the Nigeria delta shell petroleum Development Company of Nigeria ltd (SPDC) under takes approximately 30 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies each year. These studies are intended to assess the way in which various proposed projects, such as pipelines, flow stations, rehabilitation or closure of existing facilities, new wells etc, might impact upon the surrounding environment.
            The case of Farrah v. Shell Petroleum Development Company30 highlights one of the greatest menace which oil producing communities, suffer from oil spillage and pollution which have become a major occurrence in the lifford sates, scorching and rain-coating the earth surface and making fertile farm lands impotent. It should he noted that this, menace has continued till the present day and this has made the states with mineral oil deposits to continue to clamour for resource control.
            Since the issuance of environmental guidelines and standards for the petroleum Industry in 1991, over 200 pre-development environmental Impact Assessment and post-development environment Evaluation studies have been carried out by oil and Gas operators.31This is in compliance with the relevant part of the environmental guidelines and standards and other legal/administrative framework governing Environmental Impact assessment in Nigeria. Thus, Environmental Impact Assessment has become a standard practice in environmental and project planning on some major exploration and project development activities. However, our experiences in Nigeria suggest that not much is achieved in terms of environmental management despite the increase in the number of environmental Impact assessment studies being carried out in the sector under review.
            Despite the long period of oil and gas activities in Nigeria, which stated since 1908, it was not until 1991 that environmental considerations, though the conduct of Environmental Impact assessment, become part of the basis for decision making on acceptability and sustainability of new project in the oil and mineral oil industries. This was as a result of the issuance of Environmental guidelines and standards for the above industries in Nigeria. Prior to 1991 less ten environmental studies reports including two pre-project environmental impacts assessment and five post impacts assessment reports as a result of oil spill and blow out incidents were carried out.32 By 1991, however, awareness on the need of Environmental impact assessment for major exploration project became gradually entrenched. Consequently, over 200 pre-development and post-development environmental assessment studies were carried out in the Nigeria oil and gas industry alone between 1991 to date. In addition to this, over 200 pre-drilling and post drilling seabed survey reports were also carried out by operators. Unfortunately, despite the upsurge in the Environmental Impact assessment activities, the primary objectives of carrying out the Environmental Impact Assessments are hardly achieved. This is because, the most important aspect of the Environmental Management plans (EMP) in which the impact preventive, mitigative and monitoring measures were proposed, were seldom implemented by the operators thus making the entire environmental Impact assessment exercise a worthless and wasteful affair. In fact, Environmental Impact assessment reports were, until 2000, merely shelve documents with very little or no political will and budget to implement same. The ultimate aim of the operators is just to satisfy regulatory provisions especially for the abstention of environmental permits.

Pollution from oil spillage and resource by oil spillage.
            Comprising over 70% of the Earth Surface, water is undoubtedly the most precious natural resource that exists on our planet. With the seemingly invaluable compound comprised of hydrogen and oxygen, life on earth would be non-existent. It is essential for everything   on our planet to grow and prosper. Although we as humans recognize this fact, we disregard it by polluting our rivers, lakes and oceans. Subsequently, we are shortly but surely harming our planet to the point where organisms are dying at a vary alarming rate.
            In addition to innocent organisms dying off, our drinking water has become greatly affect as is our ability to use water for recreational purpose. In order to combat water pollution by oil, we must understand the problems and become part of the solution.
            One can say uncontrovertibly that the area of pollution has impact more on the environment of the coastal states. Pollution and spillage have combined to destroy aquatic life, vegetation and generally render their environment usage for human habitation.
            According, to Whikipedia, the free encydopedia, pollution is the introduction of containments into the natural environment that cause adverse change.33 It can take the form of chemical substance or energy, such as noise heat or light.
            The organization for Economic co-operation and Development (OECD) in its definition which was adopted by member states in 1974 defined pollution as:
“the introduction by man directly or indirectly of substance or energy into the environment resulting in deleterious effects of such a nature as to endanger human health, harm and impair or interfere with the amenities of life”.34
From the above definition, pollution any substance which when introduce by man either directly or indirectly will have adverse effect on the environment.
            In the case of Chief Peter Onyoh v. Shell B. P.35, the action was founded on pollution. The claim was 150,000 for fair and adequate compensation for damages done to the plaintiff’s fishing lakes, streams, ponds, farmlands and economic tress etc. for causing the defendants crude oil gas and or chemicals to escape form their pipes under their occupation and control and for making the eater therein unstable for drinking and agricultural purpose caused by the negligence and or nuisance of the defendants. It was further alleged that it was an act of pollution, spillage and nuisance.
            The nature of the operation of oil companies and the manner of their handling of operational instruments are sometime snot in accordance with international standards as recommended by the United Nations. Enacted the environmental Impact assessment Act.36 The Act restricts the public and private sectors or multinational oil companies from undertaking, embarking or authorizing any project or activities without prior consideration at the early stage, their environmental effect. The Act made provision to the effect that: 
“where the extent, nature or location of a proposed project or activity is such that it is likely to significantly affect the environment, its environmental impact assessment shall be undertaken in accordance with the provision of the Act”37

            This Act makes it mandatory for development projects with potential environmental effect to undergo on environmental impact assessment (EIA) prior to their commencement. The Act further provides for a mandatory study list, which covers numerous activities for which an environmental Impact assessment (EIA) study must be undertaken. Such activities include.
(a)       Petroleum exploration
(b)       Pipeline installation
(a)       Petroleum Exploration
            Oil and gas field development, construction of  off shore pipeline in excess of 70 kilometer in length, construction of oil and separation processing and handling and storage facilities, construction of oil refineness, construction of project depots for the shortage of petrol gas or diesel which are located within three kilometer of any commercial industries or residential areas and which have a combined storage capacity of 100,000 barrels or more require an assessment of its environmental impact.
(b)       Pipeline Installation:
            The oil and gas producing companies as well as the government (in joint venture with the Federal Government) operate oil and gas pipeline across Niger Delta States. The pipeline have in recent years turn out to be instrument of destruction, noted for killing thousands of people on the region some of the pipelines have suffered extensive corrosion and do not in anyway falling with the environmental standard stipulated in the pipeline regulations.
            Leakages of petroleum product from these pipelines have been swiftly attributed to sabotage on the part of the community through which pipelines pass. This act of sabotage is criminal.38 the penalty  for which could be as stiff as death as prescribed in the petroleum production and distribution (Anti Sabotage) Act39 and the special Tribunal (miscellaneous Offences) Act.40 The victims of population from oil and gas pipeline are therefore not entitled to compensation for whatever damage they suffer however extensive, if may be where population is allegedly caused by sabotage.
            The oil pipeline Act41 is full of inequities working adversely against the oil producing comities whose land or interest in land may be adversely affected as a result of pipeline operations.42
Nuisance occasional by oil spillage
            Oil spillage causes nuisance and nuisance occasional by oil spillage is fortions Act which can give rise to an action in damages. Large-scale oil spillage would always constitute a public nuisance to the various oil producing communities in the state public nuisance is a crime while probate nuisance is a tort.43 In the former, no individual member of the society or community can institute on action to abate the nuisance unless where such an individual had suffered injury appreciably greater in degrees than any suffered by the general public or members of the community. It is the attorney General of the state that has power to remedy the situation. This legal idea was given judicial approval in the cause of Amos v. shell petroleum Development Company Ltd and anor.44
            The International and Damage in 1954 as amended in 1962 and 1969 provide international rules and procedure for determining the question of liability and provide adequate compensation to persons who suffer damages caused by escape or discharge of oil from ship.45
            The criminal code has also recognized the crime of public nuisance where an act is defined as a crime of pollution which causes inconveniences or damage to the public in the exercise of rights common to all members of the communities since oil spills affecting land or waters usually do damage to the economy and health of a community.46
            A part from the statutory provisions for crime on environment, the common law had developed the concept of public nuisance to deal with damages such as oil pollution done to the public. This was considered in the case of Esso petroleum company ltd v. south port cooperation ltd47.
            Finally, crude oil being a very deletenous substance should be handled with utmost care it requires. That is why the concept of reasonable forcibility was fully invoked in the Wagon mound case.48 It should be noted that the heat generated by gas fairing degrades the environment and has resulted in the community suffering damages to their properties and other general inconveniences like their inability to distinguish the day from the night. The people of Omoku and Ebeocha in Rivers State where ELF and Agip respectively have there locations are victims of the above circumstances.

1 This period lasted for over 28 years in Nigeria
2 The 1999 Constitution is the supreme law of land. See section 1 97) (2) & (3) of the constitution
3 The fourth republic was ushered in on the 29th may, 1999 with Olesegun Obasanjo as the president
4 See section 44(3) of the 1999 constitution (as amended)
5 For instance these states that are naturally endowed are entitled to only 13% of the proceeds
6 (2002) FWLR (pt 102) special edition
7 See S. 1 of the Land Use Act Cap L 15 LFN 2004.
8 Subsection 3 of section 44 of the 1999 constitution (aa mend
9 C. Umoren “Resource Control: why Northern Governors are Dithery. The punch vol. 17 No 18 Lagos, punch (Nig.) Ltd Smarch 2001.
10 Section 162 of the 1999 constitution (as amended)
11 Section 162 (4) Ibid
12 Section 162 (2) Ibid
13 This contained in the proviso to subsection 2 of  section 162 of the 1999 constitution (as amended
14 Conference on oil and Gas in Federal System March 3-4, 2010
15 They are six (6) geo-political zone in Nigeria
17 Section 44 (3) Ibis.
18 This is because the business is not as lucrative as that of oil.
19 The Board regulated the production and marketing of palm produce bfore the advent of oil in Nigeria.
20 (1958) SJFSC vol. iii p. 60
21 This include the control of natural resources, such as Land and mineral deposits
22 See section 1 of the Land Use Act
24 see 44(3) of the 1999 constitution (as amended)
25 Section 44(3) ibid, vests the management of same in the federal government of Nigeria.
26 They include, united state, Britain, France etc.
27 M.K. Banuaz –Zubair: Social justice and resource control in Nigeria. A crisis of legitimacy. http/ 4000/News – visited on 23/07/2012.
28 D. Lapin, corporate Development Advisor SPDC. Environmental Impact assessment (EID) in Nigeria Delta.
29 Chief Mike A.A. Ozekhane is a constitutional lawyer and Human right activist
30 (1995) 3 NWLR (pt 383) page 752
31 G.U. Agha & D.O. Irechukwu: Environmental Impact assessment and the Nigerian oil industry. http/ 24/07/2012.
32 Ibid.
33 Pollution definition from the Merriam Webster online Dictionary Merriam-Web star-com Retrieved 24/07/2012.
34 The organization for Economic co-operation and Development conference held in 1974.
35 (1982) 12 C.A. 144
36 Environmental Impact Assessment Act, Cap E12 Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004
37 See Section 2(1) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Det cap. E12 LFN, 2004.
38 See section 3 of Miscellaneous provision Act, which provides that it a criminal offence to willfully damage an oil pipeline or interfere will its installation
39 Cap p. 12, laws of Federation Nigeria, 2004
40 Cap 410, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004
41 Oil pipeline Act cap 07 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
42 See A.G Vs. P.Y.A Quarries ltd (1957) 2QB 169, See also Interlard trans ltd V. Adediran (1986) 2 NWLR (pt. 26) pg.78
43 State v. Wright Depbrum Webstar Gallery ltd 64 Mise 2d 423-427 (N.Y. sup CA 1970).
44 (1974) 4 NCSLR page 486.
45 See the Navigable water Regulation, 2007, the petroleum (drilling and production regulation) 1969 and the petroleum Act, No 25 of 2004.
47 (1967) No 2 IDC page 617
48 (1966( No. 2, IAC 617.
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