Associated Gas Flaring And Re-Injection Policy Making And Implementation In Nigeria (1960-2010)
A number of oil-producing countries in the World (Norway, Britain, Venezuela, Canada, Brazil, etc) have successfully implemented regulatory policies and put in place gas reinjection technologies to curb gas flaring and venting in their offshore/onshore oil fields. Conversely, since 1969 Nigeria has been battling with same gas flaring and venting regulatory regimes without success. This study therefore examines the adequacy of consultancy and utilization of indigenous science and technology expert advice in the making and implementation of the Associated Gas Re-injection Policy in Nigeria. The study raised one major research question viz: Is the non-implementation of the Gas Re-injection Policy in Nigeria a function of lack of consultation of indigenous scientific and technological advice? The specific objectives of the study include:
- To explore the need for indigenous scientific and technological advice in associated gas re-injection policy-making and implementation in Nigeria’s oil industry;
- To evaluate the extent of consultancy on indigenous scientific and technological expert advice in the Associated Gas Re-injection policy-making and implementation processes in Nigeria from 1960 to 2010; and
- To examine the structure/comparative cost of Gas Re-injection technology and the cost of gas flaring to the Niger Delta Region and Nigeria.
The study seeks to fill the gap in existing literature on the relationship between science, technology and effective regulatory policymaking and implementation in Nigeria’s oil industry. Theoretically, it is to enhance current understanding of the implications of consulting indigenous scientific and technological expertise in gas re-injection policy-making and implementation. The theoretical framework of analysis is adopted from Ogban-Iyam’s perspective of the Marxian Theory of Social Production and Reproduction. The hypothesis, “the non-implementation of the Gas Reinjection policy in Nigeria is a function of lack of consultation of indigenous scientific and technological advice” was tested by logical presentation of evidence and attendant analysis.This study employs two major types of research designs, viz:
- The Post-Test-Only Control Group Design was used to measure the independent variable; and
- The One-Shot Case Study Design was employed to measure the dependent variable.
The logic of the two research designs was to control internal and external threats to validity. The Observation and Interview Methods were used for the collection of data from both primary and secondary sources. The personal interview method was used for the gathering of information from randomly selected respondents from regulatory agencies, petrobusinesses, and the oil bearing communities.
The population of this study is the totality of the stakeholders and the physical environment of the Nigerian Oil Industry, viz: the federal government and all its oil/environment-related policies, laws and MDAs, governments of oil producing states and their oil/environment-related policies, laws and MDAs, Petrobusinesses and their personnel, oil prospecting technologies/activities, and oil-bearing communities, their environment and socioeconomic conditions.
Two major samples for the study were drawn, viz: (i) a sample of federal and state ministries of environment of three Niger Delta States, viz: Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers, and Regulatory Agencies; (ii) a sample of 9 randomly selected respondents, each from three selected oil-bearing communities, viz: Ojobo (Delta), Imiringi (Bayelsa) and Joinkrama IV (Rivers), using the purposive sampling technique to ensure effective representation of the stakeholder groups. Finally, the simple percentage method and tabular presentations were used to analyze both the secondary and primary data collected from the field. The study unearths holistically, not only the weak consultation/underutilization of indigenous scientific and technological expertise in associated gas re-injection policymaking/implementation, but also the existing low quality and quantity of perception, commitment, learning disposition, and political will (PCLW) of the actors involved in the dynamics of associated gas re-injection policy-making and implementation in Nigeria.
Logically, the latter (low quality and quantity of PCLW of the associated gas re-injection policy-makers) preceded the former (weak consultation/utilization of indigenous scientific and technological expertise in associated gas re-injection policy-making and implementation). For emphasis therefore, the low quality and quantity of PCLW of the associated gas re-injection policy-makers is fundamental for the failure of associated gas reinjection policies in Nigeria. Specifically, the low quality and quantity of PCLW of the associated gas re-injection policy-makers led to the following factors:
- The weak consultation and underutilization of the little inputs of a few committed indigenous scientists from governmental circles and the academia through the national consultative and stakeholder forums;
- The non-subjection of the goals and alternatives of the Associated Gas Re-injection policy in Nigeria to scientific and technological gradations through the scrutiny of committed indigenous scientists and attendant problems of identification/definition of policy problem, wrong policy choices and goals;
- The low funding of associated gas re-injection projects by government and petro businesses; and (iv) he proliferation of regulatory agencies and attendant conflict of functions, as well as brazen practices.
As a result, gas flare-out deadlines continue to fail and its adverse consequences on the socioeconomic conditions of oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta Region remain unabated. This study therefore concludes that until the PCLW of Nigeria’s associated gas re-injection policy-makers in the three arms of government improves and they positively perceive the dynamics of science and technology in technology-intensive policy-making and implementation, associated gas re-injection policies in Nigeria will remain inadequate and difficult for implementation.
Thus, the Niger Delta Region will continue to wait in vain for environmental-friendly petroleum prospecting technologies to phase-out gas flaring and attendant environmental pollution, unless the status quo in science and technology is changed to the advantage of the Nigerian environment. This indigenous science and technology consciousness must start now that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Minister of the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta, the Minister and the Permanent Secretary, respectively of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the Director- General, NESREA are all indigenous people from the Niger Delta Region that bears the brunt of petrobusiness.
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