It is the statutory obligation of a government to protect its citizens from abuses to their rights to decent life. For a long time in Nigeria, both the government and oil companies have done little or nothing or at best paid lip-service to protecting the rights of oil and gas bearing communities of the Niger Delta to decent life and effective utilization of their environment. How else does one explain the massive pollution of the Niger Delta through unabating flaring of gas despite several government laws and regulate the activities of the multinational oil companies? What exactly has been done to achieve total gas flare out in the country?
One is persuaded to agree with the opinion expressed in the Guardian online of Monday, February 18, 2002 that
Nowhere in the world, particularly the developing countries, have policies concerning natural resource exploitation been welcome by multinational companies involved in such activities. Their demands for relaxed regulatory policies are almost insatiable and this normally proves detrimental to the social and environmental conditions of the immediate communities. Oil producing communities in Nigeria re not an exception.
Efforts by the Nigerian Government, since 1969, put an end to gas flaring through an implementable legislation have proved abortive till date. It will therefore be necessary to determine the efforts so far made by the Nigerian state to regulate the operations of the multinational companies as they affect gas flaring in the country. What are these legislation and what have they achieved?