Polluter-Pays Principle and the Regulation of Environmental Pollution in Nigeria: Major Challenges

Jude O. Ezeanokwasa


Recognizing the internationally acclaimed efficiency of the Polluter-Pays principle (PPP) in achieving environmental protection and improvement, Nigeria adopted it as one of its principles in achieving environmental protection. The principle holds polluters responsible for the environmental degradation and pollution caused by them by getting them pay for them (pollution). To achieve the desired goal the PPP is embodied in major environmental regulations statutes, instruments and institutions in Nigeria such as the 1999 National Policy on Environment, as revised in 2016, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) (Establishment) Act, National Oil Spill Detection and Response (NOSDRA) (Establishment) Act, Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN), and Mining and Minerals Act 2007.  Despite the length of time that has passed from the time Nigeria adopted PPP as a key driving principle of its policy on environment, environment pollution and degradation have not abetted. They are rather on the increase as can be attested by the mountains of solid wastes littering our cities and pollution-related restiveness in the Niger Delta. This led this paper to critically inquire into the efficacy of the PPP in Nigeria. The finding is that there are peculiar challenges in Nigeria which must first be tackled before PPP can effectively yield the desired result in the country. These include problem identifying polluters in the country, general ignorance about environmental degradation and pollution, inefficient enforcement agencies, and under-funding of enforcement agencies. The paper recommends that these problems should first be addressed before the PPP can yield positive results in Nigeria. The methodology of this paper is doctrinal.

Keywords: Nigeria, polluter-pays principle, environmental regulation, environmental pollution,  environmental protection, challenge

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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