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Environmental Law System of Nigeria


Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Section 20 [of the Nigerian State to improve and protect the air, land, water, forest and wildlife of Nigeria]

Section 12 [Treaty making powers and procedure of the Federation

National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Act, 2007







Section 7: Authority to ensure compliance with all of Nigeria’s environmental laws and treaty obligations

Section 8 (1) K and Section 27: Authority to make and review regulations on air and water quality, discharge of effluents and other harmful substances as well as control  of other forms of environmental pollution


1. National Effluent Limitation regulations

2. National Environment Protection (Pollution Abatement in Industries and Facilities producing Waste) regulations, 1991

3. Federal Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (1991)

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act, Cap E12, LFN, 2004 Section 2: Requirement for environmental impact assessment report for private and public projects likely to have significant impact on the environment
The Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act, Cap N138, 2004

Section 30: Requirement for a building plan by a registered architect before commencement of any building project

Section 39: Making the acceptance of a land development plan contingent on proof it would not harm the environment or constitute nuisance to the community

Section 72: Mandates the preservation of the environment through tree planting and other environmental conservation practices

Land Use Act Grants control over land to Government of State for proper allocation towards purpose beneficial to the communities in the State including environmental conservation
Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions) Act, Cap H1, LFN 2004 Makes illegal and unlawful the dumping of harmful waste in the air, land or waters of Nigeria. Prohibits and criminalizes unauthorised transportation, depositing or dumping of harmful waste on any land, territorial Waters, contiguous zone, Exclusive Economic Zone, or inland Water ways of Nigeria.
Hydrocarbon Oil Refineries Act, Cap H5, LFN 2004 Restricts oil refining to licensed refineries required to maintain pollution prevention facilities and standards
Oil in Navigable Waters Act, Cap 06, LFN 2004 Outlaws the discharge of oil into Nigerian territorial waters as well as requires the installation of anti-pollution facilities in ships and related apparatus or facilities for transferring or storage of oil
Associated Gas Re-Injection Act, Cap 20, LFN 204 Regulates gas flaring of gas by oil and gas companies in Nigeria
The Endangered Species Act, Cap E9, LFN 2004 Provides a legal framework for the protection and management of Nigeria’s wildlife especially species in danger of extinction
Sea Fisheries Act, Cap S4, LFN 2004 Provides a legal framework for the exploitation of fishes and other marine animals in Nigeria’s territorial waters or high seas with a view towards their preservation
Inland Fisheries Act, Cap I10, LFN 2004 Outlines a legal framework for commercial fishing and other operations in Nigeria’s inland waterways so as to preserve the quality of life of its inhabitants
Exclusive Economic Zone Act, Cap E11, LFN 2004 Designates Exclusive Zone within which only restricted and permitted exploration and exploitation of natural resources are allowed
Oil Pipelines Act, Cap O7, LFN 2004 Establishes legal liability in compensation for physical or economic injury suffered as a result of a broken or leaking oil pipeline. Also restricts grant of licence for the establishment of oil pipelines based on public safety and environmental pollution considerations
Oil Pipelines Regulations (under Oil Pipelines) Act Mandates environmental emergency plans and measures for oil pipelines operations to prevent or limit environmental pollution
Petroleum Act, Cap P10, LFN 2004



Serves as the primary legislation for the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector and includes provisions mandating the promotion of public safety and environmental protection measures, practices and standards


1.    Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations

2.    Petroleum Refining Regulation

3.    Mineral Oil Safety Regulations and Crude Oil Transportation and Shipment Regulations

The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act 2005 (NOSDRA) Act: Provides a regulatory framework for management of waste emanating from oil production and exploration so as to reduce its negative consequences to the environment.
Petroleum Products and Distribution Act, Cap P12, LFN 2004 Establishes a legal framework for the distribution of petroleum products in Nigeria
Territorial Waters Act, Cap T5, LFN 2004 Makes punishable any act or omission committed within Nigeria’s territorial waters which would be an offence under any existing Nigerian law
Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act, Cap N142, LFN 2004 Provides a legal framework for the protection of the environment from harmful effects arising from operations related to radioactive substances or equipment or devices emitting ionizing radiation
Nigerian Mining Corporation Act, Cap N120, LFN 2004 Establishes the Nigerian Mining Corporation as well as civil liability for physical and economic damages suffered by any person due to the operations of the Corporation
Quarantine Act, Cap Q2, LFN 204 Provides a regulatory framework and standards to prevent the spread or transmission of infectious diseases or unwanted species of animals or plants in Nigeria.
Rivers Basin Development Authority Act, Ca R9, LFN 2004 Establishes authorities for the development of Nigeria’s water resources for industrial, agricultural and other domestic needs including the controls of floods and erosions
Pest Control of Production (Special Powers) Act, Cap P9, LFN 2004.  Focused on securing quality of Nigeria’s export produce especially in relation to compliance with standards relating to use of pest control
Agriculture (Control of Importation) Act, Ca A93, LFN 2004 Legal framework for the control of the introduction or spread of plant diseases or pests
Animal Diseases (Control) Act, Cap A17, LFN 2004 Provides a framework for the restriction of importation into and transportation of animals, hatching egg or poultry in Nigeria except with a licence so as to prevent or control the spread of animal diseases
Bees (Import Control and Management) Act, Cap B6, LN 2004 Provides a licensing framework for the import of bees or apicultural materials into Nigeria.
Civil Aviation Act, Cap C13, LFN 2004 Provides a legal framework for the protection of persons and cargo in an aircraft as well as others who may be endangered from them in Nigeria
Factories Act, Cap F1, LFN 2004 Provides a legal framework for the regulation of safety standards for the operation of factories in Nigeria as well as the protection of workers exposed to occupational hazards.
Water Resources Act, Cap W2, LFN 2004 Establishes a framework for the management, improvement and development of Nigeria’s water resources including the prevention of pollution which may threaten flora and fauna within them
Hides and Skins Act, Cap H3, LFN 2004 Provides regulations for the operation of business relating  to the preparation of hides and skins in Nigeria for trading and other purposes
National Parks Act, Cap N65, LFN 2004 Establishes the National Park concerned with the establishment of protected wildlife spaces for plant and animals conservation as well as other purposes like water catchment protection, etc.
Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Act, Cap N68, LFN Establishes the NDDC to tackle developmental issues in Nigeria’s Niger Delta including combating environmental pollution
The Criminal Code

Deploys criminal sanctions towards the  deterring of negative environmental practices

Sections 245-248 criminalizes certain environmentally damaging behaviour like water fouling and the use of noxious substances.

The Management of Solid and Hazardous Wastes Regulations Regulates the collection, treatment and disposal of solid and hazardous waste from municipal and industrial sources. It also provides an index of chemicals and chemical waste by their toxicity categories.
The National Effluents Limitations Regulations
The National Guidelines and Standards for Environmental Pollution Control in Nigeria
National Policy on the Environment



  1. National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA
  2. Federal Ministry of Environment (FMOE)
  3. Federal Ministry of Water Resources
  4. National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA)
  5. Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development (FMEHUD)
  6. Department of Petroleum Resources
  7. Abuja Environmental Protection Agency




Country Treaty Title Date of Entry into Force
South Africa Agreement on Co-operation in the Fields of Mining, Geology, Exploration and Beneficiation of Minerals and Energy. 2005-07-27 (in South Africa)



Title of Treaty or Convention  Date of Entry into Force Date Signed 
Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer 10/4/96
International Convention to combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa 26/12/96 31/10/94
International Convention on Salvage 14/7/96 28/4/89
Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention  on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 28/7/96




International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co operation 13/5/95
Framework Convention on Climate Change 27/11/94 13/6/92
Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio Conference)  27/11/94 13/6/92
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 16/11/94 10/12/82
Deserficiation Convention 30/10/94 08/7/97
Convention on Nuclear Safety 21/9/94
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and their Destruction 13/1/93
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 29/10/93
Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention) 05/5/92 15/3/90
Convention of the Carriage of Goods by Sea 01/11/92
Treaty establishing the African Economic Community 03/6/91
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident 10/9/90 21/1/87
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency 10/9/90
Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) 29/1/89
Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (Vienna Convention) 29/1/89
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) 10/4/89 21/1/87
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions relating to the Protection of Victims of Non International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II) 10/4/89
Fourth ACP EEC Convention 15/12/89
Amendment to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (art. XI) 13/4/87
International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 10/12/87
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals 01/1/87
Protocol relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea ( SOLAS Prot.) 13/2/85
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 13/2/85
Constitution of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization 21/6/85 08/4/79
Third ACP EEC Convention 08/12/84
Convention for Co operation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African Region 05/8/84 23/5/81
Protocol concerning Co operation in combating Pollution in cases of Emergency 05/8/84 23/5/81
Convention Creating the Niger Basin Authority 03/12/82 21/11/80
Protocol relating to the Development Fund of the Niger Basin 03/12/82 21/11/80
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea ( SOLAS ) 07/8/81
Amendments to the Annexes to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 11/3/81
International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 05/8/81
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 27/1/80 23/5/69
Amendments to Annexes to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter concerning Incineration at Sea 11/3/79
Agreement on the Joint Regulations on Fauna and Flora 03/12/77 03/12/77
Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 15/7/77
Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 18/4/76
Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 17/12/75
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 01/7/75 11/2/74
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction 26/3/75 03/7/72
African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources  07/6/74 15/9/68
Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects launched into Outer Space 26/2/73 03/5/68
Agreement concerning the Voluntary Contributions to be given for the Execution of the Project to save the Temples of Philae 24/1/72
Convention on the Continental Shelf 28/5/71
Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons 05/3/70 01/7/68
Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 15/6/70
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil,1954, as amended in 1962 and 1969 22/4/68
Convention and Statute on the Regime of Navigable Waterways of International Concern 07/2/68
Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare 15/10/68
Articles of Association for the establishment of an Economic Community of West Africa 04/5/67 04/5/67
Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under Water 17/2/67 02/9/63
Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies  14/11/67
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 28/2/66
Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas 20/3/66
Agreement concerning the River Niger Commission and the Navigation and Transport on the River Niger 12/4/66
Act regarding Navigation and Economic Co- operation between the States of the Niger Basin 01/2/66
Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency 25/3/64
International Convention on Certain Rules concerning Civil Jurisdiction in Matters of Collision 07/5/64
Agreement concerning the voluntary contributions to be given for the execution of the project to save the Abu Simbel Temples 06/3/64
Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone 10/9/64
Agreement establishing the African Development Bank 10/9/64
Statute of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law 29/10/64
Charter of the Organization of African Unity 14/11/63
Convention on the African Migratory Locust 13/4/63
Convention on the High Seas 30/9/62
Agreement of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development 30/3/61 30/3/61
Statutes of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property 12/12/61
Articles of Agreement of the International Development Association 14/11/61
Agreement of the International Monetary Fund 30/3/61 30/3/61
Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 16 Aircraft Noise 14/12/60
Convention of the World Meteorological Organization 30/12/60
Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 14/11/60 02/11/60
Constitution of the World Health Organization 25/11/60 25/11/60
Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 11/10/60
Constitution of the International Labour Organisation 17/10/60
Charter of the United Nations 07/10/60
Convention on the International Maritime Organization 15/3/60
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 01/10/60


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