Author(s): Ufuoma Veronica Awhefeada, Kingsley Omote Mrabure
The extractive industry in Nigeria is plagued with a myriad of human rights challenges arising from the activities of Multi-National Companies (MNCs) often working in tacit cahoots with the government which result in flagrant violations and abuse of human rights. The Nigerian government has demonstrated minimal ability to stem the tide of these violations. This paper undertakes an expository analysis into the nature and categories of human rights and how they are recognised under Nigerian laws and interpreted by the courts. It further identifies the various types of abuse that take place in this sector of the economy. It finds that there is a stratification of rights into justiciable (enforceable) and non-justiciable (non-enforceable) rights with violations by the MNCs cutting across both. The research reveals that this grouping of rights has worked severe hardship on victims of abuse in Nigeria and this is not tenable in some jurisdictions. This paper calls for a more proactive approach to the recognition and interpretation of human rights with regard to those touching on the activities in the extractive industry to be in tandem with the practice in some jurisdictions. It further calls for the express incorporation of human rights clauses into prospecting, mining leases and other agreements entered into with the MNCs.