By CHIBUZO UKAIBE |
On Thursday, February 4, 2021, a former minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, presented four new books at a virtual global event which attracted over 2,300 participants from no fewer than five continents.
The four books presented are: Nigeria Petroleum Industry: 2015 to the Future; Gas Development in Nigeria: Legal and Policy Framework; Nigerian Foreign Investment Law and Policy and Nigerian Law of Contract: Study Companion.
Participating at the event were President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former minister of Defence, T.Y Danjuma; the current minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, secretary general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Sanusi Barkindo and the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Others, who witnessed the event were the minister of Mines and Hydrocarbon in secretary general of Africa Petroleum Producers’ Organisation, Omar Farouk; Mr Abdulrasaq Isa, Mr Austin Avuru as well as other global oil industry chiefs, the academia, lawyers and business titans.
President Buhari said the books affirmed his administration’s effort at ensuring transparency in the oil sector of the economy.
The President said the books discuss the industry through the policy framework of his administration, adding that when he assumed office in 2015, the oil sector was in dire straits.
According to him, the oil industry at the time he assumed office was obviously in need of reform if it must attract growth hence the responsibility to act fast and aggressively rested squarely on the shoulders of his government.
He contended that the current transparency in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was a function of his administration’s conscious decision to combat corruption in the all-important sector of which he has remained the substantive minister.
Osinbajo, on his part, described Kachikwu as a prolific writer and “a gift to us all.”
In their goodwill messages, former minister of defence TY Danjuma noted Kachikwu’s intellectual pedigree, while the serving minister of Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, noted that his predecessor was a key figure in the formulation of policies in the sector which has remained a foundation of their current work in the industry.
Scholars who reviewed the books averred that they would serve as guide to industry operators, providing practical experience and knowledge for policy formation.
Reviewing the first book entitled: ‘The Nigerian Petroleum Industry: 2015 to the Future, Dr Dayo Ayoade, from the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG) said “Since we discovered oil in 1956, Nigeria has struggled with its oil and we need policy books like this to strategise way forward for the nation.”
Ayoade who specialises in Energy, Petroleum and Electricity Sector, added, “There are several oil and gas books, of course, in the market but few of them actually look to the future – few of them provide this kind of strategic and analytical approach that consider where we are, and we need to get to.”
Noting that the book reflects Kachukwu’s private sector experience as well as his time in office as minister, Ayoade, said the first chapter looks at ‘Repositioning the Industry for Prosperity’, dissecting the policy thrust of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the seven big wins and key policy initiatives of the government.
“The second chapter deals mostly with technical perspectives on petroleum resources management and under this heading; we see how the national petroleum policy and the national gas policy were put into effect and how it provides a strong foundation for growth.
“The third chapter deals mostly with policy and regulations and other perspectives. And here, we look at key legislative, policy initiatives and interventions; we look at some of the investment framework, we look at some of the key natural gas infrastructure in the country”.
While noting that the book will delight legal scholars, governments, private sector participants in the industry and it is very warmly recommended, “The vision unpinning this book shows how we can get to national prosperity and it is not a mean achievement to put all of these diverse issues into one book.”
Reviewing the second book ‘Gas Development in Nigeria: Legal and Policy Framework’, Dr Peter Oniemola from the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan, said the book addresses the legal and policy issues in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria with a focus on gas.
Oniemola who noted that the book is structured into six chapters said the striking point is the examination of natural gas or gas development in Nigeria, looking at the overview of the industry, the challenges surrounding the development of gas in Nigeria.
“Another striking chapter to be considered in the book is the examination of the legal regime for gas in Nigeria, which involves the examination of the provisions of the constitution, the Petroleum Production Act and the production drilling and production regulation among other legislations in the oil and gas industry.
“The various policies relating to gas are also examined in another chapter – so compelling in demonstration of how policies affect the development of gas in Nigeria.
“It is also striking to see that the matters bothering on climate change – sustainable development of gas – are also examined in the book.
“With development of the Nigerian gas sector, which has been bedeviled by series of challenges such as pricing, cash call issues and the need for continuous funding and infrastructural development in the gas sector, the author was able to bring on board, his experience as a practitioner in the field as well as an administrator,” he said.
‘Nigeria Foreign Investment Law and Policy (Second Edition), the third book, was reviewed by Dr Oluwatoyin Adejonwo Osho, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos.
He said, “The book seeks to assess the progress, if any, with regards to the legal and regulatory framework for foreign investment in Nigeria. It also seeks to provide a detailed and comprehensive overview of the current law and policy guiding foreign investment.
“The book proffers useful pathways and provocative insights, which will be useful to investors both foreign and local, academics and researchers, legal practitioner, governments, international organisations, students and every other person that is interested in the laws and policies with respect to foreign investment in Nigeria,” he said.
The last book ‘The Nigerian Law of Contract: Study Companion’ was reviewed by Dr Adekemi Omotubora, lecturer in the department of Commercial and Industrial Law, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos.
She said the objective of this book as stated by the author, is two-fold: to capture and present the over racking scope of the law of contract to the reader, and to address the evolution of and recent development in contract law.
“So, in recognition of the fact that the law of contract is the foundation of all other commercial laws and that different professional – both lawyers and non-lawyers – are having to deal with this area of contract, the book was written to appeal to a larger audience of both lawyers and non-lawyers. So, the book delivered on this objective.
“The first point that I would like to note is the excellent structure of the book in terms of the topics covered, discussions and analysis of the law. And in spite of the fact that it is legal text…and legal texts are known for their legalese, this book adopts a sophisticated narrative, which is easy to follow by both lawyers and non-lawyers.”
“So, non-professionals not initiated in the legal profession can also use this book. The book consists of 14 chapters, covering the broad scope of the contract law.
“Overall, what is my impression of this book? I think it lives up to its title of being a study companion but that doesn’t mean that we are saying it is a study companion meant for just students; this is also a practitioners’ book; it can be used by students and it can be used by practitioners alike and it can be used especially, by non-lawyers, who want to understand this area of the law or who work in this area and deal with this area of the law”.
She described the book as a great addition to the body of knowledge and said it is good for “students, practitioners and all the people, who are interested in learning about the law of contract.”