The flaring of Associated Gas (AG) in the Niger Delta of Nigeria started towards the end of colonial rule in the country. Flaring of gas mixed up with the crude oil began right at the start of oil exploration and production. More gas was flared in Nigeria than most oil producing countries. Efforts to stop gas flaring in Nigeria, so far, have not yielded positive results. Gas flaring has been illegal in Nigeria since 1984, pursuant to section 3 of the Associated Gas Reinjection Act of 1979. Apart from its oil, Nigeria has significantly huge gas reserves, the 7th largest deposit in the world with reserves estimated at 185 trillion cubic feet (TCF). This resource endowment could be productively utilized to stem or cushion the volatility and vulnerability associated with the cyclical rise and fall of crude oil prices in the international market. Gas production could also help the country in its quest for economic diversification and to boast revenue generation for the federal government. There was no doubt that the issue of gas flaring have topical and central to the national interest. It was against this background that the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), in line with its statutory mandate, organised a conference on Gas Flaring in the Niger Delta: The Internal and External Dimensions, it took place on 14th December, 2016 at the NIIA Conference Chamber.
The Conference attracted participants from the academia; policy makers; oil industry; environment rights NGOs and other participants from within and outside Lagos. The total number of twelve (12) papers were presented during the conference. They included the following; Oil Exploration and Exploitation in Nigeria: A Historical Perspective presented by Professor Charles Dokubo; Understanding the Phenomenon of Gas Flaring in Nigeria: A Critical Analysis presented by Dr. Famos Eseduwo; Global Convention on the Environment, UN Mandate and International Standards in Gas Flaring: An Appraisal presented by Professor Sam Erugo; An Assessment of the Legal and Regulatory Framework of Gas Flaring in Nigeria by Professor Konyinsola Ajayi; The Federal Government, Multinational Corporations(MNCs) and Gas Flaring in Nigeria: An Evaluation of Partnership over the Year presented by Mr. Anthony Konwea; Oil Production and Gas Flaring in the Niger: The Political Economy Approach by Dr. Godwin Ichimi; Gas Flaring in OPEC Countries: A Comparative Analysis by Professor Osita Agbu; Gas Flaring in Developing Non – OPEC Countries: An Overview presented by Dr. Bolarinwa and Dr. Ubi, Managing Gas Flaring in Nigeria: Lessons from the Developed Countries presented by Dr. Phillips Okolo; Ending Gas Flaring in Nigeria: Opportunities for Investment presented by Enger. Sunday Ukpai; Environmental Impact of Gas Flaring in the Niger Delta: Implications for Sustainable Development presented by Dr. Sharkdam and Dr Ugwuanyi and Militancy, Violence and Security in the Niger-Delta by Professor Usman A. Tar. The conference produced a Communiqué