Akpan - Host State Legal and Policy Responses to Resource Control Claims

full all chapter5 chapter6 chapter7 chapter8 chapter9

chapter4 chapter5 chapter6 chapter7 chapter8 chapter9

Transparency and Accountability

Policy, Legal and Contractual Framework

Sector Organization and Institutions

Fiscal Design and Administration

Revenue Management and Distribution

Sustainable Development

Akpan., G.S., Host State Legal and Policy Responses to Resource Control Claims by Host Communities: Implications for Investment in the Natural Resource Sector, in International and Comparative Mineral Law and Policy, Trends and Prospects, Bastida, E., Wälde, T., Warden-Fernandez, J., eds.,  (Netherlands, Kluwer Law International, 2005)

The paper looks at the agitation for control and management of resources by host populations in the host countries and provides a comprehensive examination of the legal basis for such claims.

Using some key case studies from Nigeria (namely grievances by populations in the Niger Delta belt) and Indonesia (mainly those of the Aceh people affected by exploitation of resources), the author sets the stage for understanding the motivations behind States responses to such agitations. In doing so it examines the various models of investment utilised in the resources sector and argues a new approach which not only acknowledge the grievances but also address key issues involved in resource based agitation.

In tracing the historical process of resource control agitation, the author posits that the antecedents can be located in the practice before the advent of the modern State and has developed since through to modern times. What seems striking is that for Countries that experienced Colonial control, their host communities have resorted to the same arguments that fuelled their earlier struggles against their Colonial masters, a central tenet being the right to self determination. In so doing the author traces the legitimacy of such claims identifying international legal doctrine that seek to address the rights espoused.

The Case studies of Indonesia and Nigeria offer two perspectives of how States often manage such grievances, through policy and responses to the resource control claims. The findings in Indonesia indicate several policy measures designed to address the quest for self determination with some corresponding benefits, including improvement in the proceeds deriving from natural resource exploitation. In contrast the policy measures taken by the Nigerian government have not led to the same responses as did the Indonesian Model. The author links this with the inadequacy of the policies to satisfy the yearning for resource control and the fact that those policies rarely deal with the roots of the grievances. On this basis the author analyzes the impact of the host State responses and the implications for further investment in the resource sector, contrasting the different models and their implications for the growth of private investment.

The paper concludes by making recommendations in light of the fact that neither the Norwegian Model nor the Nigerian Models have the necessary ingredients to satisfy all interested stakeholders. The author proposes a middle approach which involves the recognition of joint partnership and control in management of the natural resources, recognising that a system that leans further in one direction creates the necessary environment of conflict for control of resources. 

No comments.