Due to the dynamism of human existence, there is always the need for constant change and adaptation. This tendency for change is reflected in the ongoing reform of Nigeria's economic sector. The focus is the withdrawal of government from commercially oriented activities, (so that it can concentrate on governance) and replacement by private operators. This manifests in the oil sector as reform of both the law and policy of the upstream and downstream aspects of the industry, to allow for participation by private indigenous enterprises and reform of the pricing of petroleum prices especially removal of petroleum products price subsidy by government. It also reflects in a change in the treatment of the host communities. Another key aspect of the reform is the encouragement of financial transparency in the industry to address the corruption, which has arisen as a result of the government monopoly of the sector. This paper examines these reforms and their ability to bring about change in the sector. It also assessed the reform of the Energy law of the EU whereby the EU treaties relating to energy, with specific reference to oil, have become part of the laws operating within member countries. A salient aspect of the EU Energy laws is that all aspects of energy are regulated by the prevalent Energy regulations in a holistic manner in a bid to create synergy of the industry.
The paper postulates that the difficulty in sustaining the reforms could result in eventual failure of the reform. It speculates that this is not because the government lacks the power to drive the reforms, but seems bereft of the spirit or political will to remove itself from the oil business thereby truncating the drive towards full market development of the industry, a feat which has been achieved substantially in the EU States.European Energy and Environmental Law Review