Law, Water and Sustainable Development: Framework of Nigerian Law


Olawale Ajai
Professor of Legal
Political and Social Environment of Business
Lagos Business School
Pan African University
Lagos, Nigeria, Km 22
Lekki –Epe, Expressway
Ajah, Lagos, Nigeria




The central issues of economic development and environmental protection in the current social, political and economic environment relate to water – an overlooked or less glamorous natural resource. For example, topical and sometimes controversial issues such as crude oil and minerals extraction, pollution control, biodiversity protection, energy and power, resource control, revenue allocation and political participation, etc., relate directly or indirectly to water resources management. This paper seeks to identify and present in a schematic and conceptual manner and to highlight the usefulness of folklore for sustainable development and evaluate the usefulness of recruiting traditional institutions into the institutional framework for modern sustainable water resources management in Nigeria  It also discusses the emergent law on water resources as well as the issues concerning the domestic and international riparian law, in particular the River Niger and Lake Chad basins and explores how folklore, comparative law and international law may be adopted and adapted to aid the development and application of water law, and by direct implication sustainable development in Nigeria.


Customary water law, fisheries, human rights,  pollution of watercourses,  Nigeria, riparian law,  right to development, sustainable development, water policy & legislation, water management and governance.             LEAD Journal - ISSN 1746-5893