In a few hours, we shall witness a unique global event – the launch of my four books. I am humbled by all the courtesies and honour we have received from our leaders in the Villa, Honourable Ministers, State Governors, Legislators, Diplomats , OPEC Member Country Ministers, APPO Member Country Ministers, my colleagues, scholars and professors from top universities around the world, oil industry practitioners, business moguls, traditional rulers, and various people who have indicated readiness to join us tomorrow.
From all indications, we will have a truly global event, with over two thousand attendees from all the continents of the world. Several guests have confirmed their attendance from over 60 countries in 6 continents. Thanks to modern technology, this sort of attendance, which would have been physically impossible, is now an easy feat to achieve.
I know this is not the positive news that event planners want to hear. In a non-COVID period, we would have had a massive hall, entertainers, caterers, events planners, logistics officers, etc. However, at the end of it all, we would all have been exhausted and the real significance of the event might have been lost.
Once, a relation of mine yearned to have the best wedding of all time, and she got what she wished for; over a thousand-person wedding attendance. But she was so exhausted from following up on the logistics. She arrived forty minutes late to church, dripping of pressure sweat, with her make-up in ruins, and to the angry but pretentiously welcoming glances of guests. She broke down in tears, as the pastor started by admonishing her and quoting to her apt passages from the Bible on getting her priorities right.
But that will not be the case in tomorrow’s event.
Tomorrow, we will be presenting 4 books:
- Nigerian Petroleum Industry: 2015 to the Future
- Nigerian Foreign Investment Law and Policy (Second Edition)
- Gas Development in Nigeria: Legal and Policy Framework
- Nigerian Law of Contract: Study Companion
The Nigerian Petroleum Industry: 2015 to the Future is a book, whose timeframe spans 2015 to 2019, with an embedded forecast of the areas of future policy attention. It covers all the policy work we did on gas, upstream, restructuring, revenue enhancement, leakages in the sector, areas needing urgent focus, international policies, OPEC matters, community and Niger Delta ticking time bombs, manpower enhancement in the sector, private sector participation and uplift, local content issues, technology enhancement in the sector, and many more.
It also maps out areas for future policy attention, especially on gas, infrastructure, financing and alternative energy focus. More exciting is that although I led the initiative, some of the chapters are co-authored by the policy experts who drove the issues. Like Bill Clinton will say, “It is like getting many experts in one book for the price of one.”
The book will be presented by the leading global manager of the oil sector organizations, the Secretary General of OPEC, who will be joining us from the OPEC head quarters in Vienna.
The book on Nigerian Foreign Investment Law and Policy, which is in its 2nd edition, treats the various laws and policies covering foreign investment in Nigeria. It is as historical as it is current. This is a vast legal field and I have tried to capture the essentials for practitioners, investors, and people looking at the Nigerian investment market with some seriousness.
This is also an area with rapid turnaround policies and we have had to revise twice in the process of completing the book. The new corporate registration laws and practices, the many ever-changing ‘Ease of Doing Business’ policies in Nigeria, which have been a bedrock of the Buhari/Osinbajo administration, some of the tax laws and regulations, and some of our dispute regulation processes and options are also covered.
But the book is not meant to be exhaustive, and perhaps a multi-volume focus is an area needing future attention.
Gas Development in Nigeria: Legal and Policy Framework covers a very topical subject, because we as a nation and most of the world are gradually transiting from oil to gas. Truth is that, while oil reserve for Nigeria is projected at 30 years plus at current daily production rate, gas at double our current production rate is projected to last 70 years or more. That, together with the growing environmental concerns about crude or refined oil means that much attention needs to be paid to gas. This book is a follow-up to my first book on Gas policies which was titled “Rethinking Gas: A Directional Roadmap for Nigeria’s Development.”
In the current book, fiscal, non-fiscal, environmental, revenue models, gas infrastructure and pro-investment policies for harnessing gas development are treated. This book, taken along with the first, should provide a wealth of information for gas sector practitioners and policy aficionados.
The Nigerian Law of Contract: Study Companion is as its title says. This is actually a second edition of sorts and borrowed from the approach of the first book authored many years ago by myself and Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN. The concise series authored by us at the time covered both law of contract and company law. So I hope in the years to come I will continue this effort, and extend the study companion to cover other subjects. The idea of the study companion started when I lectured Law of Contract and Company Law at Obafemi Awolowo University. One as a primary lecturer and the other as a secondary tutor.
At that time I was exasperated at teaching contract and company law for one-year periods. In my time at Harvard law, these were one semester courses, and studied and concluded in three months, so why did the courses need to be taught for one year? I finished the one-year syllabus in six months and did course revision for rest of the year. The result was a spectacular performance of 99% in my classes. I therefore thought of writing a contract book for everyone in which even students with low attention spans would enjoy and grasp. Many students have used the books over the years. This is a book on contract law, even for non-lawyers.
On a lighter note, yesterday, I was showing copies of the books to my inquisitive three-year-old granddaughter, Nere, and the following conversation ensued:
“Grandpa, you wrote all these books! One…two…three…,” she marvelled, placing one book on top of another.
“Yes Nere,” I replied, taking a seat next to her.
“Why did you write four now?”
“No reason Nere,” I said.
“Why didn’t you write one and another one next year?” she asked.
“I decided to write four so you will have enough to read,” I replied.
“Ha! me? Why will you make your granddaughter read these big four books all at once? Hmm! You want to make me crazy, Grandpa?” Nere exclaimed.
“No darling,” I replied.
“Don’t be doing such things grandpa,” she admonished.
“Ok Nere” I replied as she tossed three of the books to one side, picked up one in yellow colour, and said, “This is the only one I will read jo.”
I burst into a staccato of laughter… kids.
I look forward to seeing you all in a few hours for a grand global presentation.