Family is considered a basic cell of the society. All social and cultural practices find their connection with a notion of family, either supporting or distorting it.

Family plays a crucial role in Africa.  Mbiti says that “each person in African traditional life lives in or as a part of the family” (1975, p. 175). Kisembo asserts that “the family community was the fundamental element of the African, this basic sphere of action, through which he became integrated with the larger, human community… he always acted from within the sphere of the family” (1998, pp. 202-203).

In this work I will try to provide a description of the wider family and its functions in the traditional African society. After that, I will focus on some sociological changes taking place in the contemporary society in order to find out whether those changes affected the traditional meaning of wider family.

Traditional understanding of family

Shorter defines family as a “minimal effective group of relatives by blood and /or marriage and analogous groups” (1998, p. 83). By analogous groups he means those members who are not related by blood or marriage, e.g. adopted children.

Nuclear family would consist of parents and their own children. Shorter (1998, p. 83) sees such a family as autonomous and operating without reference to other relatives. Often their place of residence would be neolocal.

Extended/wider family comprises more people. Mbiti says that “for African people the family has a much wider circle of members than the word suggests in Europe or North America. In traditional society, the family includes children, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters who may have their own children and other immediate relatives” (1969, p.106). The relationships within extended family would be based on kinship (biological or putative blood relationship) and affinity (relationship between blood relationships of one marriage partner and those of the other marriage partner). Such a family would include adopted and fostered children.

The behavioral sciences in African context are in a developing stage. This book claims to be the first offering a sociological introduction to the sub-Saharan African family. This book aims to “summarize what is known about African family life in terms of general sociology of the family framework.” (p. 1)


  • Importance of the larger kin group (extended family) beyond the nuclear family.
  • Dedication of the extended family to the raising and support of children.
  • Lack of public display of affection.
  • Care and respect for the elderly.
  • Marriage as a series of interrelated ceremonies.
  • Polygamy as a desired measure of social success or status; male access to younger women and female division of labor.
  • Less prominence of romance in courtship and marriage.
  • Constrained communication between parents and children.

Some aspects of the traditional family change fairly rapidly in transitional situations. Yet, the importance of the extended family and children, the restrained public display of affection, and care and respect for the elderly are sustained.


Some of the impact of modern forces of change in African traditional family can be state and discuss below;

Changes in the contemporary African society

African society has been undergoing a process of profound changes affecting all aspects of its traditional life (Kisembo, 1998, p. 208, Vahakangas, 2004, p.43, O’Donovan, 2000, p. 40). I would like to, generally, mention just few of them that in my view are most relevant to the topic. A lot of these changes directly affect the family which is “the logical outcome of marriage” (Ayisi, 1992, p. 15).

For various reasons, natural and human, the standard of life in Africa, in many cases and for most people, either did not improve since independence or actually reduced. Put together with an ever increasing cost of life, it contributes to the fact that many people live in poverty. It prevents them from fulfilling their traditional obligations (Timberlake, 1985; Wasah, 2008).

Christianity brought some challenges to traditional African practices such as polygamy by equating it with adultery and sin. It also promotes monogamy as the only morally accepted type of marriage. Monogamy, though present and practiced in traditional Africa, was not as widely spread as polygamy (Waruta, 2005, pp. 108-109).

Other changes referred to by various authors that affect directly or indirectly the concept of wider family are: westernization of the African society with its stress on individual success, competitiveness and financial gain, modern education that often promotes personal values at the expense of communal values, modernization of the society with an increased pace of life demanding more time to be dedicated to work, the process of globalization that increases the gap between the rich and the poor and the process of urbanization that encourages many people to move to cities in search of work and contributes to the phenomenon of slums (Timberlake, 1994, Kisembo, 1998, Vahakangas, 2004, Magoti, 2004, Waruta, 2005, Wasah, 2008).

Effects of the changes on the concept of wider family

The changes taking place in the society affect the concept of wider family. In rural areas the family is less affected – people live together, often in physical proximity, support each other and may often be relatively well off because they would have some livestock and farms. One could argue that the concept of wider family could be expanded to look at an ethnic group as a very wide family. It may be a source of support for the members of such a group. When it used exclusively and at the expense of other groups, it leads to favoritism in providing jobs and other opportunities. Lamb describes it in the following way: “to give a job to a fellow tribesman is not nepotism, it is an obligation. For politician or military leader to choose his closest advisers and his body guards form the ranks of his own tribe is not patronage, it is good common sense” (1985, p. 9).  He provides an example of Liberia at the time of Tolbert where a number of members of his family held crucial posts in the country.  Applied to the extreme, the concept of the tribe as a wide family  may largely contribute to such events like genocide in Rwanda in 1994, postelection violence in Kenya and the phenomenon of ‘negative etnicity’ (Koigi, 2008, pp. 95-99).

On the other hand, the wider family support system seems also very much alive. Those members of the family who are better off are expected to support the other members of the family. Those who are living in towns are expected to provide accommodation to those coming from villages to look for job in towns or studying there. Kayongo-Male (1984, p. 59) comments that “many Africans virtually live with relatives, either seeking job or getting education. Hence one enters marriage with a fleet of relatives, living with a spouse depending on whether accommodation is available”.
Eurocentricity And The Traditional African Family

Patrilineality, matrilineality, and the practice of polygyny are three of the major distinguishing variations of the African traditional extended family. The literature on the subject is truly as vast and reflects traditional patterns that are as diverse as the variations of the physical looks of the people found on the continent. What is significant about the various descriptions of the traditional African family is that they are from back in the period before the 1940s and in case of the Baganda from the late 1800s. Social change in Africa as everywhere else is ubiquitous. Such influences as end of intra and inter-tribal warfare with the coming of European colonialism, the Western money economy, industrialization, migration, and urbanization have certainly transformed the traditional African family from what it was 50 to 100 years ago. By 1935, for example, anthropologists like Mair and Richards and no doubt many others were already noticing change in marriage and family patterns.

The written descriptions and therefore perceptions of the traditional African family were also a victim of the European colonial cultural bias and Christian values. In a more obvious way, this Eurocentrism36 did not treat polygamy, the African marriages and the extended family and any others of its “eccentricities” (regarded as such because they were different from European customs) as social phenomena that was legitimate and workable in its own African social circumstances and environment. But rather as curiosities that were to succumb to the superior European monogamous marriage values legitimated by Christianity.

Some of the issues that were the products of the Eurocentrically biased judgements include the following two. First, the strengths, durability, and resilience of the African traditional family were never dwelt on explicitly and at length. For example, in the polygynous African family, like among the Baganda, and many others, your father’s wives and brothers were not just mothers and fathers just as mere kinship terms. These carried with them all the heavy social obligations demanded of a mother or father, daughter or son. There was never a distinction between the biological and non-biological kin as far as primary parental obligations were concerned. Other significant strengths are that the traditional African family increased group cohesion in an otherwise harsh physical and social environment.

Matrilineal Traditional African Family

During the period earlier than 1940s, marriages remained completely matrilocal during the couple’s entire life. But however, after a few years of contact with white civilization and subsequent social change, the custom has gradually changed. The husband could take his wife home if the marriage was thought stable especially after the couple has had two or more children.

The basic family unit among the Bemba was not the nuclear family. But rather the matrilocal extended family comprised of a man and his wife, their married daughters, son-in-laws, and their children. “The basic kinship unit of Bemba society is not the individual family, but a matrilocal extended family composed of a man and his wife, their married daughters, and the latter’s husbands and children.”24
Polygamy or polygyny, which is a distinguishing feature in many traditional African families especially is patrilineal and patriarchal societies, is uncommon among the matrilineal Bemba. Where as chiefs have a number of wives, it is very rare to find ordinary men who have more than one wife. “Polygamy is relatively speaking uncommon in this area and the institution is not an essential part of the Bemba family and economic life as it is among so many Bantu peoples.”

Perversity Of Polygamy

Scholars of the African traditional family agree that the one widely known aspect that distinguishes the African traditional family, say from the European one, is the perversity of polygamy3. Although polygamy is the act of an individual being married to more than one spouse at the same time, the more commonly practiced in Africa is polygyny “….the legal marriage of one man to two or more women concurrently – is permitted.” This author argues that because of its perversity, the presence and absence of polygyny was a significant determinant and indicator of the nature of virtually every African social group; whether tribe, clan, or extended family, whether matrilineality or patrilineality was practiced, bride price existed, and how children were raised.

Polygyny was widely practiced in Africa and it often formed the backbone of the traditional African family patterns. According to Mair, “….the polygynous joint family, consisting of a man, his wives, and their children, is the ideal for most Africans.” Studies conducted from the 1930s to 1950s indicate that polygyny was common virtually in all regions of Africa.  In spite of the perversity of polygyny, there was evidence that it was on the decline. The major reason cited is that with increasing modern influences, marrying more than one wife became an economic burden. Even traditionally, ordinary citizens could not achieve marrying more than one wife. Often only Kings, chiefs and men who had wealth could afford it. Polygyny though set the tone and often determined the strength of the society and pattern of social organization of the traditional African family.




The forces of change in African traditional family are increasingly faced with the challenge and pressure between traditional and modern family values and structure. There is the steady increase in the pace towards the abandonment of traditional practices for modern ones (western). However, the most popular trend is that of the prevalence of family patterns that are increasing merging traditional and modern marriage norms or practices(Kalu1981:2). This paper has presented a short description of the changes that are characterizing marriage and family size in contemporary sub Saharan Africa. There are other practices taking place such as non-marital childbearing, single parenthood, non-marital unions that were not discussed that are as well gradually gaining momentum in the region. It can be infer from the information provided in this paper that practices that depicted rural sub Saharan African societies are progressively being transformed, this is marked by the shift from polygamy marriages that dominated rural sub Saharan African communities to monogamous marriage and the movement from large household to small ones.











Boogart, John, Frant, Odile, Lesthaeghe, Ron (1984) Proximate

determinants of fertility in sub Saharan Africa. Population and development review

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fertility in sub Saharan Africa. The nigerian institute of social and economic research (NISER)Lagos

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Ukraine. Population studies vol.59 no ! Routledge



Racial discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of their race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. While Under population is exactly the opposite of overpopulation. Under population means an excess amount of resources for the number of people living in the area, or a shortage of people for the amount of resources that are produced.


Racial discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of their race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. For example, it would be ‘direct discrimination’ if a real estate agent refuses to rent a house to a person because they are of a particular racial background or skin colour.

It is also racial discrimination when there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people of a particular race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status.

This is called ‘indirect discrimination’. For example, it may be indirect racial discrimination if a company says that employees must not wear hats or other headwear at work, as this is likely to have an unfair effect on people from some racial/ethnic backgrounds

Sometimes known as depopulation, under population is the reduction over time in a region’s population. The decline can be caused by several factors including sub-replacement fertility (along with limited immigration), heavy emigration, disease, famine, and war. History is replete with examples of large-scale depopulations. Many wars, for example, have been accompanied by significant depopulations. Before the 20th century, underpopulation  was mostly observed due to disease, starvation and/or emigration. The Black Death in Europe, the arrival of Old World diseases to the Americas, the tsetse fly invasion of the Waterberg Massif in South Africa, and the Great Irish Famine all caused sizable population declines. In modern times, the AIDS epidemic caused declines in the population of some African countries. Less frequently, underpopulation are caused by genocide or mass execution; for example, in the 1970s, the population of Cambodia declined because of wide-scale executions by the Khmer Rouge.

Sometimes the term underpopulation is applied to a specific economic system. It does not refer to carrying capacity, and is not a term in opposition to overpopulation, which deals with the total possible population that can be sustained by available food, water, sanitation and other infrastructure. “Underpopulation” is usually defined as a state in which a country’s population has declined too much to support its current economic system. Thus the term has nothing to do with the biological aspects of carrying capacity, but is an economic term employed to imply that the transfer payment schemes of some developed countries might fail once the population declines to a certain point. An example would be if retirees were supported through a social security system which does not invest savings, and then a large emigration movement occurred. In this case, the younger generation may not be able to support the older generation.


Racial discrimination refers to the separation of people through a process of social division into categories not necessarily related to races for purposes of differential treatment. Racial segregation policies may formalize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalized. Researchers Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, at the University of Chicago and MIT found in a 2004 study that there was widespread racial discrimination in the workplace. In their study, candidates perceived as having “white-sounding names” were 50% more likely than those whose names were merely perceived as “sounding black” to receive callbacks for interviews. The researchers view these results as strong evidence of unconscious biases rooted in the United States’ long history of discrimination (e.g., Jim Crow laws, etc.)[60] Devah Pager, a sociologist at Princeton University, sent matched pairs of applicants to apply for jobs in Milwaukee and New York City, finding that black applicants received callbacks or job offers at half the rate of equally qualified whites.[61][62] In contrast, institutions and courts have upheld discrimination against whites when it is done to promote a diverse work or educational environment, even when it was shown to be to the detriment of qualified applicants.[63][64] More than 30 years of field experiment studies have found significant levels of discrimination against non-whites in labor, housing, and product markets in 10 different countries.[65] With regard to employment, multiple audit studies have found strong evidence of racial discrimination in the United States’ labor market, with magnitudes of employers’ preferences of white applicants found in these studies ranging from 50% to 240%. Other such studies have found significant evidence of discrimination in car sales, home insurance applications, provision of medical care, and hailing taxis

While Under population exists when a population is too small, therefore unable to fully utilise the available resource endowments. Under population is also characterised by a situation where the available resources are capable of supporting a much larger population with no reduction in living standards. The situation is found in regions of low technical development such as equatorial Congo, Amazon River basin or the rich Prairie region of North America.

Relative under population is more common than absolute under population. Indeed, absolute under population is rarely seen and may be found in completely secluded societies where, the degree of replacement of population is less than unity. Relative under population occurs due to insufficient resource development. In developed economies, rural under population is more visible, whereas in backward countries, under population is linked to high mortality rate.


Causes of racial discrimination and under population are numerous but the causes can be outline below for each subject matter.

Causes of Racial discrimination:

Some of the causes of racial discrimination can be outline below;

-thinking one’s own culture is superior to another

-hatred for another ethnic groups or tribes

-having no respect or dignity for equality

Causes of under – population:

  1. Sub – fertility rate (total fertility rate):  The fertility rate in many developed and developing countries has dropped to about two children per women due to factors like literacy, economic development or urbanization (increasing the cost or standard of living) making the idea of having big families impractical. Changed attitudes toward contraception and an improvement in the social role of females have also affected this demographic attribute.
  2. Emigration:  Emigration is the movement of individuals from one country to another with the intention of permanently settling in their destination. Many factors contribute to this type of movement. They can be divided into ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. ‘Push’ factors would be the detrimental elements associated with the current region or nation the individuals reside in like lack of employment, oppressive political conditions, poor economies etc. Whereas ‘pull’ factors would be the favourable characteristics of the country the individuals want to move to (like better employment opportunities, political freedom and economic stability etc.) Either way this movement always has a negative effect on the population of the current host.
  3. Disease:  Disease and illness has always caused a decline in the population. The emergence of new diseases like HIV/AIDS which has decreased the population globally.
  4. Famine:  Famine is the scarcity of food caused due to factors like crop failure and disproportionate population. Being a ‘push’ factor, it has an adverse effect on the population of a region or country.
  5. War and conflicts: People have waged wars since the middle ages and continue to do so. Advanced technology has made modern warfare a huge factor or element in the decline of population. Individuals fighting over resources and space end up killing each other on a massive scale due to the introduction of nuclear and chemical warfare which has a negative effect on the overall population of an area or region.


Impact of under population

Some of the impacts of under population can be outline and explain below;

  1. Unstable Economy:  Under – population has an adverse effect on the economy causing deflation (decrease in the overall price levels of goods and services). A decline in the population leads to lack of demand.

B.Decrease in pollution and environmental problems:  The pressure on natural resources and the basic infrastructure of an area decreases. Levels of pollutions are cut down too.

C.Population ageing:  Due to decreased rates of procreation, there is an increase in the social and economic pressure on the youth who have to expand the per capita output in order to support the economy. This also leads to a poor quality of life for the youth.

  1. Labour shortage:  Declining populations could create labour shortages which could have both positive and negative effects.
  2. Labour – intensive sectors of the economy would be adversely affected by such conditions. However a shortage would inevitably increase the demand for labour and potentially reduce unemployment.


The potential solutions for racism primarily involve education for both those in the majority as well as minority groups. The proposed solutions to racism are varied and diverse in nature, although most involve education and open communication between racial leaders and citizens on all sides. While some propose that the solution would involve giving minorities greater opportunity, most agree that racial tensions cannot be solved until members of all racial groups acknowledge issues within their group and develop plans for better cross-cultural understanding.while in the case of underpopulation, the solution to it is to encourage immigration as well as increase birthrate by encouraging parents to have more children.







Racial discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.

Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race or color. Under population is a situation where the population is too small relative to the available resources. While over population refers to a situation where the population exceeds the available resources of a country. As a result of overpopulation, people will compete for the available resources and there will be a general fall in standard of living of the people. These two factors greatly influence the economy of a state of Nation.

Under population is the type of population that is less than the available resources of a country. It then means that the size of the population is so small that when combined with the available resources of a country and given the level of existing technology, it will secure minimum returns per head. In summary, under population is a situation where the population is too small relative to the available resources. The standard of living of the area can be increased if the population is increased.


Newman, D. M. (2012). Sociology: exploring the architecture of

everyday life (9th ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE. p. 405. ISBN 978-1-4129-8729-5. racism: Belief that humans are subdivided into distinct groups that are different in their social behavior and innate capacities and that can be ranked as superior or inferior.


“International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for

Human Rights. Retrieved December 23, 2011.


Garner, Steve (2009). Racisms: An Introduction. Sage.


“race (n2)”. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 21 February



“Racism”. The Canadian Encyclopedia. 2013. Retrieved 21 February



“Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia”.

Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008. European Union. Retrieved 3 February 2011.


“International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”. UN Treaty Series. United Nations. Archived from

the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 3 February 2011.


Bamshad, Michael; Steve E. Olson (December 2003). “Does Race

Exist?”. Scientific American. 289: 78–85. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1203-78. If races are defined as genetically discrete groups, no. But researchers can use some genetic information to group individuals into clusters with medical relevance.


Patrinos, Ari (2004). “‘Race’ and the human genome”. Nature

Genetics. 36 (S1 – S2). doi:10.1038/ng2150.




A myth is a traditional or legendary story, collection or study. It is derived from the Greek word mythos (μῦθος), which simply means “story”. Mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. A myth also can be a story to explain why something exists.

Human cultures usually include a cosmogonical or creation myth, concerning the origins of the world, or how the world came to exist. The active beings in myths are generally gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, or animals and plants. Most myths are set in a timeless past before recorded time or beginning of the critical history. A myth can be a story involving symbols that are capable of multiple meanings.

A myth is a sacred narrative because it holds religious or spiritual significance for those who tell it. Myths also contribute to and express a culture’s systems of thought and values. Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

Contemporary science is typically subdivided into the natural sciences, which study the material universe; the social sciences, which study people and societies; and the formal sciences, such as mathematics. The formal sciences are often excluded as they do not depend on empirical observations. Disciplines which use science like engineering and medicine may also be considered to be applied sciences.


The relationship between myth and science is a subject as old as that of myth and science themselves. The position on the issue taken by modern theories of myth can be divided chronologically by the centuries. In the nineteenth century, myth and science were commonly taken to be incompatible. One could not consistently accept both. Because moderns were assumed to be scientific, the choice had already been made for them: they had to abandon myth. In the twentieth century, by contrast, myth and science were usually taken to be compatible, so that one could consistently accept both. Moderns were still assumed to be scientific, but myth was now re-characterized to accommodate science. Only recently, with the rise of postmodernism, has the deference to science assumed by both nineteenth- and twentieth-century theorists been challenged. This article concentrates on the varying positions on myth and science taken in both centuries by those for whom myth and science intersect rather than diverge. Whether, as the ‘mission’ of the twenty-first century, myth can be brought back to the world – the world explained by science – is finally considered with the case of Gaia.


Lately another, more subtle, expression of the idea that myth is primitive science has been appearing: some scholars have been suggesting that our current scientific concepts, such as the theory of the Big Bang, are myths. Even Campbell did so occasionally. The idea of this assertion is that our science shouldn’t be taken literally any more than earlier ideas, because someday we’ll outgrow it—which of course is true. But scientific concepts are not derived in the same way as mythic ones; they are products of rational thought, not mythopoeic thought. Are they metaphors? Yes, certainly they are. The eminent physicist David Bohm held that all scientific theories are metaphors, including his own. But to say that all myth is metaphor is not to say that all metaphor is myth! To make no distinction between rational thought and mythopoeic thought is to define myth so broadly that the term becomes useless.

This is not to say that concepts from current science don’t pass into Space Age mythology and become meaningful metaphors there in the mythic sense. They definitely do; this is particular significant in the case of science fiction. But these concepts as conceived by scientists bear little relationship to the popular, mythic images based on them. The theory of black holes is a complex scientific idea derived through rational analysis of evidence. The idea of a starship falling into one is something else entirely—it’s akin to the Greek tale of Scylla and Charybdis



The subject matter of myths and science is a wide one Because the older concept of myth as a primitive form of science pervaded material read by scholars in other fields at the time of their education, the relationship between science and mythology is very commonly misunderstood. For instance, you will find historians of science who try to recontruct the astronomical beliefs of, say, the ancient Egyptians or Mesopotamians in terms of their mythology, assuming that unless most of them had believed it literally, it wouldn’t have been such an important aspect of their culture. This is comparable to saying that because Biblical imagery has been and remains important in our culture, the Bible gives an accurate description of our astronomers’ premises—the only difference is that our technology and our libraries reveal so much about our science that no hypothetical archeologist of the future could make such a mistake.

Nevertheless, by non-mythologists myth is still often viewed as something that’s outgrown with increasing scientific knowledge. An element of truth underlies this view because as knowledge increases, subjects formerly dealt with only by mythology become accessible to science also. Mythology itself, however, is never outgrown, though the specific myths that a culture finds meaningful ultimately change.

Scientists in particular are prone to discount myth as silly or childish, to believe that even when science and mythology co-exist in a culture, the people to whom myths are meaningful must believe them literally and thus be less intelligent than scientifically-oriented people. This is not usually the case. What’s often called mythopoeic thought (another term for metaphorical thought) is indeed different from logical thought, and some people are indeed more inclined to one than the other, but confusion of myth with fact in the presence of evidence is not mythopoeic thought; it is simply a case of logical reasoning from false premises. Furthermore, both modes of thought occur in all cultures—the notion that one mode is “primitive” while the other is “modern” was demolished by anthropologist Paul Radin in his 1927 book Primitive Man as Philosopher. Most of us are capable of both. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t enjoy science fiction movies.









“The Myth of Io.”. The Walters Art Museum.


For more information on this panel, please see Zeri catalogue number 64, pp. 100-101


Kirk, p. 8; “myth”, Encyclopedia Britannica Retrieved 19 January 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)


Howells, Richard (1999). The Myth of the Titanic. Macmillan.


Eliade, Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, 1967, pp. 23, 162.



In criminal law, kidnapping is the abduction or unlawful transportation of a person, usually to hold the person against his or her will. This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute. During the year 1999 in the United States, 203,900 children were reported as the victims of family abductions and 58,200 of non-family abductions. However, only 115 were the result of “stereotypical” kidnaps (by someone unknown or of slight acquaintance to the child, held permanently or for ransom).

In the past, and presently in some parts of the world (such as southern Sudan), kidnapping is a common means used to obtain slaves and money through ransom. In less recent times, kidnapping in the form of shanghaiing (or “pressganging“) men was used to supply merchant ships in the 19th century with sailors, whom the law considered unfree labour.

Kidnapping on the high seas in connection with piracy has been increasing. It was reported that 661 crewmembers were taken hostage and 12 kidnapped in the first 9 months of 2009




Kidnap appears to be a back-formation from kidnapper (1682).  “woman was kidnapped”, and “child was kidnapped”; there is a mysterious spike around 1850–1870 that may explain the subsequent increase in popularity of applying kidnap to adults, but I’m loath to draw any conclusions. My guess is that kidnap became the general English word for abduction because we just didn’t have another word for it. Abduction didn’t refer to kidnapping till the 1760s, and the verb abduct is from as late as 1834. It makes sense that kidnap would have been extended to close the lexical gap.

Kidnapping is derived from “kid” = “child” and “nap” (from “nab”) = “snatch,” and was first recorded in 1673. It was originally used as a term for the practice of stealing children for use as servants or laborers in the American colonies. It has come to mean any illegal capture or detention of a person or people against their will, regardless of age, such as for ransom; since 1768 the term “abduction” was also used in this sense.

In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or asportation of a person against the person’s will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority. This is often done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime. The majority of jurisdictions in the United States retain the “asportation” element for kidnapping, where the victim must be confined in a bounded area against their will and moved. Any amount of movement will suffice for the requirement, even if it is moving the abducted to a house next door.


Kidnapping is the crime of taking away of a person by force, deceit, or threat and detaining that person against their will. While the term “kidnapping” originally referred to the abduction of children (from the word “kid” meaning child) it has come to be used for victims of all ages. There are many aims of kidnappers including the enslavement of their victims, marriage to their victims, and extortion of ransom money. Despite strict laws, serious efforts by law enforcement, and vigorous prosecution, kidnapping continues to be a problem in the world today, particularly in connection with human trafficking in which the victims are often forced into prostitution and other forms sexual abuse.

As humankind becomes more aware of the need to recognize all people as members of the same human family, living according to our conscience, and treating each other with love and respect, it can be expected that crimes of this nature will finally disappear and kidnapping will no longer occur.


A person who is new in Nigeria or visiting this article for the first time from foreign country will ask “what causes kidnapping in Nigeria”?. Causes of kidnapping in Nigeria have made many headlines of news publication companies in the country because of the nature of the incidence. In many schools in the country, this is included as part of the academic syllabus of primary, secondary and even tertiary institution students.

In a nutshell, causes of kidnapping in the Federal Republic of Nigeria are:


Joblessness or unemployment is one of the root causes of kidnapping in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria has very high unemployment rate. A news publication company, Vanguard online news, reported on May 19, 2014, that an estimate of 60 million Nigerians are unemployed. You can study the topic on Unemployment in Nigeria to understand the level of unemployment that the citizens of Nigeria are facing.

Unemployment in the country is one the major reasons why many Nigerian youths picked kidnapping as avenue to generate money which they will use to establish themselves in the society. It is one of the major challenges in Nigeria and the rate keeps increasing every day. Unemployment is a global problem but Nigeria is one the countries that has it in high rating.


Poverty is another factor that has been pushing many Nigerians into kidnapping business. A poor man needs money to keep life going and because of that can easily be convinced to venture into the field of kidnapping to make money and live above poverty line. A poor man is a hungry man and he needs resources to reduce and say no to his poverty challenge.

One reports has it that there are rich people who have been into the business of kidnapping in the Eastern part of Nigeria where kidnapping is everyday occurrence. The rich men who are into the business recruit the poor and made them get involved into the dirty business. When the relations of any who are held captive pay ransom, these poor men are given their own cut.


Corruption is another driver of kidnapping in Nigeria. In the year 2014, Nigeria ranked 136 out of 174 on the list of the surveyed nations alongside with Cameroon, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, and Russia. That is to say that Nigeria was the 38th most corrupt country in the world in 2014 according to Transparency international ranking.

The members of the political class in Nigeria are known for high embezzlement of the public fund for their individual or personal use. Because of the level of embezzlement being carried out by this class, some of the youths in the country are being compelled to kidnap members of the class to get some money from them through paying of ransom. You can go through the topic on corruption in Nigeria to know more on the level of this menace in the country.

Another phase is that because corruption is high in the country, men see kidnapping in the country as a game and nothing bad. This concept adds to the increasing number of kidnapping in the country.


Some men do not feel happy when they see others progressing in life. This is a major problem among the Igbo tribe of the country, Nigeria. Some men who are not doing well financially sometimes ask themselves questions on why the other person should progress more than them. When this category of people feels very bad on the progress of the other, the next is to make plans on how to bring down the other. This sometimes led to kidnapping of the innocent man who does not know that the other is planning badly for him. The kidnapped in this kind of situation sometimes die in the hands of the kidnappers.

High quest for Money

There are many Nigerians who need money either by hook or by crook. This kind of persons can even kill for rituals to make money as quick as possible. They prefer to get this money today and die tomorrow. These kinds of persons have prosperity as their watchword. Whenever you engage in discussion with them, what you will be hearing from them is usually how to make quick money even through bloodshed.

High quest for money has made many impatient Nigerian youths take kidnapping as “clean business”. On daily basis, what they have as their action plans is on the next person they are to kidnap for them to be paid ransom before the release of the victim.


It is not all about advancing in what is bad but where problem comes in on the consequences. So many people have missed opportunities in Nigeria because of the problem of kidnapping in the country. Kidnapping in Nigeria has paid many citizens of the country very badly. Among the effects of kidnapping in Nigeria are:

  • Poor investment by foreign companies;
  • Lack of trust; and
  • Fear.

Poor Investment by Foreign Companies

The problem of kidnapping in Nigeria has scare away many companies that would have invested in the country. During the kidnapping incidence that took place in the Niger Delta areas of the country, many foreigners who were working in those areas were kidnapped. Some who were not victim of kidnapping refused to work because of the experience their fellow had.

When foreign companies that want to invest in Nigeria hear of the problem of kidnapping in the country, they prefer to invest in other countries that are risk free instead of spending a lot of money as they are likely to receive ugly visit from kidnappers in the country. These are companies that would have help solve the national challenges, especially unemployment, because these companies will employ Nigerians if when established in the country. But because of unemployment in the country, the country misses such opportunity.

Lack of trust

Nigerians are now losing trust in their fellow humans because of the effect of kidnapping in the country. Before kidnapping became rampant in the country, the rich give out their phone numbers to people with clean mind because they believe they are one. Today in Nigeria, the rich find it difficult to do the same. The reason is because the person you want to issue your phone number may be a kidnapper without your knowledge or linked to any of them. It is a big problem in the country today.

In business, businessmen and women do not open up to people again because the person you want to open up to might be a spy being sent by group of kidnappers to come close and know the worth of your business to estimate the amount of ransom they will demand from you when kidnapped. Men who are seeking for information from their good hearts are not given authentic feedback because of lack of trust in the society.



What is fear? Fear according to Oxford English dictionary is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. Do we call the kidnapping in Federal Republic of Nigeria a threat or pain? Kidnapping in Nigeria is a serious societal threat. The threat has made many Nigerian rich men to hide when they move on the road. Some of them have decided not to move around in the day because of kidnappers.

Some that are not yet wealthy enough are making plans on how to employ policemen to guard them whenever they move around. Notwithstanding the fact that some rich and politicians are being guarded by security men, many of them still have fear in themselves.


This subheading would have been better titled “possible solutions to kidnapping in Nigeria”. In this subheading, I will be dealing on the possible ways through which kidnapping in Nigeria can be reduced. Among the possible solutions are:

  • Amendment of state and federal Law;
  • Employment generation; and
  • Proper sensitization to the masses.


Amendment of State and Federal Law

The Law of every country is there to guide the people on what right to do and the wrong to abstain from. On the other hand, Law can be amended when a new challenge comes up in any country or state. The amendment of the part of Law that will strictly address kidnapping in Nigeria will compel the kidnappers to stop such dirty business they have been into for years.

A notable example is the amended by the Anambra State House of Assembly. Because every town in the state were being disturbed by kidnappers when the bad practice started newly, the members of the State House made a strict Law to address the social threat in the state. Part of the Law concerning it is that the property and belongings of anyone found as kidnapper in the state will be destroyed (example buildings). Since the introduction of this Law, many buildings being owned by any detected to be a kidnapper in the state has been destroyed.

Employment Generation

This should not be left for the government alone. All of us need to work together to close the gap between the rich and the poor in the country. If you are a rich man, employ your neighbour since you can help him out of that his unemployment state. When you do not employ him, he may be compelled to plan evil because that which you know you can do to help him you failed to.

On the other hand, political rulers should say no to embezzlement and map out plans on how to make the citizens secure employment. When the youths are busy with the work they do and get paid in return, the challenge of kidnapping in the country will be reduced.

Proper Sensitization to the Masses

This is another bold step that the government of Nigeria needs to take to reduce kidnapping in the country. The masses should be sensitized on the punishment that awaits any who is caught through kidnapping. The citizens should be taught on the bad sides on kidnapping in the country through radio, televisions, community gathering and other channels. There is power in the spoken words and it is believed that a kidnapper can be changed through this channel.









Kidnapping is a global problem but that of Nigeria is now turning into routine. The Western countries are known with kidnapping but today, we practice it more than them. Covered in this piece of write-up is kidnapping in Nigeria as related to its notable occurrences and statistics, causes, effects and solutions.














  • Daily Independence (2013), Nigeria accounts for 26% kidnaps Globally, retrieved 21st April, 2015.
  • Fox News (2014), Nigeria says 219 girls in Boko Haram kidnapping still missing, retrieved 19th April, 2015.
  • Nigeria (2009), Breaking News: Pete Edochie Kidnapped retrieved 19th April, 2015.
  • The Telegram, British Man Kidnapped in Nigeria, retrieved 20th April, 2015.
  • Transparency International (2014), 2014 Corruption Perception Index, retrieved 22nd April 2015.
  • Uzochukwu Mike (2015), Kidnapping: Overview, Causes, Effects, and Solutions, retrieved 25th April 2015.
  • Wikipedia (2015), Chibok Schoolgirls Kidnapping, retrieved 19th April, 2015.






Interaction between workers and their employers is not devoid of conflict. However, collective bargaining is the tool used to resolve amicably contending labour issues between employees and their employer. Contrarily, rather than have smooth labour-management relations via collective bargaining, conflicts have continued to characterize labour-management relations in African, especially in Nigeria. Sadly, the present democratic regimes have witnessed series of industrial unrest now than ever before.

Conflict: Concept, Process, and Issues

Conflict is defined by interest, values and psychological disposition. More often than not conflict is a mixture of all three, although, in some instance they may vary (Chalant 2001: 473). Conflict can be  understood and better appreciated   drawing from the following pluralist, (industrial relations and political exchange), unitary, radical, transaction cost economics and theory of labour regulation (Edwards 2001) perspectives.

Like the other prevailing pattern of conflict that has characterized Nigerian political spheres, industrial relations conflicts have had its own fair share of influence on the system. Industrial conflict or trade dispute is a part of the general pattern of conflict in the polity. However, the term ‘industrial conflict’ is used in three main senses:

1) the use of overt sanctions, as when it is said that conflict erupts when workers go on strike;

2) a continuing sense of discord (‘conflict over new work rotas’); 3) an underlying conflict of interest between workers and manager that need receive no overt expression (Edwards 2001).

In the literature, there are varying perspectives to the causes of conflict; which are struggle over resources, psychological needs, values and the absence of information. It could occur at either inter-personal or inter-group or at both arenas. These causes of conflict have been captured in the conception of conflict by Loser (1968) as the struggle over values or clan to status, power and scarce resources in which the aim of the conflicting parties are not only to gain the desired values, but also to neutralize, ignore or eliminate their rivals.

The human relations view conflict as a vital element of social existence, inevitable and should be accepted, depending on how it is handled it could be destructive or productive. Conflict can be destructive when it is allowed to tear individuals, groups or society apart as a result of poor management, under this situation conflict is dysfunctional and should be discarded (Onyishi and Asogwa 2009: 252). The traditional approach of viewing conflict is that it is dysfunctional. It is a consequence of poor communication, a lack of

openness between people, and the failure of managers to be responsive to the needs and aspirations of their employees (Robbin and Judge, 2008: 486). Conflict could foster the building of better and stronger social ties among groups in society where the process of resolution and reconstruction is open, fair, truly accommodating

and integrative that it allows for group viability, self-critic and creativity. This perspective is anchored on the view of the interactionist who sees conflict as a normal process of interaction, especially in a plural society (Onyishi and Asogwa 2009: 252).

One important stroke in making conflict productive and less destructive is its quick and friendly resolution of the main contending issues that had generated the conflict situation.

The quick and amiable resolution of conflict is an essential element for better human relationship. It is the means to change, the means by which social values of welfare, security, justice, opportunities for personal development can be achieved (Burton 1972: 137). In this sense, conflict then is a dynamic process of social change reflecting the complex progression in the balancing and re-alignment of individual, group or societal interest. The obvious difference between societal conflict and organizational conflict is the violent character. Conflict is violent when it results in physically damaging or destroying the property and high-valued symbols of one another;

and or psychologically or physically injuring, destroying or otherwise forcibly eliminating one another (Sandole 1993 cited in Onyishi and Asogwa 2009: 252). It is an expression of deep sited resent for which genuine and peaceful avenue for dispelling it was not provided.




Concept of Industrial Relations

Public labour-management-relation is an engaging area of action as well as a sensitive aspect of interaction in the general gamut of interorganizational relations that is rooted in intergovernmental relations (Okoli and Akume 2011). Labour-management-relation is the process by which employers and unions negotiate pay, hours of work, and other conditions of employment. It is the process of determining how conditions of service are negotiated and agreed upon that allows the signing of contract governing such conditions for a specific period of times, shared responsibilities and the pattern of administering the resulting contract (Bartol and Martin 1998: 338) signed. Industrial or labour relations subsume the process of interest accommodation by which conditions of work are fixed; relations are regulated and power is shared in the field in the field of labour (Cordova 1980).

Generally, these processes describe all those activities which contribute both formally and informally to the organization of the relationship between employers and their employees (Cole 2006: 393). These activities are dictated by a tripartism-interaction between employers, workers and government (Ojo 1998: 82) to be effective and accepted. It is important to note that in both public and private organizations labour-management relations the one connecting element in the relationship is differences in the interest of the various actors. The interests of the different actors are most often than not conflicting for which compromises are constantly negotiated to generate agreement between actors so as to enable the relationship to transcend peacefully. In labour- management relations workers, managers, politicians and the public have a stake in the outcomes of public sector labour relation processes.

At issue for workers are pay levels and working conditions, for managers, workforce quality and the degree of authority wielded at

the work place, and for the politicians the support or opposition of an important constituency as well as the fiscal consequences of pay decisions. At issue for the public are jobs, tax rates related to decisions about public pay, and services quality as impacted by employee ability and motivation (Thompson 2007: 49).

Despite this divergence of interest between the tripartism, the interest of employer and employee are not necessarily hostile-that is what is good for one is necessarily bad for the other.

The causes of industrial or labour-management conflicts vary yet they combined to fuel trade dispute (Davar 1988; Ojo 1998: 124). In Most African organization and Nigeria, to be specific, some of the recent significant causes of trade dispute in recent times are: the demand for wage increase, the quest for better working conditions, poor consultation and involvement of labour unions on labour related issues by government, and the Trade Union Act of 2004. Others are the privatization policy of the federal government with implication for down-sizing with its resultant hardship on the larger population. The astronomic increase of the salaries and wages of politicians as compared to the paltry salary structure paid to civil servants is also one of the reasons for industrial relations conflict in Nigeria.



Concerns for Industrial conflict cannot be limited to the maintenance of industrial harmony at enterprise level but also to prevailing issues of socioeconomic conditions prevailing in the country at the macro level. Industrial Relations systems and practices therefore must be directed towards responding major challenges surfacing in the new economic order. Healthy industrial

relation cannot be maintained unless broader developmental issues are addressed.

Some of the challenges impacting on Industrial Relation can be stated as follows:-

-lack of technological knows how

-poor judicial system

-poor conflict resolving mechanism

-lack of mediating parties.



The prospect of industrial industrial can be numerous especially in trying to resolve it. Good industrial relations reduce the industrial disputes. Industrial relations has become one of the most delicate and complex problems of modern industrial society. Industrial progress is impossible without cooperation of labors and harmonious relationships. Therefore, it is in the interest of all to create and maintain good relations between employees (labor) and employers (management).Thus industrial relation measures followed should be given prime emphasis which may lead to an effective relationship between management and employees. An effective industrial relation results in the increase of the productivity of the organization. Better relationship between the employee and employer is very essential for successful running of any organization. Favorable relationship can avoid many adverse situations. With a huge manpower, Rourkela Steel Plant has taken every step to maintain a cordial relation. It has given a thrust on participation of employees through many forums – both traditional and revolutionary.

Structured Communication as an important vehicle for carrying the employees and management together has been adopted nicely by RSP to facilitate the flow of information, ensure employees commitment and involvement in all critical aspects of the operation. Of course there are many scopes for improvement. Both management and recognized union should come forward to restore the relationship of trust. The Joint for a need to be more effective. The management also needs to be more committed to implement the plans more properly.







The prevailing aim of industrial conflict is to espouse the spirit of peaceful relations between labour and management. This goal is achieved through the instrumentality of collective bargaining which avails the tripartism the opportunity for interest adjustment and compromise under an atmosphere devoid of imposition and trepidation. On the contrary, industrial or labour-management has reflected a pattern of relationship characterized by caginess and conflict with its resultant severe implications not only on the tripartism but the society as a whole. While there is plethora of reasons for unhealthy industrial relations significant among these reasons are the absence of integrity on the part of the government to respect the right moral rule of conduct of accepting and implementing jointly agreement, the bias in the pattern of state wage distribution and the unhealthy pattern of viewing labour union’s call for better working conditions.

The unimaginable difference in the wage and salary gap between political office holders and other appointees and those of public servants has been at the center of raising agitation by the latter for corresponding improvement in the wages of their members. This agitations and submission to the government to effect the change in the spirit that is emblematic of fairness and equity has continued to resonate on deaf state ears thus provoking labour to take the hard path of trade dispute via strike. This last action had forced the government to reconsider its position and follow the path of negotiation which saw the introduction of the new minimum wage law. Sadly, rather than for the government to abide by to demands of the new wage law, the government had resort schemes aimed at reneging on its obligations thus sparking off a renewed confrontation and labour unrest in Nigeria.

The flagrant disregard of the law by the government which it is suppose to uphold and protect calls to question government sincerity to promote labour-management working harmony inAfrica






















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Bartol KM, Martin DC 1998. Management. 3rd Edition. New York:

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(Eds.): The IEBM Handbook of Organizational Behaviour. London: Thomson Learning. pp. 472-480.


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reappraisal. Labour and Society, 5(3): 227-242.


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Ojo F 1998. Personnel Management: Theories and Issues. Lagos:

Panaf Publishing Inc.


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application of IGM tools during Obasanjo’s Administration 1999-2007 Global Journal of Applied, Management and Social Sciences, 1(1): 57-69.


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local government system: In Enugu State 1999-2007. University of Nigeria Journal of Political Economy, 3(1and 2): 250-264.


Robbin SP, Judge TA 2008. Organizational Behavior. 13th Edition.

New Delhi: PHI Learning Private Limited.


Thompson JR 2007. Labour-management relations: Were they

reinvented? In: BP Guy, J Pierre (Eds.): The Handbook of Public Administration. London: Sage Publications Limited.




Nigeria has one of the lowest net electricity generation per capita rates in the world. The organisation responsible for electricity production and supply in Nigeria is the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), formerly the National Electric Power Authority, known as NEPA. Nigeria is in the process of privatising the PHCN, hoping this will lead to greater investment in the sector and consequently increased power generation.

Prior to the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) in 2005, the Federal Government of Nigeria was responsible for policy formulation, regulation, operation, and investment in the Nigerian power sector. Regulation of the sector was done through the Federal Ministry of Power (FMP) with operations through the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).

The Presidential Task Force on Power was established by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in June 2010, to drive the implementation of the reform of Nigeria’s power sector.

The Federal Government-owned electricity system currently comprises:

  1. Three hydro and seven thermal generating stations with a total installed capacity of about 6,852MW, with available capacity of 3,542MW (in 2010).
  2. A radial  transmission grid (330kV and 132kV), owned and managed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, and
  3. Eleven distribution companies (33kV and below).

According to the National Population Commission, it was expected that Nigeria’s population would hit 170 million by the end of 2013. Of these, less than 50% currently have access to electricity.

Nigeria plans to increase generation from fossil fuel sources to more than 20 000 MW by 2020. A major source of capacity expansion is expected to come from Independent Power Projects (IPP’s). IPP’s currently contribute around 1 600 MW to the national grid.

The power generating plants in Nigeria as well as their capacity and mode of operations can be outline below;

Afam Power Station has an installed capacity of 776MW. The plant was commissioned in phases. During the Initial phase, 1962-1963, gas turbine units 1-4 were commissioned. During the second phase, 1976 to 1978, gas turbine units 5 to 12 were commissioned. Gas turbine units 13 to 18 were commissioned in 1982. Two gas turbine units were added in 2001 during the final phase of the Afam Power Station extension.

Calabar Thermal Power Station Calabar Power Station has an installed capacity of 6.6 MW derived from three units of 2.2 MW each. Currently, it supplies 4.4 MW to the national grid and primarily serves as a booster station to the Afam and Oji River power stations. The Calabar Power Station was built in 1934.

Kainji/Jebba Hydro Electric Plc (concession)Kainji/Jebba Power operates as two hydro generation plants, each drawing water from the River Niger. The combined installed capacity of the two plants is 1330 MW, with Kainji generating 760 MW and Jebba 570 MW. Effectively, the plants operate at full capacity. Kainji began operation as Nigeria’s first hydro power plant in 1968 while the Jebba plant was commissioned in 1985. Jebba is the smallest of the three operating hydro power plants in Nigeria. In addition to generation facilities, the hydro plants have on-site Medical facilities, a staff school, a recreation centre, and a training school. The two plants are in very good condition.

Oji River Power Station Oji River Thermal Power Station was originally built to take advantage of plentiful nearby deposits of high-grade coal. Oji generates 10 MW of power from five coal-fired boilers and four steam turbines originally installed in 1956. The plant is the only coal-fired steam power station in Nigeria. Water from the nearly Oji River is used to feed the steam turbines and also for cooling purposes.

Sapele Power Plc Sapele Power Plant is a thermal generating station located in Nigeria’s gas- rich Delta State. Sapele has an installed capacity of 1020 MW. Sapele Power’s six 120 MW steam turbines generate a daily average of 86.72 MWH/H or approximately 2,500 GW/H annually. Sapele Power currently operates at a peak capacity of 972 MW.
Sapele Power is strategically located in the Niger Delta region, close to sources of  both natural gas feedstock and a river for cooling its steam turbine generators.
Sapele Power includes an updated control room, a switchgear room, a staff training school, and medical and recreational facilities. Sapele Power began operations in 1978.

Shiroro Hydro Power Plc (concession)Shiroro Power Plant was commissioned in 1990; it has an installed capacity of 600 MW. It currently runs at full capacity, generating 2, 100 GWh of electricity annually. As Nigeria’s newest hydroelectric plant, Shiroro hosts Nigeria’s SCADA-operated national control centre. Shiroro is also equipped with switchyard facilities that include a technical “step down” function for enhanced distribution into the national grid, an advanced control room and modern training facilities.  The plant is situated in the Shiroro Gorge on the Kaduna River, approximately 60 km from Minna, capital of Niger State, in close proximity to Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.

Ughelli Power Plc operates a gas-fired thermal plant located in the Niger Delta region. Ughelli Power is one of the largest thermal generating power stations in Nigeria. The plant has a peak capacity of 972 MW; it can generate 2500 GWh of electricity annually. The plant meets current world specifications for plants of its type, and includes an updated control room, a switchgear room, a staff training school and recreational facilities. Ughelli began operations in 1966.


Nigeria is endowed with abundant energy resources, both conventional and renewable, which can potentially provide the country with a sufficient capacity to meet the ambitions of both urban and rural Nigerians of a full, nationwide electrification level. Yet, Nigeria has one of the lowest consumption rates of electricity per capita in Africa.

Renewable energy sources have the potential to provide enough primary energy or electricity to meet our national demand as shown in table 2. However, the development and utilization of clean energy is dependent on having the technological know-how, right policies, financing and infrastructure in place to ensure access to the abundant energy source with low or zero fuel and maintenance cost.

Some of the renewable energy potentials can be identify below’


In 2003, the Federal Government approved a national energy policy, which encourages the effective utilization of the country’s renewable energy resources. This has positioned her for the integration of solar energy into the nation’s energy mix. Nigeria lies within latitude 4.32oN and 14oN and longitude 2.72oE and 14.64oE. The sun radiates energy at the rate of about 3.8×1023 KW/s and Nigeria receives about 4.85 x 1012 KW/h of energy per day 1 . This comes to about 4-7.5 hours per day of sun light on the average. With this enormous sustainable and free clean energy source, this nation can achieve enough in the areas of – agricultural product drying, cooking/boilers and generation of electricity for domestic and industrial uses.


Nigeria is blessed naturally with good flowing waters. Policies are in place allowing private sector participation in hydro power generation. Our major hindrances here are technological expertise and financial constrain.

Between 1968 and 1990, this nation can only boast of three functional major hydro powers at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro.( table 5) It is sad to note that all these plants are running below their installed capacities due to political and technological reasons which include dependence on foreign firms for the maintenance of these dams and employment of unqualified management staff based on ethical or political affiliations. These have resulted to serious energy shortage in the nation. Hydro power source is the major source of electricity for industrial and domestic purposes in Nigeria. Despite the huge financial involvement for its installation, the economic benefits are overwhelming.


Wind has consistently been one of the fastest growing renewable energy markets in the world adding nearly 36GW in 2010. In terms of required wealth, technical potential for world development, wind power exceeds global electricity demand. Technically wind is of higher projected potential than hydro power 4. Nigeria with about 924,000 KM2 of land mass including desert and semi arid areas has enough un-obstructed spaces to install wind power plants that can serve its energy needs.


Bio mass and biodiesel energy sources are one of the most environmental friendly sources of energy in recent times. Bio mass provides about 10% of world’s primary energy supplies 4. Biodiesel sources in addition to

meeting our social economic needs, contributes positively to agriculture through natural remediation of land.

Nigeria has vast uncultivated agricultural land to meet her green fuel needs, which in turn provide employment for her teaming unemployed working population. Federal Government renewable energy policy of 2003 creates enabling environment for profitable investment for both public and private investors in renewable energy sources.


Table 2, Renewable Energy Potentials in Nigeria.

RESOURCE                                          CAPACITY                                           REMARK

Big hydro power                                    11,500MW                                 Only 1972 MW exploited

Small hydro power                                3,500MW                                  Only about 64.2 MW exploited

Solar                                                    3.5KW/m/day to 7.0KW/m/day

Sunshine hours                                     4 to 7.5 hrs. / day

Wind                                                     2 to 4 m/s at 10m height mainland


fuel wood                     11 million hectares of forest & woodland

Animal waste                 245 million assorted (2001)

Energy crops & agric residue                 72 million hectares of agric land

Source, central bank of Nigeria (2007)



As the country strive to meet its energy requirements, an international renewable expert has declared that Nigerian is under-utilising its renewable energy potentials for power generation. The country’s renewable energy potential remains still untapped. Given the abundance of natural resources in the region, there is huge potential for renewable electricity scale-up; both grid-based and distributed renewable energy. The current target is to have 75 per cent of the population electrified by 2020. Meeting this target will require the widespread uptake of renewable. The nation’s targets for renewable power capacity includes: Bio-power: 50 MW by 2015; 400 MW by 2025; Hydro-power (small scale): 600 MW by 2015; two GW by 2025 (Nigeria’s target excludes hydropower plants >30 MW); Solar PV (large scale, >1MW) 75 MW by 2015; 500 MW by 2025; Wind Power 20 MW by 2015; 40 MW by 2025; CSP 1MW by 2015; 5 MW by 2025.

My advice is government should have the political will to woo investors in the power sector and provide an enabling environment for all to built, generate and sell to the Nigerian people. Thanks





















  1. Adeyemo, S.B. (1997), “Estimation of Direct Solar Radiation Intensities” Nigeria society of Engineers

Technical Transaction. 32 (1-9).

  1. Central bank of Nigeria, (2007) “annual report and statement of accounts”
  2. Chilakpu, K.O, (2013). Jatropha Seed Based Biodiesel Production Using Modified Batch-Reactor and

evaluation in a Single-Cylinder Engine” PhD thesis, Federal university of technology Owerri.

  1. Douglas, Arent; (2012), Energy and National security program. Center for strategic and international studies.

Washington DC.

  1. Korbitz, W. (1999); “Biodiesel production in Europe and North America and Encouraging prospects”

Austrian biofuel institute Vienna Austria.

  1. National Bureau Of Statistics,(2007).”Annual Abstract of Statistics.
  2. Palligamai, T; Vasudevan and Michael Briggs (2008), – “Biodiesel production – current state of the art and

challenges”. Society for industrial microbiology.

  1. Sambo, A.S. (2010), “Renewable energy development in Nigeria”. Paper presented at the world future

council/strategy workshop on renewable energy, Accra, Ghana



Christian fundamentalism began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among British and American Protestants as a reaction to theological liberalism and cultural modernism. Fundamentalists argued that 19th-century modernist theologians had misinterpreted or rejected certain doctrines, especially biblical inerrancy, that they viewed as the fundamentals of Christian faith.[3] A few scholars regard Catholics who reject modern theology in favor of more traditional doctrines as fundamentalists.[4] Scholars debate how much the terms “evangelical” and “fundamentalist” are synonymou

The term fundamentalism was coined by Baptist editor Curtis Lee Laws in 1920 to designate Christians who were ready “to do battle royal for the fundamentals”. The term was quickly adopted by all sides. Laws borrowed it from the title of a series of essays published between 1910 and 1915 called The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth. The term “fundamentalism” entered the English language in 1922, and is often capitalized when referring to the religious movement

Fundamentalism in Christianity:

In Christianity, the term fundamentalism is normally used to refer to the conservative part of evangelical Christianity, which is itself the most conservative wing of Protestant Christianity. Fundamentalist Christians typically believe that the Bible is inspired by God and is inerrant. They reject modern analysis of the Bible as a historical document written by authors who were attempting to promote their own evolving spiritual beliefs. Rather, they view the bible as the Word of God, internally consistent, and free of error.

The term “Fundamentalist” derives from a 1909 publication “The Fundamentals: A testimony to the truth” which proposed five required Christian beliefs for those opposed to the Modernist movement.

Originally a technical theological term, it became commonly used after the “Scopes” trial in Tennessee during the mid 1920s. Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. John Scopes, a high school biology teacher was on trial for contravening the state’s Butler Act. It forbade the teaching of “any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.4,5 Although Scopes was found guilty, many felt that he had won a moral victory.

By the late 1930’s Christian fundamentalists had formed a sub-culture and had largely withdrawn from the rest of society. Following major revisions to Roman Catholic beliefs and practices during the Vatican II conferences in the 1960’s, the term “fundamentalist” started to be used to refer to Catholics who rejected the changes, and wished to retain traditional beliefs and practices. Thus it became a commonly used word to describe the most conservative groups within Christianity: both Protestant and Catholic.

Back in the 1960’s many theologians and historians expected that religions would become less conservative and generally weaker with time. That did not happen. Instead, the fundamentalist wings of major world religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, have grown and become increasingly dedicated to preserving religious tradition. Karen Armstrong has addressed Fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam and Judaism in her book: “The Battle for God.1

In the U.S., the Fundamentalist-led Moral Majority emerged to challenge social and religious beliefs and practices. Today, Fundamentalists are the most vocal group, on a per-capital basis — who oppose abortion access, equal rights for homosexuals, same-sex marriage, protection  for homosexuals from hate crimes, physician assisted suicide, the use of embryonic stem cells for medical research, comprehensive sex-ed classes in public schools, etc.
The Assemblies of God is one Fundamentalist denomination. The Southern Baptist Convention has moved towards fundamentalism in recent years. Bob Jones University, the General Association of Regular Baptists, the Moody Bible Institute, etc.are also Fundamentalist. Among the most generally known Fundamentalist Christian leaders are Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Hal Lindsey.


Fundamentalism is built on five tenets of the Christian faith, although there is much more to the movement than adherence to these tenets:

1) The Bible is literally true. Associated with this tenet is the belief that the Bible is inerrant, that is, without error and free from all contradictions.
2) The virgin birth and deity of Christ. Fundamentalists believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and conceived by the Holy Spirit and that He was and is the Son of God, fully human and fully divine.
3) The substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross. Fundamentalism teaches that salvation is obtained only through God’s grace and human faith in Christ’s crucifixion for the sins of mankind.
4) The bodily resurrection of Jesus. On the third day after His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the grave and now sits at the right hand of God the Father.

5) The authenticity of Jesus’ miracles as recorded in Scripture and the literal, pre-millennial second coming of Christ to earth.
Other points of doctrine held by Fundamentalists are that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible and that the church will be raptured prior to the tribulation of the end times. Most Fundamentalists are also dispensationalists.

The Fundamentalist movement has often embraced a certain militancy for truth, and this led to some infighting. Many new denominations and fellowships appeared, as people left their churches in the name of doctrinal purity. One of the defining characteristics of Fundamentalism has been to see itself as the guardian of the truth, usually to the exclusion of others’ biblical interpretation. At that time of the rise of Fundamentalism, the world was embracing liberalism, modernism, and Darwinism, and the church itself was being invaded by false teachers. Fundamentalism was a reaction against the loss of biblical teaching.
The movement took a severe hit in 1925 by liberal press coverage of the legendary Scopes trial. Although Fundamentalists won the case, they were mocked publicly. Afterwards, Fundamentalism began to splinter and refocus. The most prominent and vocal group in the USA has been the Christian Right. This group of self-described Fundamentalists has been more involved in political movements than most other religious groups. By the 1990s, groups such as the Christian Coalition and Family Research Council have influenced politics and cultural issues. Today, Fundamentalism lives on in various evangelical groups such as the Southern Baptist Convention. Together, these groups claim to have more than 30 million followers.










The term fundamentalist is controversial in the 21st century, as it can carry the connotation of religious extremism, even though it was coined by movement leaders. Some who hold these beliefs reject the label of “fundamentalism”, seeing it as too pejorative,[7] while to others it has become a banner of pride. Such Christians prefer to use the term fundamental, as opposed to fundamentalist (e.g., Independent Fundamental Baptist and Independent Fundamental Churches of America).[8] The term is sometimes confused with Christian legalism.

Like all movements, Fundamentalism has enjoyed both successes and failures. The greatest failure may be in allowing Fundamentalism’s detractors define what it means to be a Fundamentalist. As a result, many people today see Fundamentalists as radical, snake-handling extremists who want to establish a state religion and force their beliefs on everyone else. This is far from the truth. Fundamentalists seek to guard the truth of Scripture and defend the Christian faith, which was “once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3). The church today is struggling in the postmodern, secular culture and needs people who are not ashamed to proclaim the gospel of Christ. Truth does not change, and adherence to the fundamental principles of doctrine is needful. These principles are the bedrock upon which Christianity stands, and, as Jesus taught, the house built upon the Rock will weather any storm (Matthew 7:24-25).














Fundamentalism at Accessed 2011-07-28.

Marsden (1980), pp. 55–62, 118–23.

Sandeen (1970), p. 6

Roger E. Olson (2004). The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology. Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 3–6. summarizes the debate.

Reid, D. G., Linder, R. D., Shelley, B. L., & Stout, H. S. (1990). In

Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. Entry on Fundamentalism

Robbins, Dale A. (1995). What is a Fundamentalist Christian?. Grass

Valley, California: Victorious Publications. Retrieved 2009-12-01.

Horton, Ron. “Christian Education at Bob Jones University”.

Greenville, South Carolina: Bob Jones University. Retrieved 2009-12-01.

Wilson, William P. “Legalism and the Authority of Scripture”.

Retrieved 19 March 2010.

Morton, Timothy S. “From Liberty to Legalism – A Candid Study of Legalism, “Pharisees,” and Christian Liberty”. Retrieved 19 March 2010.

Explain the following learning theories and pin point any three advantages they have for the learning situation


Learning theories are conceptual frameworks describing how information is absorbed, processed, and retained during learning. Cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in how understanding, or a world view, is acquired or changed and knowledge and skills retained.


Learning theories are numerous but only three will be mention here as well as their advantages. They include the Social learning theory, Constructivism and Cognitivism learning theory.

  1. Social learning theory

A well-known social learning theory has been developed by Albert Bandura, who works within both cognitive and behavioural frameworks that embrace attention, memory and motivation. His theory of learning suggests that people learn within a social context, and that learning is facilitated through concepts such as modeling, observational learning and imitation. Bandura put forward “reciprocal determininsm” that holds the view that a person’s behavior, environment and personal qualities all reciprocally influence each others. He argues that children learn from observing others as well as from “model” behaviour, which are processes involving attention, retention, reproduction and motivation. The importance of positive role modeling on learning is well documented.


  1. Learning is facilitated through social concepts
  2. Observation is important in ;earning as children learn fast through it
  • People learn quickly through social context.

Vygotsky’s learning theory, also known as social development theory. The major theme of Vygotsky’s theoretical framework is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. Vygotsky (1978) states: “Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals

Vygotsky’s theory was an attempt to explain consciousness as the end product of socialization. For example, in the learning of language, our first utterances with peers or adults are for the purpose of communication but once. Vygotsky’s theory is complementary to Bandura’s work on social learning and a key component of situated learning theory as well. Because Vygotsky’s focus was on cognitive development, it is interesting to compare his views with those a constructivist (Bruner) and a genetic epistemologist (Piaget).


  1. Consciousness is the end product of socialization
  2. The theory focus on cognitive development of the mind
  • Learning is defined as change in a learner’s schemata

C. Constructivism

Founded by Jean Piaget, constructivism emphasizes the importance of the active involvement of learners in constructing knowledge for themselves. Students are thought to use background knowledge and concepts to assist them in their acquisition of novel information. When such new information is approached, the learner faces a loss of equilibrium with their previous understanding which demands a change in cognitive structure. This change effectively combines previous and novel information to form an improved cognitive schema. Constructivism can be both subjectively and contextually based. Under the theory of radical constructivism, coined by Ernst von Glasersfeld, understanding relies on one’s subjective interpretation of experience as opposed to objective “reality”. Similarly, William Cobern‘s idea of contextual constructivism encompasses the effects of culture and society on experience.

Constructivism asks why students do not learn deeply by listening to a teacher, or reading from a textbook. To design effective teaching environments, it believes one needs a good understanding of what children already know when they come into the classroom. The curriculum should be designed in a way that builds on the pupil’s background knowledge and is allowed to develop with them. Begin with complex problems and teach basic skills while solving these problems. The learning theories of John Dewey, Maria Montessori, and David A. Kolb serve as the foundation of the application of constructivist learning theory in the classroom. Constructivism has many varieties such as active learning, discovery learning, and knowledge building, but all versions promote a student’s free exploration within a given framework or structure. The teacher acts as a facilitator who encourages students to discover principles for themselves and to construct knowledge by working answering open-ended questions and solving real-world problems. To do this, a teacher should encourage curiosity and discussion among his/her students as well as promoting their autonomy. In scientific areas in the classroom, constructivist teachers provide raw data and physical materials for the students to work with and analyze.


  1. Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment.
  2. Learners continuously test these hypotheses through social negotiation.
  • Each person has a different interpretation and construction of knowledge process, thus the learner is not a blank slate (tabula rasa) but brings past experiences and cultural factors to a situation

Other learning theories

Other learning theories have also been developed for more specific purposes. For example, andragogy is the art and science to help adults learn. Connectivism is a recent theory of networked learning which focuses on learning as making connections. The Learning as a Network (LaaN) theory builds upon connectivism, complexity theory, and double-loop learning. It starts from the learner and views learning as the continuous creation of a personal knowledge network (PKN)


Behaviorism is a worldview that assumes a learner is essentially passive, responding to environmental stimuli. The behaviourist perspectives of learning originated in the early 1900s, and became dominant in early 20th century. The basic idea of behaviourism is that learning consists of a change in behaviour due to the acquisition, reinforcement and application of associations between stimuli from the environment and observable responses of the individual. Behaviourists are interested in measurable changes in behaviour. Thorndike, one major behaviourist theorist, put forward that (1) a response to a stimulus is reinforced when followed by a positive rewarding effect, and (2) a response to a stimulus becomes stronger by exercise and repetition. This view of learning is akin to the “drill-and-practice” programmes. Skinner, another influential behaviourist, proposed his variant of behaviourism called “operant conditioning”. In his view, rewarding the right parts of the more complex behaviour reinforces it, and encourages its recurrence.


  1. The learner starts off as a clean slate (i.e. tabula rasa) and behavior is shaped through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement.
  2. Both positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement increase the probability that the antecedent behavior will happen again.

iii. In contrast, punishment (both positive and negative)    decreases the likelihood that the antecedent behavior will happen again. Positive indicates the application of a stimulus; Negative indicates the withholding of a stimulus. Learning is therefore defined as a change in behavior in the learner.

Transformative learning theory

Transformative learning theory seeks to explain how humans revise and reinterpret meaning. Transformative learning is the cognitive process of effecting change in a frame of reference. A frame of reference defines our view of the world. The emotions are often involved. Adults have a tendency to reject any ideas that do not correspond to their particular values, associations and concepts.

Transformative learning takes place by discussing with others the “reasons presented in support of competing interpretations, by critically examining evidence, arguments, and alternative points of view.” When circumstances permit, transformative learners move toward a frame of reference that is more inclusive, discriminating, self-reflective, and integrative of experience.

Criticism of learning theory

Critics of learning theories that seek to displace traditional educational practices claim that there is no need for such theories; that the attempt to comprehend the process of learning through the construction of theories creates problems and inhibits personal freedom.



Learning is one of the most important activities in which humans engage. It is at the very core of the educational process, although most of what people learn occurs outside of school. For thousands of years, philosophers and psychologists have sought to understand the nature of learning, how it occurs, and how one person can influence the learning of another person through teaching and similar endeavors. Various theories of learning have been suggested, and these theories differ for a variety of reasons. A theory, most simply, is a combination of different factors or variables woven together in an effort to explain whatever the theory is about. In general, theories based on scientific evidence are considered more valid than theories based on opinion or personal experience. In any case, it is wise to be cautious when comparing the appropriateness of different theories.



Illeris, Knud (2004). The three dimensions of learning. Malabar, Fla:

Krieger Pub. Co. ISBN 9781575242583.


Ormrod, Jeanne (2012). Human learning (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

ISBN 9780132595186.

D.C. Phillips; Jonas F. Soltis (2009). Perspectives on Learning.

Thinking About Education (5th ed.). Teachers College Press. ISBN 978-0-8077-7120-4.

Silverman, Allan. “Plato’s Middle Period Metaphysics and Epistemology”. In Edward N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2014 ed.).

Phillips, D.C., Soltis, J.F., Perspectives on learning pg. 22

Good and Brophey. Realistic Approach. p. 155.

Phillips, D.C. & Soltis, J.F. (2009). Perspectives on Learning (Fifth).

New York: Teachers College Press. p. 22.

Myers, David G. (2008). Exploring Psychology. New York, New York:

Worth. p. 223.

Smith, M.K. “Learning Theory, the encyclopedia of informal education”. the encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved June 2011. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

Kim, T and Axelrod, S. (2005): “Direct Instruction: An Educators’

Guide and a Plea for Action” – The Behavior Analyst Today, 6.(2), p. 111



The ethnicity of Nigeria is so varied that there is no definition of a Nigerian beyond that of someone who lives within the borders of the country (Ukpo, p. 19). The boundaries of the formerly English colony were drawn to serve commercial interests, largely without regard for the territorial claims of the indigenous peoples (38). As a result, about three hundred ethnic groups comprise the population of Nigeria (7), and the country’s unity has been consistently under siege: eight attempts at secession threatened national unity between 1914 and 1977. The Biafran War was the last of the secessionist movements within this period (3).

The concept of ethnicity requires definition. Ukpo calls an “ethnic group” a “group of people having a common language and cultural values” (10). These common factors are emphasized by frequent interaction between the people in the group. In Nigeria, the ethnic groups are occasionally fusions created by intermarriage, intermingling and/or assimilation. In such fusions, the groups of which they are composed maintain a limited individual identity. The groups are thus composed of smaller groups, but there is as much difference between even the small groups; as Chief Obafemi Awolowo put it, as much “as there is between Germans, English, Russians and Turks” (11).

The count of three hundred ethnic groups cited above overwhelmingly enumerates ethnic minority groups, those which do not comprise a majority in the region in which they live. These groups usually do not have a political voice, nor do they have access to resources or the technology needed to develop and modernize economically. They therefore often consider themselves discriminated against, neglected, or oppressed. There are only three ethnic groups which have attained “ethnic majority” status in their respective regions: the Hausa-Fulani in the north, the Ibo in the southeast, and the Yoruba (Soyinka’s group) in the southwest (11, 21)

The Nigerian Civil Service consists of employees in Nigerian government agencies other than the military. Most employees are career civil servants in the Nigerian ministries, progressing based on qualifications and seniority. Recently the head of the service has been introducing measures to make the ministries more efficient and responsive to the public.

The civil service is mainly organized around the federal ministries, headed by a minister appointed by the President of Nigeria, who must include at least one member of each of the 36 states in his cabinet. The President’s appointments are confirmed by the Senate of Nigeria. There are less than 36 ministries. In some cases a Federal minister is responsible for more than one ministry(e.g. Environment and Housing may be combined)and a minister may be assisted by one or more ministers of State. Each ministry also has a Permanent Secretary, who is a senior civil servant. The ministries are responsible for various[parastatals(government-owned corporations) such as universities (Education), National Broadcasting Commission, Information and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Other parastatals are the responsibility of the Office of the Presidency, such as the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Federal Civil Service Commission. The service has six additional units which provide services to all departments on the Civil Service:

  • Establishments & Record Office (E&RO)
  • Career Management Office (CMO)
  • Manpower Development Office (MDO)
  • Management Services Office (MSO)
  • Common Services Office (CSO)
  • Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR)

Nigerian ethnicity and the civil service

The Civil Service is mainly organized around the federal ministries, headed by a minister appointed by the president, who must include at least one member of each of the 36 states in his cabinet. The president’s appointments are confirmed by the Nigerian senate. The civil service is present in the 36 states in the federation. In some cases, a federal minister is responsible for more than one ministry (e.g environment and housing may be combined), and a minister may be assisted by one or more ministers of state. Each ministry also has a permanent secretary, who is a senior civil servant. The ministries are responsible for various parastatals (government-owned corporations) such as universities (Education), National Broadcasting Commission (Information) etc. Other parastatals are the responsibility of the office of the presidency, such as the Independent National Electoral Commission, Economic and Financial Crime Commission and the Federal Civil Service Commission.

Nigeria is a complex country with numerous ethnic groups. These ethnic groups were brought together to form one country called Nigeria. Prior to 1914, Nigeria was two different countries known as the Southern and Northern protectorates. Nigeria gained full independence in October 1960 under a constitution that provided for a parliamentary government and a substantial measure of self-government for the country’s three regions. After the departure of the British colonial government, the Nigerian government took over the civil service that the colonialists left behind but did nothing to restructure or develop it. The system, instead of improving, become worse as the indigenes devoted more time in behaving like ‘African Oyinbo’, a term which is commonly referred to as ‘black man in a white man’s skin’!

As a result of this, various panels have studied and made recommendations to reform the civil service. Notable among them are: the Morgan Commission of 1963, the Adebo Commission of 1971, and so on. A major change occurred with the adoption in 1979 of a constitution modeled on that of the United State. Then again, 1988 civil service reorganization decree promulgated by General Ibrahim Babangida had a major impact on the structure and efficiency of the civil service. The later report of the Agida panel made recommendations to reverse some of the past innovations and to return to the more efficiently civil service of earlier years.

Apart from the aforementioned reforms, the civil service has been undergoing gradual and systematic reforms and restructuring since may 29, 1999 after decades of military rule. However, the system is still considered stagnant and inefficient, and the attempts made in the past by panels have had little effect on its efficiency and effectiveness.


The Nigerian Civil Service had its root from the British superstructure and the native system of administration created in 1900, (Ezindu, 2009). The few Nigerians who were recruited into the service mostly occupied the lower cadre and did insignificant jobs as the core areas of administration and service was carried out by the British Officials. Nigeria under Richards’ Constitution was divided into three separate regions along ethnic lines and these were the North, East and Western regions. The North whose citizens were less educated witnessed few of its citizens being employed into their civil service as against those of the south. After independence in 1960, effort was made by government to integrate and unify the civil service but, not without the effort of the Northern leader using its office to strike a balance if not increase the number Northerners over the Southerners in the central civil service through an affirmative action. Today, deep rooted ethnicity has eaten deep into the Nigerian social, political, economic and institutional fabric including its civil service.




Medical social work is a sub-discipline of social work, also known as hospital social work. Medical social workers typically work in a hospital, outpatient clinic, community health agency, skilled nursing facility, long-term care facility or hospice Medical social workers assess the psychosocial functioning of patients and families and intervene as necessary. Interventions may include connecting patients and families to necessary resources and supports in the community; providing psychotherapy, supportive counseling, or grief counseling; or helping a patient to expand and strengthen their network of social supports. Role of a medical social worker is to “restore balance in an individual’s personal, family and social life, in order to help that person maintain or recover his/her health and strengthen his/her ability to adapt and reintegrate into society” (Ordre professionnel des travailleurs sociaux du Québec, OPTSQ, 1999). Medical social workers typically work on an interdisciplinary team with professionals of other disciplines (such as medicine, nursing, physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy, etc.)


Social work originates variously from humanitarian, religious and democratic ideals and philosophies and has universal application to meet human needs arising from personal-societal interactions and to develop human potential. Professional social workers are dedicated to service for the welfare and self-fulfilment of human beings; to the development and disciplined use of validated knowledge regarding human and societal behaviour; to the development of resources to meet individual, group, national and international needs and aspirations; and to the achievement of social justice. On the basis of the International Declaration of Ethical Principles of Social Work, the social worker is obliged to recognise these standards of ethical conduct

The Social Work Code of Ethics and Practice Domain

The social values which underpin this interactive definition of mental health are strongly congruent with the “humanitarian and egalitarian ideals” which form the value base of social work (Social Work Code of Ethics, p. 7). Further, the emphasis on “interaction” between person, group and environment fits closely with social work’s “person-in-environment” practice domain: “The primary focus of social work practice is on the relationship networks between individuals, their natural support resources, the formal structures in their communities, and the societal norms and expectations that shape these relationships. This relationship-centred focus is a distinguishing feature of the profession.” (CASW National Scope of Practice Statement, p. 2) Work in the mental health field requires an ability to work collaboratively and is strengthened by a systems perspective. As these knowledge and skill areas are emphasized in social work education, social workers are well positioned to play a significant role as our society strives to achieve mental health goals in the twenty-first century.

General work code of Ethical Conduct

3.2.1. Seek to understand each individual client and the client system, and the elements which affect behaviour and the service required.

3.2.2. Uphold and advance the values, knowledge and methodology of the profession, refraining from any behaviour which damages the functioning of the profession.

3.2.3. Recognise professional and personal limitations.

3.2.4. Encourage the utilisation of all relevant knowledge and skills.

3.2.5. Apply relevant methods in the development and validation of knowledge.

3.2.6. Contribute professional expertise to the development of policies and programs which improve the quality of life in society.

3.2.7. Identify and interpret social needs.

3.2.8. Identify and interpret the basis and nature of individual, group, community, national, and international social problems.

3.2.9. Identify and interpret the work of the social work profession.

3.2.10. Clarify whether public statements are made or actions performed on an individual basis or as representative of a professional association, agency or organisation, or other group.


3.3 Social Work code Relative to Clients

3.3.1. Accept primary responsibility to identified clients, but within limitations set by the ethical claims of others.

3.3.2. Maintain the client’s right to a relationship of trust, to privacy and confidentiality, and to responsible use of information. The collection and sharing of information or data is related to the professional service function with the client informed as to its necessity and use. No information is released without prior knowledge and informed consent of the client, except where the client cannot be responsible or others may be seriously jeopardized. A client has access to social work records concerning them.

3.3.3. Recognise and respect the individual goals, responsibilities, and differences of clients. Within the scope of the agency and the client’s social milieu, the professional service shall assist clients to take responsibility for personal actions and help all clients with equal willingness. Where the professional service cannot be provided under such conditions the clients shall be so informed in such a way as to leave the clients free to act.

3.3.4. Help the client – individual, group, community, or society- to achieve self-fulfilment and maximum potential within the limits of the respective rights of others. The service shall be based upon helping the client to understand and use the professional relationship, in furtherance of the clients legitimate desires and interests.

3.4 Social Work code Relative to Agencies and Organizations

3.4.1. Work and/or cooperate with those agencies and organizations whose policies, procedures, and operations are directed toward adequate service delivery and encouragement of professional practice consistent with the ethical principles of the IFSW.

3.4.2. Responsibly execute the stated aims and functions of the agency or organizations, contributing to the development of sound policies, procedures, and practice in order to obtain the best possible standards or practice.

3.4.3. Sustain ultimate responsibility to the client, initiating desirable alterations of policies, procedures, and practice, through appropriate agency and organization channels. If necessary remedies are not achieved after channels have been exhausted, initiate appropriate appeals to higher authorities or the wider community of interest.

3.4.4. Ensure professional accountability to client and community for efficiency and effectiveness through periodic review of the process of service provision.

3.4.5. Use all possible ethical means to bring unethical practice to an end when policies, procedures and practices are in direct conflict with the ethical principles of social work.

3.5 Social Work code Relative to Colleagues

3.5.1. Acknowledge the education, training and performance of social work colleagues and professionals from other disciplines, extending all necessary cooperation that will enhance effective services.

3.5.2. Recognise differences of opinion and practice of social work colleagues and other professionals, expressing criticism through channels in a responsible manner.

3.5.3. Promote and share opportunities for knowledge, experience, and ideas with all social work colleagues, professionals from other disciplines and volunteers for the purpose of mutual improvement.

3.5.4. Bring any violations of professionals ethics and standards to the attention of the appropriate bodies inside and outside the profession, and ensure that relevant clients are properly involved.

3.5.5. Defend colleagues against unjust actions.

3.6 Work codes Relative to the Profession

3.6.1. Maintain the values, ethical principles, knowledge and methodology of the profession and contribute to their clarification and improvement.

3.6.2. Uphold the professional standards of practice and work for their advancement.

3.6.3. Defend the profession against unjust criticism and work to increase confidence in the necessity for professional practice.

3.6.4. Present constructive criticism of the profession, its theories, methods and practices

3.6.5. Encourage new approaches and methodologies needed to meet new and existing needs.


Service to others is one of the main values in social work, from which all of the other values stem. Social workers acknowledge that serving others is more important than self-interest and put the needs of their clients ahead of their own. This can be difficult at times, and you’ll be expected to seek the advice of your supervisor or even participate in your own psychotherapy to help you deal with any personal issues that may arise. Additionally, the value of service means that you’ll be encouraged to volunteer some portion of your time – or working on a pro bono basis, according to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers.







Medical Social workers’ primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems. Social workers elevate service to others above self-interest. Social workers draw on their knowledge, values, and skills to help people in need and to address social problems. Social workers are encouraged to volunteer some portion of their professional skills with no expectation of significant financial return (pro bono service).

Most of the ethics cases on which I consult involve complicated ethical decisions concerning social workers’ conflicting values, duties, and obligations. The most challenging ethical dilemmas require exceedingly difficult choices involving client confidentiality, dual relationships and boundary issues, conflicts of interest, informed consent, and documentation.

For example, social workers may have to choose between a client’s fundamental right to confidentiality and the social worker’s duty to disclose confidential information to protect a third party from harm. Or social workers may have to sort out complicated boundary issues when they live and work in rural communities, where it is often impossible to avoid dual relationships with clients.

If I encounter a problem not cover by the code I will follow my conscience and do what is right.



Nottingham, Christ; Dougall, Rona (2007), “A Close and Practical Association with the Medical Profession: Scottish Medical Social Workers and Social Medicine, 1940–1975”, Medical History, 51 (3), PMC 1894864

Burnham, David (2016), The Social Worker Speaks: A History of Social Workers Through the Twentieth Century, Routledge, p. 41–43, ISBN 978-1-317-01546-8

Lynne M. Healy, International Social Work: Professional Action in an Interdependent World, Oxford University Press, 2001, ISBN 9780195124460, p.24

G.R. Madan, Indian Social Problems (Vol-2): Social Disorganization and Reconstruction, Allied Publishers, 1967, ISBN 9788184244601, p.351

Kearney, Noreen; Skehill, Caroline (2005), “Chapter 8: An Overview of the Development of Health-Related Social Work in Ireland”, Social Work in Ireland: Historical Perspectives, Institute of Public Administration, p. 165–170, ISBN 978-1-904541-23-3

Sarah Gehlert, Teri Browne, Handbook of Health Social Work, John Wiley & Sons, 2011, ISBN 9781118115916