The school should be free of charge and
compulsory for nine years for all children in Nigeria.
In reality, many children receive no or very poor
schooling. At least a third of the adult population
cannot read and write, which is a high figure for Africa
The nine-year school duty was introduced as early as
1976. When democracy was reintroduced in 1999, new
commitments were made on education for all. The
proportion of children in the school also increased
gradually, as did the literacy of the general
population. But despite increased funding, teaching has
hardly improved, and the criticism is harsh on the lack
of quality. Private schools have grown in number, but
only have the well-ordered advice to send their children
there. Otherwise, there is a severe shortage of teachers
and school premises, and the teachers have paid so
poorly that they cannot live on their wages. School
classes have grown in size, it happens that a teacher
has 100 children in the class in the lower stages.
Country facts of Nigeria, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
The children have formal schooling from the age of
six. Most go to school for at least a few years. But
every fifth child does not complete the first six-year
stage, and many take more than six years to do so. Some
start later, others fail for long periods but then come
back to school. Many children assist in family farming
or work as a domestic help or street vendor.
For some, it is a long road and difficult to get to
school. More boys than girls go to school, even though
the difference is leveling out. Especially in Northern
Nigeria, there are many children who do not attend
school at all.
In the northeastern part of the country, the Islamist
terrorist group Boko Haram's violence since 2009 has hit
hard on the school system, which the group explicitly
opposes. In the city of Maiduguri, tens of thousands of
people who have moved from their homes have been housed
in schools. After a military offensive in 2015 that
drove the group to retreat, nearly 100 state schools
were opened, which have been closed for almost two
After the first six years follow three years of high
school and then high school, but fewer than half of the
children attend the upper classes. The children are
taught the first years in a local language but start
with English in the third. In the higher classes are
English teaching languages.
The college has been greatly expanded for a few
decades. In the 1960s, there were five universities, now
there are about 100 and a wide range of vocational
colleges. The universities were previously well
regarded, but the lack of resources has eroded the
quality. Many of the best teachers apply abroad. State
universities have often been closed, sometimes monthly,
due to extensive teacher strikes.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Nigeria, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
64.1 percent (2010)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
51.1 percent (2008)
The electoral movement is starting
The electoral movement before the presidential and parliamentary elections on
February 16, 2019 begins. Among 73 presidential candidates are sitting President
Buhari and the main challenger, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. More than
84 million Nigerians have registered to vote, which is 18 percent more than at
the 2015 election when there were just under 69 million registered voters.
Many dead in Shiite protests
The Shi'ite Muslim group IMN continues to protest in Abuja, demanding the
release of detained leader Zakzaky (see December 2015). Police
strike and protests demand new deaths. The death toll varies between different
sources, from 6 according to the military to at least 39 according to IMN. More
than 120 IMN supporters are injured, several of them seriously. Around 400 IMN
supporters are arrested. Amnesty International says police have used violence
and there is evidence that Shia Muslims have been shot with automatic weapons.
Religious leaders have on several occasions urged the government and the army to
avoid at all costs a new religious conflict similar to that of Sunni Boko Haram.
Three dead in Shiite protests
Three members of the Shiite Muslim group Nigeria's Islamic Movement (IMN) are
killed in clashes with police during a demonstration in Abuja. The protesters
demand that IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky be released from the detention center
where he has been sitting since 2015 (see December 2015).
Religious leaders have urged the government and the army to avoid a new
religious conflict at all costs, similar to that of Sunni Boko Haram.
Female presidential candidate emerges
Obiageli Ezekwesili, best known as the founder and front figure of the
campaign "#BringBackOurGirls" whose goal was to free 276 girls captured by Boko
Haram in Chibok in Northern Nigeria 2014, announces that she is running in the
February 2019 presidential election. has been Minister of Education and Vice
President of the World Bank.
Buhari is challenged by Abubakar
The PDP elects former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the northeastern
state of Adamawa as his candidate in the presidential election in February 2019.
He has been presidential candidate four times before without winning the
elections. Adamawa, among others, defeats Senate Speaker Bukola Saraki in the
fight to become the opposition's representative. Both the APC and the PDP's
candidate are Muslim from Northern Nigeria, as it is a tradition that the
presidential post should rotate between Christians in the South and Muslims in
the North at intervals of two terms.
Buhari is elected presidential candidate
President Muhammadu Buhari is elected at a party congress in Abuja formally
to be the ruling APC candidate in the February 2019 presidential election.
Violence is increasing in Plateau
At least 13 people are killed when peasants from the peoples' group praise
and shepherds from Fulani gather in Jol in the state of Plateau in central
Nigeria. The violence follows a fire fight between the same groups a few days
earlier in the same area. At that time eleven people were killed. The level of
violence in Plateau has been relatively low for the past three years, but is
expected to increase as the elections in February 2019 approach. The state often
suffers from violence between different ethnic and religious groups in election
Minister leaves the government
Equality Minister Aisha Alhassan leaves Buhari's government and APC. She
states to the media that the reason is that she has been refused to run for
APC wins even election in Osun
In the governor election in the state of Osun on September 22, Ademola
Adeleke from the opposition party PDP gets 33.2 percent of the vote against 33.1
percent for Gboyega Oyetola, candidate for Buhari's ruling APC. The Election
Commission cannot announce any winner, since the victory margin is less than the
number of void votes. The election gets a lot of attention as Adeleke is the
uncle of Afro pop star Davido, whose real name is David Adedeji Adeleke and who
has been active in the uncle's election campaign. According to Nigerian and
foreign election observers, the election was peaceful and can be described as
free and fair. On September 27, the two top candidates will face each other in a
decisive election round. Now get Oyetola 35.4 percent of the votes compared to
35.3 percent for Adeleke. This means that Oyetola's victory margin is less than
500 votes. The PDP refuses to acknowledge the election result. The turnout is
low, 46 percent.
Continued Islamist attacks in the Northeast
At least 17 government soldiers are killed in the state of Borno - in what is
described as a third Islamist attack against a military base in the northeast in
a month. In the latest attack, Boko Haram members also raid the camp in the
village of Garunda on weapons and vehicles. On July 14, jihadists attacked a
military base in Jilli, in the neighboring state of Yobe, where dozens of
soldiers were killed, injured or disappeared. The base in Garunda had just been
set up by soldiers who managed to escape the attack in Jilli. The day before, on
July 13, more than 20 soldiers and several military vehicles disappeared
following an attack on a military column in Borno. On July 29, at least eleven
soldiers were also killed in an attack on a base near Monguno in Borno.
Parliament is occupied by the security service
Armed men who belong to the security service DSS temporarily take up the
National Assembly and prevent members and journalists and others from entering
both chambers. It is unclear what is causing the intervention, but speculation
exists that the president's supporters in the APC are planning to dismiss Senate
President Bukola Saraki. The ruling party has invited Saraki to resign (see also
July 31, 2018). The day after the temporary takeover of
Parliament, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo dismissed with immediate effect DSS
Chief Lawal Musa Daura, citing "a serious violation of the constitutional
order". Osinbajo is acting head of state while President Buhari is on vacation.
Power jump from the government party
Senate President Bukola Saraki leaves the ruling party APC and returns to his
former party PDP. The message comes the week after about 50 members of both
National Assembly chambers also left the APC. The majority are believed to have
joined the PDP, at Saraki's request. As President of the Senate, Saraki is the
country's third highest-ranking politician. The sacking represents a severe blow
to the APC and is expected to reduce President Buhari's chances of being
re-elected in February 2019. Bukola Saraki is a former governor of Kwara who
during his time as President has been charged with corruption. He has recently
been released in the Supreme Court from all charges, but he is still under
investigation in connection with a bank robbery.
APC is shattered
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ruptures since a faction announces
that it no longer supports President Muhammadu Buhari's government as it accuses
of incompetence. The members of the faction now form the Reform APC (R-APC)
under the leadership of Buhari ally Buba Galadima.
Violence is increasing the pressure on the president
Demands are mounting on President Buhari to improve security - or resign -
after more than 200 people have been killed in new outbreaks of
livestock-feeding fulani and agricultural plague in the state of Plateau. The
conflict is feared to grow into a greater security threat than the Northeast
Bloody attack in Borno
More than 40 people were killed in an attack in the city of Damboa in Borno,
just hours after the army chief urged displaced residents to return home with
the motivation that it was now safe. Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the
attack where six girls - estimated to have been 7-10 years old - are blown up in
the air among people who were on their way home after celebrating the end of the
fasting month of Ramadan. After the explosions, armor shots are fired at the
Separatist protest cripples in the southeast
A strike announced by Igbo separatists in south-eastern Nigeria is causing a
great deal of community life to stop, not least in the states of Enugu and
Anambra. Markets, banks and schools are closed while security forces patrol the
streets. The strike is held on the anniversary of the independence of Biafra in
1967 (see Modern History).
Violent clash in Kaduna
About 70 people are killed in fighting erupting in Birnin Gwari in the state
of Kaduna, between a village militia and a bunch of former cattle thieves who
have now switched to pure bandit business. Many children are among the victims.
Many victims in concerted suicide
A large number of people are killed in two suicides that are carried out
simultaneously against a mosque and a marketplace in Mubi in the state of
Adamawa in the northeast. The number of victims varies, but according to an
eyewitness, at least 86 are dead. Boko Haram is suspected of the attack that
should have been carried out by two young boys. Mubi was held by Boko Haram for
a period of 2014 and has been subject to several attacks since then (see
The United States promises support against Islamists
President Muhammadu Buhari receives praise from his US counterpart Donald
Trump during a US visit for increased support for the fight against Boko Haram.
Trump also comments on the conflict in central Nigeria between nomadic herdsmen
and resident farmers by saying that "we have a serious problem with Christians
Attack on church in Benue
At least 18 people, including two priests, were killed in an attack on a
church in the state of Benue in central Nigera. About 30 livestock attendants
attacked the church in connection with an early morning prayer and also have set
fire to over 60 buildings. The attack fuels fierce voices claiming that Muslims
are guilty of genocide against Christians in the area (see also January
UN: "Over 1,000 children abducted"
The UN Children's Fund Unicef reports that more than 1,000 children have
been abducted by jihadists since 2013. Among them, the 276 schoolgirls in Chibok
are included (see April 2014). Schools are often targets for
Boko Haram, especially if they are secular, as the Islamist group opposes modern
education. According to Unicef, at least 2,295 teachers have been murdered and
over 1,400 schools destroyed by extremists since the conflict erupted in 2009.
The president is up for re-election
President Muhammadu Buhari intends to take part in the 2019 presidential
election, his office announces. There has been much speculation over whether
74-year-old Buhari would run for re-election, especially as he has been ill and
spent three months in the UK for health care in 2017.
Big Boko Haram attack in Borno
At least 20 people are killed and over 80 injured in coordinated attacks on
two villages and a military base near Maiduguri. Seven suicide bombers are said
to have detonated themselves in the villages near the base, while 18 people
attacked the base where a long battle broke out.
Nigeria waives free trade agreement
Nigeria chooses not to participate when 44 African states sign a new free
trade agreement, AFCFTA. The business community has objected to the content. The
agreement must be ratified at national level before it can take effect, but is
seen by many as an important step towards increased trade exchange within
Most kidnapped girls free
Boko Haram returns to Dapchi and releases almost all the schoolgirls who were
abducted a month earlier (see February 19). Five girls died in
connection with the kidnapping and one Christian girl is still reported to
remain with the jihadists. According to media reports, the ransom has been paid
and some prisoner exchanges have taken place, but that rejects the authorities.
The girls will now be flown to Abuja with a military aircraft.
Senator reveals major remuneration
the 12th of March
A senator belonging to the ruling party APC, Shehu Sani, reveals that all
senators receive the equivalent of $ 37,500 a month in "expense reimbursement",
without further specifications, in addition to the salary of just over $ 2,000.
Sani says that the lack of transparency in the National Assembly is a problem
and claims that many people enter politics because the compensation is so
generous, rather than ideological. The data from Sani arouses strong indignation
in social media.
Assistance work is interrupted after attack
Three aid workers and eleven members of the security forces are killed in an
attack on a military base in Rann, near the border with Cameroon in the state of
Borno. Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attack. Afterwards both Doctors
Without Borders and the UN withdraw their staff from the area.
New kidnapping of schoolgirls
Jihadists storm a school and take away schoolgirls in Dapchi in the state of
Yobe, bordering Borno in the northeast. From the beginning there is confusion as
the authorities claim that school girls who are missing only hid from the
perpetrators. But after a few days it is clear that 110 girls have been robbed.
The attack is similar to that in Chibok in Borno (see April 2014).
Over 100 of the Chibok girls are still missing.
Nineteen killed in suicide
Three suicide bombers take 19 people to death at a fish market in Borno. Some
70 people are also injured, of which around 20 are critical.
Many are released after mass trial
A further 475 people have been released following one of several mass trials
against suspected Boko Haram members, the Justice Department said. Most cases
are closed in the absence of evidence. A total of 1,669 cases have now been
clarified since the trial began (see October 2017), and more
than 1,000 people have been set free. At the same time, 45 have been sentenced
to prison for between 2 and 15 years, 28 have been transferred to other courts
and 82 have pleaded guilty in exchange for shorter sentences when they have
already been remanded.
Boko Haram hostage released
Thirteen people arrested by the Islamist group Boko Haram are released. There
are ten women who were abducted during an attack on a police column and three
university teachers who were kidnapped during an oil expedition (see
July 2017). The International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) has
contributed as a mediator. No details of the settlement are published. The ICRC
was also involved when some of the schoolgirls from Chibok (see April
2014) were released in October 2016 and May 2017.
Boko Haram leaders warn of continued attacks
6th of February
Abubakar Shekau, who heads a group within Boko Haram, says in a video
recording that the attempts to expel the Islamists from the Zambian forest have
failed, and that Boko Haram will continue its attacks. The statement comes after
the military once again claimed that the jihadist group had been defeated.
Mass burial following outbreak of violence in Benue
Tens of thousands of mourners end up at a mass funeral for victims of a
violent outbreak in Benue between Muslim herdsmen and Christian peasants. Around
80 people are reported to have been killed since New Year and 80,000 have been
forced to leave their homes. The violence has been triggered by a new law that
prohibits nomads from moving through the state. The law aims to induce nomadic
fulani to go to livestock management on farms, to prevent recurring clashes with
resident peasants. The violence has claimed the lives of thousands of people in
recent years and is one of Nigeria's most serious security concerns.
Major offensive against Boko Haram
Nigeria, along with Cameroon, Niger and Chad, launched an offensive against
Boko Haram in the state of Borno, says the military. The offensive is aimed
partly at the faction led by Abubakar Shekau in the Zambian Forest, and partly
by the one led by Mamman Nur in the area around Lake Chad. According to the
military, a large number of jihadists have been killed for a few days while
hundreds must have surrendered themselves. Nurse's faction, Iswap, recently took
on an attack on a military base at the end of December when nine soldiers were
Boko Haram takes on the assault wave
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says in a video recording that the jihadist
group is behind a series of attacks conducted in northeastern Nigeria over the
weekends. Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in recent months. This applies
to both assault on military columns and suicide bombers on civilians, often in
marketplaces. Despite this, in his New Year's speech, President Buhari
reiterated that Boko Haram has been defeated and that it is merely "isolated
attacks". The day after the video was released, 14 people were killed in a
suicide attack against a mosque near the Cameroon border.
Many dead in attack in the south
At least 16 people are killed in a raid on churchgoers who were on their way
home after a midnight mass on New Year's Eve in the state of Rivers on the
coast. Rivalry between criminal gangs is said to be behind the attack. Violent
crime is widespread in the area; a few days later, at least seven people were
killed in a similar attack five miles from the site of the church oath.