Fundamental Obligations of Government:

Both the Constitution (1979 and 1999) provide as follows: Section 13: Fundamental obligation of Government: It shall be the  duty and responsibility of all organs of government, and  of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative,  executive or judicial powers to conform to, observe and  apply the provisions of this Chapter of this Constitution. Section 14: The Government and the people:

  1.  The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the  principles of democracy and social justice.
  2.  It is hereby, accordingly declared that :(a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom  government through this Constitution derives all its powers and  authority;(b) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary  purpose of government;(c) the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
  3.  The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of  its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in  such manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national  loyalty thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of  persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional   groups in that government or in any of its agencies.
  4.  The composition of the Government of a State, a local  government council, or any of the agencies of such government  or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the government or  council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to  recognize the diversity of the peoples within its area of authority  and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among  all the peoples of the Federation.

Political Objectives

  1.  The motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be  Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.
  2. Accordingly, national integration shall be actively encouraged,  whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex,  religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited.
  3. For the purpose of promoting national integration it shall be the  duty of the State to:(a) provide adequate facilities for and encourage free mobility of  people, goods and services throughout the Federation;(b) secure full residence rights for every citizen in all parts of the  Federation;c) encourage intermarriage among persons from different places of  origin, or of different religious, ethnic or linguistic association or  ties;(d) and promote or encourage the formation of associations that cut  across ethnic, linguistic, religious or other sectional barriers. 
  4. The State shall foster a feeling of belonging and of involvement among the various peoples of the Federation, to the end that loyalty to the nation shall override sectional loyalties.
  5.  The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.  Economic Objectives
14. (1) The State shall, within the context of the ideals and  objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution :

(a) control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity; 

(b) without prejudices to its right to operate or participate in areas of  the economy other than the major sectors of the economy,  manage and operate the major sectors of the economy;
(c) without prejudice to the right of any person to participate in areas  of the economy within the major sector of the economy, protect  the right of every citizen to engage in any economic activities  outside the major sector of the economy.

(2) The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring:

(a) the promotion of a planned and balanced economic development; (b) that the material resources of the community are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good; (c) that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to  permit the concentration of wealth of the means of production  and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group; and (d) that suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food,  reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment and sick benefits are provided for  all citizens.

(3) A body shall be set up by an Act of the National Assembly which  shall have power:

(a) to review from time to time the ownership and control of  business enterprises operating in Nigeria and make recommendations to the President on the same; and

(b) to administer any law for the regulation of the ownership and control of such enterprises.

(4) For the purpose of this subsection (1) of this section:

(a) reference to the major sectors of the economy “shall be construed as a reference to such economic activities as may from time to time be declared by a resolution of each House of the National Assembly to be managed and operated exclusively by the Government of the  Federation; and until a resolution to the contrary is made by the National Assembly economic activities being operated exclusively by the Government of the Federation on the date immediately preceding the day when this sections come into force, whether directly or through the agencies of a statutory or other corporation of company shall be deemed to be major sectors of the economy; (b) “economic activities” includes activities directly concerned with the production, distribution and exchange of wealth or of goods and services; and

(c) “participate” includes the rendering of services and supplying of goods.
Social Objectives 

  1.  The State social order is founded on ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.
  2.  In furtherance of the social order:(a) every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law;(b) the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced;(c) governmental actions shall be humane;d) exploitation of human or natural resources in any form whatsoever for reasons other than the good of the community shall be prevented; and(e) the independence, impartiality and integrity of courts of law, and easy accessibility thereto shall be secured and maintained.
  3.  The State shall direct is policy towards ensuring that:(a) all citizens without discrimination on any ground whatsoever have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunities to secure suitable employment;(b) conditions of work are just and humane, and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, religious and cultural life; (c) the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment are safeguarded and not endangered or abused;(d) there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons; (e) there is equal pay for equal work without discrimination on account of sex, or on any other ground whatsoever;(f) children, young persons and the aged are protected against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect; and (g) provision is made for public assistance in deserving cases or other conditions of need.

Educational Objectives

  1. Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at  all levels.
  2. Government shall promote science and technology.
  3. Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this endGovernment shall as and when practicable provide:(a) free, compulsory and universal primary education;(b) free secondary education;(c) free university education; and(d) free adult literacy programme.

Foreign Policy Objectives

The State shall promote African Unity, as well as total political, economic, social and cultural liberation of African and all other forms of international cooperation conducive to the consolidation of universal peace and mutual respect and friendship among all peoples and States, and shall combat racial discrimination in all its manifestations.

Directive on Nigerian Culture:

Section 20 of the 1979 and 21 of the 1999 Constitution are similar. They provide as follows:

The State shall protect and enhance Nigerian culture.
Obligations of the Mass Media
The obligations of the mass media are prescribed in Section 21 (1979) and 22 (1999). The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.

National Ethic

The National ethic shall be Discipline, Self-reliance and Patriotism. See section 22 (1979) and 23 (1999).


In this unit, we have attempted to examine the various categories of the fundamental objectives and directive principle of state policy. The meaning and definition of each category, the relationship between the economic, political, social, educational and foreign affairs objectives were also examined.


We have been able to establish how the various categories of chapter II of the Constitution (1979 – 99) evolved and interrelate. We concluded with the views of Prof. Abiola Ojo that most, if not all,


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The Constitutional Provisions on Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy

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