Nigeria 1999 Constitution – Chapter II: Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy
Continuation from Nigeria 1999 Constitution Chapter I: General Provision
13. 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.
• Duty to obey the constitution
14. 1. The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice.
14.2. 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
c. the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in
accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
14.3. 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 a 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 State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.
14.4. 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 recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people
of the Federation.
15. 1. The motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.
• Integration of ethnic communities
• National motto
15.2. 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.
15.3. 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 inter-marriage among persons from different places of origin, or of different religious, ethnic or linguistic association or ties; and
• Right to marry
d. promote or encourage the formation of associations that cut across ethnic, linguistic, religious and or other sectional barriers.
15.4. The State shall foster a feeling of belonging and of involvement among the various people of the Federation, to the end that loyalty to the nation shall override sectional loyalties.
15.5. The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.
16. 1. The State shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution
a. harness the resources of the nation and promote national prosperity and an efficient, a dynamic and self- reliant economy;
b. 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;
• Mentions of social class
c. without prejudice 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;
d. 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 sectors of the economy.
16.2. 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 nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good;
• Provisions for wealth redistribution
c. that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or 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, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens.
• State support for the elderly
• State support for the unemployed
• State support for the disabled
• Right to shelter
• Right to reasonable standard of living
a. to review, from time to time, the ownership and control of business enterprises operating in Nigeria and make recommendations to the President on same; and
b. to administer any law for the regulation of the ownership and control of such enterprises.
16.4. For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section
a. the 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 section comes into force, whether directly or through the agencies of a statutory or other corporation or 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 weather or of goods and services; and
c. “participate” includes the rendering of services and supplying of goods.
17. 1. The State social order is founded on ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.
17.2. In furtherance of the social order
a. every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law;
• General guarantee of equality
b. the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced;
• Human dignity
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.
• Judicial independence
• General guarantee of equality
3. The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that
a. all citizens, without discrimination on any group whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment;
• Right to work
• Right to reasonable standard of living
b. conditions of work are just and humane, and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, religious and cultural life;
• Right to rest and leisure
• Right to safe work environment
c. the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment are safeguarded and not endangered or abused;
• Right to health care 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;
• Right to equal pay for work
f. children, young persons and the age are protected against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect;
• Rights of children
g. provision is made for public assistance in deserving cases or other conditions of need; and
• Right to found a family h. the evolution and promotion of family life is encouraged.
18. 1. Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.
• Reference to science
18.2. Government shall promote science and technology.
18.3. Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end Government shall as and when practicable provide-
• Free education
• Compulsory education
a. free, compulsory and universal primary education;
b. free secondary education;
c. free university education; and
d. free adult literacy programme.
• Customary international law
19. The foreign policy objectives shall be
a. promotion and protection of the national interest;
• Regional group(s)
b. promotion of African integration and support for African unity;
c. promotion of international co-operation for the consolidation of universal peace and mutual respect among all nations and elimination of discrimination in all its manifestations;
d. respect for international law and treaty obligations as well as the seeking of settlement of international disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and adjudication; and
• International law
e. promotion of a just world economic order.
20. The State shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wild life of Nigeria.
• Protection of environment
• Right to culture 21. The State shall
a. protect, preserve and promote the Nigerian cultures which enhance human dignity and are consistent with the fundamental objectives as provided in this Chapter; and
b. encourage development of technological and scientific studies which enhance cultural values.
22. 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.
23. The national ethics shall be Discipline, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Social, Justice, Religious Tolerance, Self-reliance and Patriotism.
24. It shall be the duty of every citizen to
a. abide by this Constitution, respect its ideals and its institutions, the National Flag, the National Anthem, the National Pledge, and legitimate authorities;
• Duty to obey the constitution
• National anthem
• National flag
b. help to enhance the power, prestige and good name of Nigeria, defend Nigeria and render such national service as may be required;
c. respect the dignity of other citizens and the rights and legitimate interests of others and live in unity and harmony and in the spirit of common brotherhood;
d. make positive and useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides;
e. render assistance to appropriate and lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order; and
f. declare his income honestly to appropriate and lawful agencies and pay his tax promptly.