However corrupt the politics (ranked 142 out of 163 countries in Transparency International), Nigerians do enjoy freedom of expression, which is guaranteed in the constitution. However, touchy issues, such as corruption and Sharia (Islamic) Law can bring (especially northern) state penalties.
Religious freedom is also guaranteed by the constitution, however, discrimination is rampant. Furthermore, in some northern areas, where Sharia law is imposed, non-Islamic residents have a difficult time going about their lives.
Freedom of assembly is “generally respected in practice,” however, Amnesty International has reported that numerous rallies backing the separatist movement MASSOB were forcibly broken up.
Education is free until university yet it is not compulsory. Secondary School in Nigeria lasts for 6 years, and is split between Junior Secondary School (JSS) and Senior Secondary School (SSS). For JSS, the compulsory curriculum includes “English, mathematics, integrated science, social studies, introductory technology, business studies, home economics, art, French or Arabic, agricultural science, music, physical education, health education. Students are also required to select a Nigerian language.” In the SSS, the core curriculum is made up of “English language, one Nigerian language, mathematics, one science subject, one social science subject, and agricultural science or a vocational subject. In addition students must take three elective subjects, one of which may be dropped in the third year.” Boarding schools are a common option for many in Senior Secondary School. Almost all schools have some sort of dress code, however it varies depending on the climate and school.
Following secondary school, exams are required for entrance into universities. However, in 1998, the universities revealed that they only had the capacity for 20% of all qualified applicants. The general opinion holds that federal universities are much better funded and staffed than their state counterparts.
23% of the nation’s total 400,000 teachers lack certification, which is required by law to teach.
Nigeria spends only .76% of is GNP on education, as compared to poorer countries in Africa (Angola, Kenya) which spend over 5%.
The nation’s literacy rate is 68%.
Government Granted “Rights of Age”
However little a vote means in Nigeria due to the exorbitant amounts of political corruption, the voting age is currently 18.
There is currently no drinking age for Nigeria.
The age of consent (for male-female sex only) is 13.
There is currently no conscription in Nigeria.
Both male-male and female-female sex are illegal in some regions. Individual states are allowed to introduce their own penal codes, and some northern states have done so. These new codes almost always have a Sharia bend. For example, the drinking of alcohol by Muslims, stealing, and zina (adultery) both have Sharia hudud punishments of flogging for alcohol, amputation of a hand for stealing, and stoning for adultery. In the south, homosexuality is punished by a 14 year death sentence, and in the 12 northern states which have Sharia law, it is punishable by stoning.
Abortions are only permissible to save the life of a woman.
Only 1 in 9 married Nigerian couples use birth control
One third of Nigeria’s population has ages ranging from 10 to 24.