Historical Background: Nigeria’s early cultures can be dated back to at least 700 BC. In the 12th to 14th centuries, more sophisticated cultures developed in the Yoruba area and in the north. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese and British slavers appeared, and in 1861, Britain seized control of Lagos and extended their control inland. British influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa’s most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. Although both the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections were marred by significant irregularities and violence, Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general elections of April 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country’s history.
Trends and Social Issues
Understanding the trends and social issues of a particular country should always take into consideration the opinions of persons within the country. The Center for Youth Studies is looking for contributors from each country to add to our appreciation and understanding of its culture, potential, trends and critical issues. If you have insight as to what is important to Nigerians, please contact us.
We look forward to hearing the insights on what insiders consider the most important issues facing them. From an outsider’s perspective current issues would include the role of the oil industry in the national economy, the inter-religious dialogue between different people groups, the evaluation of democracy and government leadership and the ever-pressing need for literacy education. What are the most important issues for Nigeria today? This will be added as we receive this information.