Section 13-24 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Section 13 through 24 of the Nigerian Constitution

Section 13 to 24 of the constitution of Nigeria is under Chapter II of the constitution, called Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. What is contained in this chapter may also be called Socio-economic Rights.

Section 13 of the Nigerian Constitution

Fundamental obligations of the Government.

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.

Section 14 of the Nigerian Constitution

The Government and the people

14. (1) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social
(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: and
(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 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.
(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.

Section 15 of the Nigerian Constitution

Political objectives

15. (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
(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 throughtout 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
(d) promote or encourage the formation of associations that cut across ethnic,
linguistic, religious and or other sectional barriers.
(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.
(5) The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.

SEE ALSO  Preamble to the Nigerian Constitutiton 1999

Section 16 of the Nigerian Constitution

Economic objectives

16. (1) The State shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this
(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;
(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.

(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;
(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.

(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 same; and
(b) to administer any law for the regulation of the ownership and control of such

(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.

SEE ALSO  Section 221-229 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Section 17 of the Nigerian Constitution

Social objectives

17. (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 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;
(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 age are protected against any exploitation
whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect;
(g) provision is made for public assistance in deserving cases or other conditions of
need; and
(h) the evolution and promotion of family life is encouraged.

Section 18 of the Nigerian Constitution

Educational objectives

18. (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 end Government 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.

Section 19 of the Nigerian Constitution

Foreign policy objectives

19. The foreign policy objectives shall be –
(a) promotion and protection of the national interest;
(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
(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
(e) promotion of a just world economic order.

SEE ALSO  Schedule VII to the Nigerian Constitution 1999

Section 20 of the Nigerian Constitution

Environmental objectives

20. The State shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wild
life of Nigeria.

Section 21 of the Nigerian Constitution

Directive on Nigeria cultures

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.

Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution

Obligation of the mass media

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.

Section 23 of the Nigerian Constitution

National ethics

23. The national ethics shall be Discipline, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Social, Justice, Religious Tolerance,
Self-reliance and Patriotism.

Section 24 of the Nigerian Constitution

Duties of the citizen

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;
(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 wellbeing 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


Published by

Inioluwa Olaposi

Hi, there. I'm Inioluwa, founder of LawHub NG. I study Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. And I am interested in entrepreneurship and human development. Contact me at

3 thoughts on “Section 13-24 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999”

  1. Sir, which chapter and section of the 1999 Nigerian constitution that give a citizen a right of free education?

    1. Hello Philip. It’s nice to have you here.

      As regards your question, you have to understand that the ‘rights’ under the Nigerian 1999 constitution are specifically contained under Chapter II and IV of the Constitution. However, the later is enforceable, while the former is not.

      Chapter IV, which contains enforceable/justciable fundamental rights, does not include any right as ‘Right to Free Education’.

      Section 18 of the Constitution (which is under the non-justiciable Chapter II) provides that the government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy, provide free primary, secondary, university education, and adult literacy programme, when practicable.

      See also: Section 15 of the CHILD’S RIGHT ACT, 2003

      I hope I have been able to help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.