Social change in Nigeria since independence

Social change in Nigeria since independence

What do you know about social change in Nigeria? If your answer is something like ‘very little’ then let us help you out. We will tell you about various changes that have happened since Nigeria’s independence and talk a little bit about things that still need to change.

market in Nigeria

Examples of social change in Nigeria

Before we jump into it, let’s answer the question: what is social change? According to the social change definition, it is an alteration in the social order of a certain society. This includes changes in social institutions, social relations, social behaviours and more.

Since Nigeria became independent back in 1960, a lot of things have changed in the country. We probably would not be able to mention every single one, but we will try to go through at least some of the most important ones.

For instance, there has been a shift from regions to states. As you know, when Nigeria had just gained its independence, there were only three regions: Eastern, Northern and Western. However, over the years, regions split into multiple parts, which became states. The last change that came in 1996 and brought with it the current division into 36 states.


Next is the shift from agriculture to oil production. Now, this has kind of been a back and forth, as after the oil boom of the seventies, the government abandoned agriculture to go into the oil production business.

Of course, like most other countries, Nigeria went through industrialisation. This meant that, once again, agriculture has been somewhat left behind in favour of manufacturing. However, industrialisation in Nigeria is rather slow, so a lot of people are still involved in agriculture.

When talking about social change, it would also make sense to mention the transition towards a democratic government. After being a colony for so long, Nigeria became an independent federation, which soon faced a civil war, so the country had military rule installed. After almost 33 years of various political moves and civil unrest, democracy came to replace the military rule, and next year, it is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

It is important to note that with independence came the expansion of educational institutions. Over the years, more and more universities, schools and other educational institutions were opened in all regions of Nigeria, allowing for better access of all people to education. However, unfortunately, this does not mean that there are no issues with education in Nigeria, but that is a story for another time.

Of course, there were lots of other social changes since the independence, but we have tried to mention the most important ones.

Things that still need to be changed in Nigeria

Nigerian kids

READ ALSO: What is political apathy?

While Nigeria has come a long way since it became independent, there are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed. Let’s go through some of the most glaring ones:

  • Human rights. Suffice to say, for a democratic country, Nigeria sure has too many issues with discrimination, domestic violence, child abuse and other things.
  • Corruption. While this could be counted as an economic issue, this is also deeply rooted in the society. People expect to give and receive bribes, and as long as they do, corruption will remain an issue in Nigeria.
  • Inequality. Despite all the changes that happened in the country, some groups of people still do not have equal rights and resources as the rest. This can be said about ethnic groups, various minorities and, in some cases, women.
  • National identity. Taking into account that Nigeria consists of many different ethnic groups, people find it hard to see themselves as a part of one big united country. Until there is no unity between people, it would be hard to make any sorts of change in the society.

As you can see, despite being an independent country for so many years, Nigeria still has a long way to go. It has seen a lot of social changes over the years, but there need to be more of them if we want to make our country better.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Civil War effects on the economy of Nigeria


Mailfire view pixel