Effects of Politics on the Management of Universal Basic Education Programme in Nigeria

Filed in Articles by on November 11, 2022


Education in Nigeria has been on the concurrent list since 1951, but up to now, the country has no coherent ideology that constitutes the cornerstone of its educational programme.

Therefore, no practical basis on which the foundation of education could be laid, developed and utilized as a vehicle for political socialization and economic progress.

To worsen the problem, the management of the Basic Education Programme at all levels has been in the control of political appointees, both in the military and civilian administration since 1989.

All the top officeholders who have the power to execute UBE programmes right from the local government up to the Federal Government level are seasoned politicians who are appointed for compensation of their political contribution to the so-called„election‟ in a democratic era or support in a dictatorship regime (military).

This study examined the effect of politics on the Management of the UBE programme in Nigeria.

It opened up with a general overview of the topic, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions and hypotheses, basic assumptions and significance of the study. The scope and delimitation of the study were also specified.

A review of related and relevant kinds of literature centring on the concepts and manifestation of the effect of politics on the management of the UBE programme in Nigeria was provided.

This was intended to provide a theoretical base and knowledge to be used for the study. The Ex-post-facto method was used for this study, covering the six (6) Geo-political zones in Nigeria and the FCT.

The population of the study involved 214 Principals, 370 teachers, 126 PTA officials, 120 SUBEB administrators, 120 MOE officials, 10 FMOE and 10 UBEC officials totalling 1210 respondents.

Systematic random sampling technique was used in selecting these samples, out of which 194 Principals, 217 LGEA Administrators, 114 SUBEB officials, 114 MOE officials, 348 Teachers, 120 PTA Officials, 9 UBEC Administrators and 10 FMOE Administrators returned their completed copies of questionnaires, out of 1210 administered on the basis of which the analysis was made.

The instrument used for this study was a structured questionnaire based on five (5) points like scales, whose validity and reliability was obtained through the aid of experts in statistics, research supervisors and pilot.

The opinions of the respondents were analysed using descriptive analysis and statistical tools such include T-tests and ANOVA. All seven hypothesizes were retained.

It was discovered that all three stakeholders used in this study have accepted the fact that politics was a barrier to the successful implementation of the UBE programme in Nigeria.

Finally, the study recommended that the Government should stop politicizing the top leadership of the SUBEBs and LGEAs which are the UBE implementation levels in Nigeria and other political interference on the UBE programme.

Career educationists who are capable and committed should be appointed to head UBE agencies.


Background of the Study

Nigeria lies between longitudes 4 16 and 13 53 north of the equator and latitudes 2 40 and 14 41 to the East of the Greenwich Meridian, with a total land area of 923,768 square miles.

Nigeria‟s population was put at 140,003,542 (2006 Census) with a population growth rate of 3.2% in the 1991 census.

It encompasses a wide variety of geographical formations, ranging from the low lying tropical forests of the southern coast, through the plateau highlands of the middle belt, to the Sahel Region of the far North.

The landscape is predominantly rural with only thirty per cent of the population living in urban centres (Wole, F. G. Makoju A E, Peter O, David, C. O and Joseph, O. O, 1997).

Nigeria is a multi-ethnic society with an estimated 374 ethnolinguistic groups characterized by the diversity of cultures. The three major ethnic groups include Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo.

The administrative structure of Nigeria has metamorphosed from three regions to 4 regions in 1963, 12 states in 1967, 19 states in 1976, 21 states in 1987, 30 states in 1991 and 36 states with capital at Abuja and 774 local government areas in 1996.

Nigeria is a federal republic with a vertically three-tier administrative structure, comprising the Federal Government, 36 states and 774 local government councils.

Nigeria is also structured into 6 geo-political zones: North-west, North-East, North-Central, South West, South-South and South-East.

Alongside the conventional structure, there exists the indigenous system comprising Traditional Rulers, Chiefs, as well as acclaimed Community leaders who influence major decisions at grass root levels.

Since the introduction of western education into Nigeria, the education system has been facing myriads of problems particularly in the last three decades when it became increasingly complex.

In the rush to develop, the various Governments have made a series of attempts full of omissions and commissions which have continued to cripple the educational system.

The reforms have been patchy, inconsistent, mismanaged and therefore mostly ineffective. The system has failed largely at the level of management (Ahuanya, S. & Akinyemi, S., 2010).


Abba, I. and Ubandoma, Y. (2006) Human Resource Model for Integrated Science, Proceeding of the 47th Annual Conference of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) pp227-231
Abernethy, D. B. and Coombs, T. (1960) Education and Politics in Developing Countries, Harvard Education Review, Volume 33 No. 3.
Adamu, B. (2002) Recurrent Issues in Nigerian Education, Jos, Tamaza Publishing Co. Nigeria
Ado, I.B., Akinbola, A.O. and Inyang, G.B. (2010) Status of Human Resources: Implication of Upper Basic of the Universal basic Education Programme in Bayelsa Sate of Nigeria, Bulgarian Journal of Science and Education policy, Vol. 4 November.
Adepoju, A. and Fabiyi, A. (2007): „Universal Basic Education in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects‟ paper presented at the Union for African Population Studies fifth African Population Conference, Arusha, Tanzania, 10-14 December, 2007:
Adesina, S. (1981) Introduction to Educational Planning, Ile-Ife, University Press Ltd PP 1-11.

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