COMMON SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN NIGERIA
NATIONAL VALUES

COMMON SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN NIGERIA

The following are some of the social problems prevalent in Nigeria today.

  1. Examination malpractice.
  2. Cultism.
  3. Corruption.
  4. Poverty.
  5. HIV/AIDS.
  6. Prostitutions.
  7. Rigging of elections.
  8. Political killings.
  9. Ritual killing.
  10. Area boy syndrome.

 

EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE

Examinations are set at various levels of education to assess pupils, students and those ones at higher institutions of learning in order to get feedback as to whether they understand what they have been taught. Examination may be in form of practical exercise, written type or oral form but the essence is to get those who are qualified to be promoted to the next level of education.

 

These are examinations that are peculiar to Nigeria.

  1. Common entrance that leads to the award of primary six leaving certificate
  2. Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination which leads to the award of ordinary level certificate.
  3. University and tertiary matriculation examination. This body conducts examination for prospective higher institution students. Besides, examinations are conducted at various higher institutions such as colleges of education, polytechnics, universities in Nigeria and some other institutions, like college of health technology, etc.

It should be noted that all these examinations at various levels are expected to maintain high level of standard and perfect decorum during examinations. All rules and regulations of the examinations must be kept. What we see in our society is that very many people engage in examination malpractices.

Examination is a means by which student’s knowledge of the curriculum is evaluated, therefore, any action or reaction that does not conform with rules and regulation or standard set for the examination is known as examination malpractice or examination malpractices are any act which does not make the assessment or evaluation of performance of those who unite reliable. Dayo Oguniyi and other reported that examination malpractices started long time ago in Nigeria. He puts as follows:

  1. The Cambridge school certificate examination (CSCE) leaked in 1914.
  2. General leakage of the West African School Certificate (WASC) examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in 1963.
  3. The same examination body experienced another general leakage in 1968.
  4. More cases of examination leakages occurred from 1981. In more public examinations like Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and University examination, a decree was promulgated as examination malpractice Act 33 of 1999. This Act gave severe punishment to offenders.

 

FORMS OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE

  1. Writing before exam on examination desk.
  2. Taking prepared answers into hall.
  3. Impersonating another candidate.
  4. Copy answers from other students.
  5. Writing on body parts before examination.

 

CAUSES OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE

There are many reasons for examination malpractices in Nigeria, they are divided into major and minor.

  1. Family.
  2. Social view about some courses.
  3. Discrimination between the federal and state own institutions.
  4. Quest for white collar jobs.
  5. Indiscipline among some of school operators.
  6. Unemployment.

 

  • Family: The first agent of socialization, the basic training about life starts from the family which has to do with family first before the large society. If a child lacks home training, definitely he/she will involve in immoral behaviour such as examination malpractice. A family that is highly religious will not lack moral content and this will reflect on their wards.
  • Societal view about some courses: This is one of major causes of examination malpractice, some parents did not like or want their children to study some courses such as History, Yoruba language, French etc ., but to study Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, English language, Mass Communication, etc. This spurs some candidates to engage in examination malpractice.
  • Discrimination between federal and state owned institutions: Some parents and their wards want to gain admission to federal institutions because of social prestige; they therefore use every available trick to pass entrance examinations to higher institutions.
  • Quest for white collar jobs: Many students understand the fact that without a good certificate, government cannot employ, that is, the certificate that someone possesses will enhance their getting a white collar job, so students who value and respect it engage in dishonest practices during examinations for the sake of job security.
  • Unemployment: This cause is noted mainly among some unemployed graduates, they constitute themselves in groups during ordinary level examination in order to help their candidates across centres in Nigeria. They do this because of poverty. Many of them are being arrested by the police.

 

MINOR CAUSES OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE IN NIGERIA ARE:

  1. Supervisor(s): Some supervisors are greedy and not satisfied with what the examining body prepares to offer for their service, so they allow students to bring in prepared answers, even textbooks, into the examination hall.
  2. Parents/P.T.A and School Head: Some schools via their Parents Teachers Association representative collude with school head to allow examination malpractices. Some parents specifically inform school head to assist their ward during examination by this the school head will involve each subject teacher. This happens mostly especially in private schools. They comply because of the huge amount of money parents have paid into the school and the proprietor or proprietress will not like the business to collapse.
  3. Competition Among State Government: Each state wants to be rated high among the comity of states, they therefore use every means to compel school heads in their various states to ensure that they emerge first in any national examinations. The school administrators will also compel all subject teachers to work at all cost and ensure students pass their subjects.
  4. Laziness: Many students are not serious with their studies, they cannot sit down and read they therefore resort to cheating during examinations.
  5. Disrespect for Social Values and Ethics: In those days, students were determined to read and did not expect manna to fall, but today, the reverse is the case. Our social values and ethics are gone.
  6. Internet Epoch: The presence of internet has worsened the situation. Just name any subject, question(s) and solution(s), you will find whatever you want via the internet. So many students still bring cell phones into examination halls for examination malpractice.

 

CULTISM

What is a cult? It is a small group of people with belief which is not part of our religions in Nigeria. This group is not open to the entire populace.

Their members are referred to as cultists. Therefore, cultism is described as activities or practices of cultists (which are not open). Their belief spans across, helping, protecting and supporting their members in all areas of life. They do things secretly because their deeds are anti-social. They kill, kidnap, assault, steal, rape, etc.

 

Kinds of Cult Groups in Nigeria

  1. Traditional cult group.
  2. Political cult group.
  3. Religion cult group.
  4. Student cult group.

The last kind of cult group occurs in our higher institutions of learning and is not new in our society. Recently we learnt some secondary students are involved in this illegal society. They had been dealt with. Some anti-social behaviour of these cult groups on our campuses are destruction of life and property, causing mayhem, and disruption of the academic calendar. Many of them that were caught had been rusticated and their names entered into a black book. Their life-destiny has been destroyed, they cannot do anything good in the country e.g. they cannot contest an election, history will be told.

 

NAMES OF FEW CULT GROUPS IN NIGERIA

  1. Black Berets.
  2. Red Berets.
  3. The sharons.
  4. The scorpion.
  5. River angel.
  6. Eiye confraternity.
  7. Buccaneers.
  8. Prates.
  9. Black Bras.
  10. Black Axes confraternity.
  11. War Lords.
  12. The jurist.
  13. Daughters of Jezebel.
  14. White angel.
  15. The Vikings.
  16. Red Devil.
  17. Jezebels.
  18. Pyrates confraternity.
  19. Ogboni society.
  20. Dibia.
  21. Ekpe, etc.

 

THE CAUSES OF CULTISM

  1. Ignorance.
  2. Youthful exuberance.
  3. Peer group influence.
  4. Drug Abuse.
  5. Lack of parental care.
  6. Influx of arms and ammunitions.
  7. Idleness.
  8. Campus politics security.

 

  1. Ignorance: Some students find themselves in cult groups due to ignorance, this occurs as a result of the fear they allowed into their minds about some of their school mates. Some of them are invited to meetings they do not know anything about, before they understand it they are initiated.
  2. Youthful Exuberance: Some youths like to display their vigour in cultism.
  3. Peer Group Influence: Some youths are influenced by their age grade to join cult group.
  4. Drug Abuse: Many cult members are drug addicts, they join cult group under the influence of misuse of drug.
  5. Lack of Parental Care: An adage says “Charity Begins at Home” A child who lacks parental care will have tendency of becoming things in the society. He/she will lack moral content by so doing, he/she will join cult group. A father who is also a member of a cult group will see no reason why his ward should not join any cult group of his/her choice.
  6. Influx of Arms and Ammunitions: It should be noted here that, illegal trafficking in arms and ammunitions seriously encourage cultism in Nigeria. When weapons for battle are ready, the warriors will be happy to fight. If they were armless, no one will go for battle.
  7. Idleness: An adage says, “An idle hand is devil’s workshop” when students or youths are busy doing nothing it is highly possible to involve in illegal activities. Many cult members are dull intellectually, they are lazy, they join in order to cover up their weaknesses.
  8. Campus Politics: Some youths join cult group in order to succeed in their political career right there in the school. Some of them vie for positions like students’ union government president, general secretary, public relations officer, etc. they join cult group for protection and to have more votes.
  9. Security: Some youths especially ladies join cult group for protection sake. They have neglected the fact that protection comes only from God.

 

CORRUPTION

This is the act of corrupting or of impairing integrity, virtue, or moral principles; the state of being corrupted or debased; loss of purity or integrity, depravity, weakness, impurity, bribery. Corruption has its roots in the family and grows to the larger society. In the society, corruption is found in the churches, mosques, schools, offices even at the government houses i.e. federal, state and local government. Today, we have the following forms of corruption.

  1. Personnel corruption.
  2. Judicial corruption.
  3. Executive corruption.
  4. Legislative corruption.
  5. Academic corruption.
  6. Economic corruption.

It should be noted that corruption takes place when a person or group of persons use power and resources at his/her disposal to attain illegal gains, whether individually or corporately.

 

CAUSES OF CORRUPTION

  1. Greediness: Many of our political lords are corrupted, they embezzled huge amounts of money despite the fact that they are well paid. Many of them involve in money laundering. They have investments abroad in order to have enough money to re-contest for the same position they already occupy.
  2. Poverty: The state of being poor can lead someone to involve in corruption e.g. graduates who are not employed, many of them involve in examination malpractice, they register candidates for ordinary level examination and ensure they succeed by all means during the examination. This is called academic corruption.
  3. Wickedness: This is in form of cheating others, some even deny others their benefits.
  4. Westernisation: This is the process of assimilation by a society of the customs and practices of western culture. This has influenced our society greatly in that our values and traditions have been eroded. e.g. it is the belief of the Yorubas that anybody who steals will be killed by the god of iron but today people keep no longer our culture and tradition.
  5. Material acquisition: Today people rejoice and boast of the property they have i.e. amount of wealth they possess and this has led some other people to involve in corruption. They want to be like others who had already acquired enough property. Some youths today travel to countries like U.S.A. to acquire more and return to Nigeria for enjoyment, many of them did not return in peace some were arrested, detained and jailed.

 

POVERTY

The quality or state of being poor or indigent; want or scarcity of means of subsistence, indigence, need. Poverty in a simple form, is to not be financially able to cater for ones needs or not be able to provide for the basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, etc. In Nigeria, many people can still be said to be poor considering the type of house they live, the food some eat and the clothes some wear. It is paramount to say that people still sleep under bridges at night while they beg for food during the daylight. They always sit at public places in Nigeria such as post office or market entrance.

 

CAUSES OF POVERTY

  1. Laziness: Many of youths cannot go into agriculture; they sit at home expecting government to provide white collar jobs.
  2. Corruption: Few corrupt individuals in position of authorities cast away our money abroad and impoverish us in Nigeria.
  3. Family size: In case a man weds a single woman and the union is blessed with just two children, the poverty level of this family of four will be reduced if such a man has a source of income. In another way, if a man weds two or more wives with ten children such family members are bound to be poor, therefore, large family size causes poverty in Nigeria.
  4. Over population: For government to cater for huge population will be tedious, African countries are poor because of our over population.

 

HIV/AIDS

Another social problem in the society is the deadly disease called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by Human Immune Virus (HIV). The virus attacks the immune system of its host, making such a person weak and prone to different forms of diseases. Its victim that is affected may develop Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

 

HIV/AIDS SYMPTOMS ARE:

  1. Persistent cough.
  2. Persistent diarrhoea.
  3. Skin infection.
  4. Mouth infection.
  5. Insomnia.
  6. Drastic weight loss.

It should be noted that persons living with HIV/AIDS can still live healthy life if:

  1. He/she takes proper dosage of antiretroviral drug.
  2. Eats a good diet.
  3. Has good and enough rest.

 

CAUSES OF HIV/AIDS

  1. Through the transfusion of an infected person’s blood to another person who is not infected. This can occur via the sharing of syringe, needle, piercing and cutting objects.
  2. Unprotected sexual intercourse with infected person, oral and anal intercourse.
  3. Via mother to child transmission during pregnancy, childbirth or breast feeding.

 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HIV/ AIDS

HIV cannot be transmitted through hugging, shaking, touching, sharing of clothes, sharing of toilet, sharing plates with infected person. It cannot also be transmitted through insect bite such as mosquito.

HIV/AIDS Test: HIV usually has a long period of incubation in human beings, ranging from 3 to 7 years before the sign of AIDS starts. The only way to know whether you are HIV/AIDS free is to go for test, it is free in government hospitals. Go now.

HIV/AIDS can be prevented by:

  1. Total abstinence from premarital sex.
  2. Total abstinence from extra-marital.
  3. Refraining from sharing skin piercing object.
  4. Accepting only screened and safe blood approved by medical experts.

Your duties for people who are living with HIV/AIDS.

  1. Treat them as human beings, because they are.
  2. Encourage them to eat balanced diets.
  3. Do not allow anybody to discriminate against them.
  4. Disallowed to engage in tedious task.
  5. Show love, care and support for them.

 

PROSTITUTION

Engaging in sexual activity with another person in exchange for compensation, such as money, or other valuable goods. A prostitute is a woman, or other person, who performs sexual activity for payment or a woman, or other person, who is perceived as engaging in sexual activity with many people. This is a serious social problem, many married women still do this today let alone the young girls in higher institutions of learning. They normally wear miniskirt and top shirt that is armless to show their armpits. Many of them at night nearly go nude. The level of their nudity high to an extent that their genitals or female nipples are clearly seen.

Other social problems in Nigeria as identified above includes rigging of elections, political killings, ritual killings and area boy syndrome. It should be noted that the causes of all these are not far from what we have discussed above. For example, poverty is a cause for area boy syndrome, some of them are not employed, they are idle, they are poor, they result to having groups at junction to extort people. On the part of election, killing and rigging of election is mainly caused as a result of greediness, people want to get to power by all means.

 

EFFECT OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Social problems may have effects on the following:

  1. The Individual Life.
  2. The Family Life.
  3. The National Life.

 

A) Effects of Examination Malpractice to Individual Life.

  1. It encourages students to commit other crimes.
  2. If such a person is arrested, he/she will be imprisoned.
  3. It leads to rustication.

 

To Family Life

  1. It leads to more expenses on examinations.
  2. It brings reproach to the family reputation.

 

To National Life

  1. It brings bad and poor cost of examination.
  2. It brings about poor academic performance.
  3. It leads to disrespect of certificate locally and globally.

 

B) EFFECT OF CULTISM

To Individual Life

A person who is arrested as a cult member will be prosecuted and jailed, such person’s life will be in bad record in his/ her life time, this will hinder him/her to contest an election, not that alone but also, the social stigmatization will be there as a prisoner. He/she may even loose his/her life while serving in the jail, generally speaking the effect of cultism on individual life involves poor academic performance and rustication.

 

To Family Life

Dishonour to family, social stigmatization to the family of the cult boy/girl, loss of graduate in the family.

 

To National Life

There will be breakdown of law and order, insecurity, there will be high level of crimes in the nation and interference with good governance.

 

C) EFFECT OF POVERTY TO INDIVIDUAL

  1. It leads to stealing and other forms of crimes.
  2. It leads to prostitution.

 

To Family Life

  1. It is a social stigma that someone is poor.
  2. It aids in inability to raise good and well behaved children.
  3. It leads the family head to steal for the children.

 

To National Life

  1. It gives rise to more criminal activities.
  2. It brings about poor standard of living.

 

D) EFFECT OF HIV/AIDS

To individual life

  1. The victim will suffer health problems.
  2. Social stigmatization, loss of jobs and friendship.

 

To Family Life

  1. Stigmatization to the family of the victim.
  2. The victim depends on the family.
  3. It is a prey that will drain the financial resources of the family.

 

To National Life

  1. Government will spend more money, time, energy to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  2. It reduces the nation’s population in case those that die among the victims.
  3. It reduces national productivity.

 

E) EFFECT OF PROSTITUTION

To Individual Life

  1. Stigmatization as a harlot
  2. Deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS
  3. Untimely death e.g. they can be used for rituals.

 

To Family Life

  1. Stigmatization of the family by the society.
  2. Broken hearts for parents.
  3. Bad image of family pride and name.

 

To National Life

Bad Image among the comity of nations.

 

F) EFFECTS OF CORRUPTION TO INDIVIDUAL LIFE

  1. It allows laziness.
  2. It increases criminal activities, skill and tendencies.
  3. It gives room for corrupted people to support corruption or people that practice same.

 

To National Life

  1. It brings bad image of the nation among comity of nations.
  2. It allows low level of growth and development.
  3. It brings leadership problems.

 

THE MEASURES ADOPTED TO SOLVE SOCIAL PROBLEMS

In solving social problems every hand must be on deck, it is a joint effort because it concerns everyone. We all live in the society and if measures are not taken to solve social problems we shall pay for the music. Few common social problems will be treated among those ones listed in previous theme.

A) EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE

The following measures are to be in place in order to eradicate examination malpractice.

  1. Culprit of examination malpractice should be prosecuted and jailed. There should be adequate funding of examinations by government.
  2. Law enforcement agents should be involved by providing adequate security within and outside the examination hall.
  3. Teachers are to be well paid.
  4. Emphasis should be on ability to perform tasks and not on paper qualification.
  5. There should be in-school seminars on negative effects of examination malpractices.
  6. School environment should be conducive for learning and teachers are to be provided with adequate and enough classroom, furniture and teaching materials.
  7. Placing sanction on centres or schools where examination malpractice take place.
  8. Reliable, responsible and dependable supervisors should be selected and appointed for supervisions.

 

B) CULTISM

  1. Parents should train their children in the way of God.
  2. Teachers and lecturers should be fair to all students.
  3. Police officers and other gun carrying government agencies should not be dismissed as a punishment for any person.
  4. Government should prosecute any person or group of persons who imports arms and ammunition illegally.
  5. Cultists should be prosecuted.

 

C) POVERTY

  1. Government should provide social amenities such as drinkable water, good road, electricity, health facilities etc.
  2. Government should provide free education if not at all level but in primary and secondary school education.
  3. Government should provide skill acquisition centres such as bread making, soap making, tailoring, barbing, etc.
  4. Government should grant loans to youths, market women etc.
  5. Government should provide job opportunities through establishment of industries.

 

D) CORRUPTION

  1. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should carry out their duties without fear or favour.
  2. Other agencies such as Code of Conduct Bureau & Independent corruption practices and related offences commission (ICPC) should be empowered and allowed to fight corruption and corrupt people.
  3. Declaration of assets by public officers should be thoroughly done before and after the expiration of their term.
  4. National Orientation Agencies (NOA) should organize seminars, talks and workshops from time to time across the country on the negative effects of corruption on individual and the national life.

 

E) HIV/AIDS

  1. Prevention is better than cure.
  2. Seminars on the deadly diseases.
  3. Total abstinence from pre-marital sex. iv.
  4. Total abstinence from extra-marital sex.
  5. Try to know your status through HIV testing.
  6. Provision of antiretroviral drugs.
  7. Accepting only screened and approved blood from medical experts.
  8. Avoiding sharing skin piercing objects.

 

F) PROSTITUTION

  1. Charity begins at home. There should be parental care.
  2. School councillors should advise students against this ill behaviour in our society.
  3. Non-governmental organizations should also join the campaign against prostitution.
  4. More youths organization should come up to join Global Youth Restoration Commission in organizing seminars across secondary schools which aim at educating youths on good moral behaviour.
  5. Government should make policies that will prohibit prostitution.
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