Nigerian Finance and for that matter, the entire economy of Nigeria is primarily oil-based, with the natural resource providing some 95% of foreign exchange earnings and 65% of government revenues. Currently, the country exports some $45billion dollars worth of products and imports some $42billon dollars worth. This strong dependence on oil fundamentally drives violence in the Niger Delta where the oil is mined, because the indigenes believe they have not received from the nation, in the proportion in which they contribute to it.
High oil prices support the government’s budget and programs. One such program is an audacious one where the country hopes to become one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2010. The FSS 2020 seeks to maintain the country’s economic growth through solid reforms in Nigerian Finance system via the consolidation of banking sector reforms, recapitalization and consolidation of the insurance and capital markets, the creation of microfinance banks, solution of the pension crises, monetary policy reforms and restructuring of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting company.
Nigeria Stock Exchange is a major supporter of Nigerian Finance. The exchange is one of the largest on the entire continent of Africa with a market capitalization of some $125billion. The exchange features an automated trading system and transacts huge volumes of trades daily. The Ministry of Finance, formed to reinforce the country’s development objectives is the main national organ overseeing the financial system. Lagos is the heartbeat of the financial system.
Education in Nigeria, just like Education in Africa in general, has religious leanings giving the support received from various religious institutions who sought then to progress their agendas. Up north in Nigeria, there are Koranic schools because the northern part of the country is predominantly Muslim. Down south, Christian missionary schools can easily be found. These schools, in spite of their religious underpinnings, follow the broader curriculums prescribed by the Ministry of Education. The religious agendas are pursued outside regular school curriculums.
Free & compulsory primary education was instituted in 1976. It takes some 6 years to complete, followed by 3 years of Junior Secondary School. Over these 9 years, progression is automatic, but graduating from the entire program requires that students pass a common national exam which then grades them on their actual abilities. This way, education in Nigeria is able to serve the masses and the very poor to make them literate and educated to at least a basic level.
On average, there are 2 federal government schools in each state. These Federal Government supported schools are relatively well funded. State universities were formed to mop up the excess demand for university education. They tend to be less well funded than their FG counterparts. Private universities are now popping up all over the place, they tend to be more expensive but have better quality teachers. There is a general shortage of good teachers in the system of education in Nigeria. Course durations vary according to the course of study being pursued, ranging from 3 for administration to 6 for Medicine.
Among the universities in Nigeria is the University of Ibadan, University of Zaria, Obafemi Awolowo univ in Ife, University of Lagos, and the University of Nigeria.