• Common Social Problems in Nigeria
  • Causes of Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria
  • Effects of Social Problems in Nigeria
  • Ways of Solving Contemporary Social Problems
  • The Need for Safety; Safety Measures in the Home, School and Workplaces
  • Safety Guidelines for Pedestrians, Cyclists and Motorists
  • Social Studies Upper Basic 7 Third Examination (Mock










  1. Meaning of Contemporary Social Problems
  2. Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria
  • Examination Malpractice
  • Cultism


Meaning of Contemporary Social Problems

Contemporary issues and social problems are happenings or challenges that are currently affecting many people in the society. Social problems could be described as those social vices that came about as a result of urbanization, development of cities, increase in human population, interaction among people of different social background, different ethnic groups, contact with foreign cultures, use of electronic media, ICT, TV, internet services, prohibited literature etc.

Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria

Among these social issues that have become problems are:

  1. Examination malpractice
  2. Cultism
  3. Terrorism
  5. Human trafficking
  6. Prostitution
  7. Drug abuse
  8. Ritual killing
  9. Area boys syndrome
  10. Militancy
  11. Political killings
  12. Rigging of elections
  13. Advance fees fraud (419)

Examination Malpractice

Examination malpractice is the term used to describe the various foul means employed by students and their helpers to pass examinations and get unmerited grades and results. Students engage in examination malpractice at every level of education but it is more pronounced at the secondary and tertiary institutions of learning. It is one of the common social problems in Nigeria and a social vice that reached a high proportion in Nigerian education sector. In recent years, government at the Federal level was forced to enact Decree 18 of 1984 in order to curtail the practice.

Causes of Examination Malpractice

  1. Crave for good grades: The crave to earn good grades in order to secure white collar jobs or gain admission to higher institutions.
  2. Laziness: Those who are too lazy to study will not have the required knowledge and so want to cheat during examinations.
  3. Truancy: Some students absent themselves from classes only to come to examination halls with intention to cheat.
  4. Lack of self-confidence: Due to lack adequate preparation, most students lose confidence in their ability to pass and so resort to cheating.
  5. Lack of enough provision for higher education: There is always the lack of enough space for all to gain admission into higher institutions of learning in the country. This constitute a serious factor for cheating in order to score high cut-off marks.
  6. Preference for some courses of study over others: Parents feel proud if their children are admitted for courses like Medicine, Law, Architecture, Petroleum Engineering etc irrespective of whether their children possess the ability and interest for such courses. In order to be ranked among the successful in the society, they encourage their children in cheating to pass requisite subjects at high grades.
  7. The desire to live big: Many students prefer pleasure to hard-work, yet they want to live big in the society. Hence they resort to cheating in examinations to secure certificates that will guarantee their success in getting high paid jobs.
  8. Overpopulation in many schools: Since the few who do very well may be promoted or admitted into higher institutions. Students therefore cheat in order to excel in the exams and over their mates.
  9. Corrupt invigilators and Supervisor: The students know that if they offer bribes to invigilators, they will be allowed to cheat in the examination hall. Worse still, the proposal to offer bribe for cheating will in some cases originate from the supervisors or invigilators.
  10. Many students are desperate: Many students think that passing the examination is a “do or die” affair. They want to excel by all means. Some wants promises from parents fulfilled, others want to be on TV or newspaper as the best in one form of the examination or the other (though cheats hardly excel).

Effects of Examination Malpractice

  1. Loss of confidence in public examinations: Certificates issued by examining bodies and tertiary institutions no longer command public respect. Many school leavers including university graduates cannot defend their certificates during job placement interviews.
  2. Inefficiency in places of work: Many school leavers including graduates from higher institutions lack the proficiency expected of holders of the certificates they carry.
  3. Fall in the Standard of Education: Due to examination malpractice, the standard of education in Nigeria is seen to have fallen. Certificates are now being forged or given to those who can pay illicit prices for them even at the university level.
  4. Promotion of other vices in the Society: The gross failure in the educational system has introduced so many other social vices in the society.
  5. Disgraceful rustication from higher institutions: Many students who succeeded in gaining admission to higher institutions through examination malpractice have been shown the way out when discovered or when they could not cope with the demands of the courses they were admitted to read.
  6. Discouragement of good candidates from studying: Good candidates are tempted to believe that “if you cannot beat them, join them” especially as they see other candidates get away with their corrupt behaviour.
  7. Denial of innocent candidates opportunity for admission: Many good students have been denied admission by corrupt ones who through examination malpractices have better scores and grades.
  8. It delays the processing of examination scores and grades: Every year, many students caught for engaging in examination malpractices will need to be investigated before results are released. Though results are withheld pending the determination of the cases, some are decided before results are released. This extends the processing time.

Further reading on the Evils of Examination Malpractice

Solutions to the Problem of Examination Malpractice

  1. Enforcement of Decree 18 of 1984 on offenders to serve as deterrent to others
  2. Provision of adequate learning facilities in schools to ensure good learning
  3. Provision of enough space in schools to accommodate the increase in population of school age children.
  4. School heads at the secondary school level should sit up to stamp out malpractices in their schools
  5. Lecturers who collect gratification from students to award unmerited grades should divorce themselves from such evil practices in our tertiary institutions. Those caught doing this evil should be summarily dismissed.
  6. Examination Supervisors and Teachers who aid and abet students to cheat during public examinations should be made to face the law if caught in the act.
  7. Students should study and prepare well before going to sit for any examination.


Meaning of Cultism

A cult is a secret society which is not open to everybody. Cultism therefore is an act of belonging to a secret cult in an educational institution. Members of a secret cult have particular spiritual beliefs usually regarded by others as misguided. They come together for certain purposes that might not be approved by other people. Members use dangerous weapons to kill and maim rival groups or innocent students in order to assert their influence and get undue advantages such as good grades, girlfriends, etc. in the campus. Cultism is one of the deadliest contemporary social problems in Nigeria.

Causes of Cultism

  1. Protection: In the olden days, the real cause of cultism is protection against bad school administration or protection of interests in government jobs. Members come together in secret to discuss how to protect themselves.
  2. Inadequate Parental Care: Parents no longer care about the friends their children and wards keep. Many do not care about funding their children’s education. The result is that, the child joins groups that would make them ‘comfortable’ at school and in the larger society. Cultists attract such people when they get to schools.
  3. Disobedience to wise counsels given by parents to their wards as they get admitted to higher institutions.
  4. Inordinate ambition to be recognized as a tough guy in campus

Effects of Cultism in Schools

  1. Threat to peace and security in campuses and the larger society when intra-cult clashes occur.
  2. Cultists cause death and cause unhappiness to the families affected by their activities.
  3. They make those who work diligently not to reap the result of their hard work.
  4. Maintenance of discipline among students in schools becomes difficult as cult members specialize in taking laws into their hands.
  5. Infringement on the right of others.
  6. Fall in academic standard in campuses as lecturers are sometimes intimidated to award unmerited grades by threats.
  7. Dismissal from school when the law catches up with cult members.
  8. They give bad names to institutions and the society at large.
  9. When caught, they give bad names to their families.

Solutions to Cult Activities on Campuses

  1. Parents should impress it upon their children the dangers of cultism rather than supporting them.
  2. Parents should show adequate care to their children. They should pay their children’s school fees regularly.
  3. Campaign against cultism should be embarked upon on school campuses. Mass media should also be involved in the campaign against cultism.
  4. Possible stern penalties should be given to students on admission and they should be made to sign undertakings.
  5. Lecturers should be fair to all students and be transparent in their dealings with students.
  6. School authorities should be vigilant in stamping out cultism from schools and campuses and be decisive in dealing with identified cases. Adequate security measures should be put in place to check the activities of cultists on the campuses.
  7. Religious leaders should rise to the challenge of condemning this evil and not mince words when teaching and preaching against cultism.


Meaning of HIV/AIDS

HIV simply means Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It destroys the immune system of man. AIDS means Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This implies that the virus is not inborn but acquired from a carrier. The virus weakens the immune system and lead to series of diseases that can kill the carrier. HIV/AIDS is one of the most dreaded contemporary social problems in Nigeria and Africa.

Causes of HIV/AIDS

  1. Unprotected sexual intercourse with a carrier.
  2. Sharing of objects like needles, injection syringes, barbing clippers, razor blades, pins, toothbrushes etc. that are not sterilized with a carrier.
  3. Infected mother can transfer it to her unborn baby.
  4. Infected blood transfusion.

Effects of HIV/AIDS

  1. HIV/AIDS always result in series of illnesses.
  2. It can eventually lead to death as it is incurable.
  3. A lot of money is being used in search of the cure and management of HIV/AIDS.
  4. A carrier can lose his job.
  5. It can lead to divorce.
  6. The carriers often suffer discrimination.
  7. It creates emotional problems such as anxiety, fear and sadness for the carrier and his loved ones.

Prevention of HIV/AIDS

Since HIV/AIDS has no cure, it has to be prevented. The following measures can be taken to prevent the incidence of HIV/AIDS:

  1. People who are single should abstain from sexual intercourse while married ones should be faithful to their spouse.
  2. Those who cannot abstain from indiscriminate sexual intercourse should use condom.
  3. Those who use sharp objects such as doctors, barbers, and hairdresser should sterilize the instruments.
  4. Blood should be properly screened and made sure they are HIV/AIDS free before transfusion.



  1. Mention six of the common social problems in Nigeria today.
  2. Mention two causes of examination malpractice


  1. What is cultism?
  2. Mention two causes of cultism.
  3. Suggest two ways by which cultism could be eradicated.
  4. What is the full meaning of (i) HIV? (ii)AIDS?
  5. How can a person contact HIV/AIDS?
  6. State three effects of HIV/AIDS.
  7. Mention two ways of preventing HIV/AIDS.








  1. Causes of Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria


Causes of Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria

Some causes of social problems in Nigeria are:

  1. Poverty in the midst of plenty in the society or community.
  2. Corruption among leaders.
  3. Negative Peer Group Influence
  4. Influence of the Mass Media
  5. Unchecked access to the internet.
  6. Divorce and broken homes
  7. Cheating within the group.
  8. Sexual immorality in the society.
  9. Cultism among the youths and elders.
  10. Parents encouraging their wards’ involvement in examination malpractice.
  11. Greed for wealth at all costs without legitimate labour for it.
  12. Lack of love and parental care in the family.
  13. Unfaithful religious leaders.
  14. Indiscipline
  15. Disobedience to the laws of the land.
  16. Ignorance
  17. Injustice
  18. Proliferation of arms and ammunition.


Poverty means the inability to provide the basic needs of life for oneself, family and dependants. This basic needs primarily are food, clothing and shelter. In addition, inability to provide quality education to enable  proper and complete socialization of one’s children to make them live decent lives and be fulfilled are some of the causes of social problems in the society. This is so because children brought up improperly develop to become social deviants who are lured into all kinds of crimes and illegitimate means of making money in order to keep body and soul together. Poverty sometimes leads to broken homes and disjointed up-bringing of children. Although Nigeria is blessed with many natural resources that should make Nigerian rich, the wealth is hijacked by the few leaders and make many Nigerians to live in poverty. About 70% of the population live below the bread line; meaning that majority of Nigerians are poor in the midst of plenty. No wonder Nigeria is classified by the United Nations recently as 40th among the world’s poorest countries.


Corruption covers a wide area of social misbehaviour, illegalities, breach of trust, and abuse of position or office. Nigeria is a country where the leaders enrich themselves through corrupt practices. Corruption is an illegitimate way of doing things for personal aggrandizement. Doing a wrong thing for undue advantage or gain. It includes all forms of evil practices that is done by government officials, politicians and those in places of authority, demanding and taking of bribery, fraudulent practices, misappropriation and embezzlement of public or corporate funds, diversion and perversion of justice, money laundering i.e. stealing public funds and banking them abroad in foreign banks, inflation of contracts amounts, receiving 10% of contract amount from contractors, granting undue favour to one’s tribesmen and friends instead of giving jobs or positions to those who merited them in places of employment, dishonesty, tribalism or ethnicity, nepotism, etc. Corruption is the product of greediness for more money and selfishness.

Lack of Family Love and Parental Care

Parents are expected to provide for the needs of their families where children are groomed for life. The family is the first social group to which a child belong. Love and harmony characterizes good family homes where parents are expected to live decent lives for their children to take after them. Some parents do not have the time to look after the affairs of their growing children because of the pursuit of money. Today, there are many parents who cannot afford  to provide the basic necessities of life. This could be because of lack of a good means of livelihood, unemployment, oversized families where children and dependants are too many etc. Children from such homes become delinquent and might grow up to nuisances and miscreants in the society. Children left to themselves because parents have no time for them often degenerate into sexual immorality, prostitution and other forms of social crimes. Lack of parental care is therefore one of the major causes of social problems in Nigeria.

Peer Group Influence

Many people follow their age-mates, friends and class-mates to do wrong things thinking that they are smart. They turn out to be social misfits. The influence of age group is often very powerful and the chance of being influenced positively or negatively is high especially at adolescent stage (secondary school stage of life). When peer group or age group influence is negative, the affected individuals become what they are influenced to be, drug addicts, smokers, drunkards, thieves and armed robbers, cyber café crooks (yahoo-yahoo boys or internet swindlers), area boys, cultism, etc.

Influence of Mass Media

We live in the satellite or Internet age where information travel round the globe in a matter of seconds. Adolescents and young men and women who are the children of this age are easily influenced by new trends and could be tempted to put into practice odd behaviour and tricks they read about in newspapers, magazines, books or have watched on TV, videos and from the internet. Some of these information are negatively inclined and they make young people who are not well guided to become miscreants, cyber fraudsters and mischief makers in society.

The Proliferation of Arms and Ammunition

Unlike the past, since after the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, much arms and ammunition has become proliferated in Nigeria. Much arms and ammunition has been illegally imported or smuggled into the country. The politicians aggravated the situation by recruiting jobless youths and arming them with weapons purchased with stolen public funds, as political tugs to undo their opponents through election rigging, ballot box snatching and stuffing, political assassination etc. The fact that much arms find their way into the hands of social misfits and miscreants, crime has increased tremendously in the society – security has become a serious challenge in the country today. Rampant cases of suicide bombing, kidnapping, hostage taking, militancy, armed robbery, ritual killing and politically motivated assassinations make the society in-secured; life is no longer safe in the land. This is a major cause of social problems in Nigeria



  1. Name at least 4 causes of contemporary social problems in Nigeria.
  2. What is corruption?
  3. What makes poverty a social problem?


  1. What is age group?
  2. State two positive ways by which you can be influenced by your friend.
  3. Mention two types of negative information from the mass media.
  4. Mention five social problems caused by the proliferation of arms and ammunition in Nigeria.
  5. Explain the following: (i) kidnapping (ii) hostage taking (iii) suicide bombing (iv) militancy and (v) political assassination.
  6. State 5 causes of social problems in Nigeria today.
  7. Mention 4 negative things that you must not allow your friends to influence you to do.
  8. Write a short essay on the topic: “The Evils of Proliferation of Arms and Ammunitions in Nigeria Today”.








  1. Social Problems as they Affect the Individual
  2. Social Problems as they Affect the Family
  3. Social Problems Affecting the Nation


Social Problems as they Affect the Individual

The following are some of the social problems affecting individuals in Nigeria:

  1. Sexual immorality: Unwholesome evil pressures from the opposite sex that exposes individuals to varieties of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes, staphylococcus, HIV/AIDS, and unwanted pregnancies, dropping out of school and thus truncating one’s education and early unplanned premature marriage or single parenthood for ladies. etc.
  2. Poverty: Poverty caused by unemployment or high cost of living prevents individuals to meet their basic needs of life. Poverty itself generates malnutrition, sicknesses and diseases. This sometimes lead to divorce cases and broken homes. Children who could not complete their education due to poverty of their parents sometimes end up becoming miscreants, area boys, prostitutes etc in the society.
  3. Negative peer pressure: Peer pressure on some youths in institutions of higher learning has made them join secret cults that ruin their careers. Peer group influence also cause some youths to become drug addicts that may lead them to insanity, schizophrenic disorders like paranoia, psychosis and untimely death.
  4. Crimes: Crimes in the society have led to insecurity of individual lives and properties.

Social Problems as they Affect the Family

The following are some of the social problems affecting families in Nigeria:

  1. Conflict: Contemporary problems in the society such as unemployment have increased conflicts and squabbles at home. These occur when the father could not provide for the needs of the family. It may lead to divorce and broken homes
  2. Sexual immorality: Sexual immorality such as incest is now taking place in some families in Nigeria. Incest is a social taboo referring to sexual act between those who are related by blood. Extra-marital affairs by married men or women result in bringing diseases to the family; diseases such as STD, HIV/AIDS. Children especially the females are becoming wayward causing disgrace and heartache to parents.
  3. Indiscipline and Disobedience in the Family: Respect to the authority of parents break down. Wives no longer obey nor respect their husbands. Children’s disobedience increases, they rebel against their parents. The social fabric that make the home the basis for social stability in the society breaks down.
  4. Child abuse: Because of poverty and the need to make ends meet makes children to be engaged in street hawking which exposes them to all forms of evil such as kidnapping, raping, promiscuity, truancy or lateness to and absence from school, delinquency, etc.
  5. High Cost of Living: Many families in Nigeria today contend with high cost of living as they struggle to provide for their own security, water and light due to the inefficiency and corruption of public officers.
  6. Lack of Trust: The social problems in Nigeria have created lack of trust in the family. This often results in disunity where each member of the family behaves the way he or she likes.
  7. Divorce: Lack of trust, sexual promiscuity, and poverty have contributed a great deal to the high rate of divorce in Nigeria. The children often suffer as a result of divorce and often become socially unbalanced.

Social Problems Affecting the Nation

The following are some of the social problems affecting Nigeria as a nation:

  1. Political instability: Contemporary social problems such as electoral fraud and social injustice have led to political instability in Nigeria. Also military incursion into governance through coup d’état and counter coup d’etat had led to political instability and civil war in Nigeria. Political instability is characterized by frequent change of governments where authoritarian and dictatorial rules prevail.
  2. Social instability: This refers to breakdown of law and order in the society. Under this condition, there will be insecurity of lives and properties. Social problems such as crime, injustice, corruption, corruption and inefficiency have led to social instability.
  3. Militancy: Militancy due to perceived socio-economic injustice has led to instability in the oil producing Niger Delta where youths take up arms against the establishment. Other social-cultural groups becoming violent in different parts of Nigeria to demand for one thing or the other. Currently is the Terrorist group “Boko-Haram” (an Islamic Sect) bombing and destroying lives and property in parts of Northern Nigeria through suicide missions claiming that Western Education is Sin, but perceived to be a politically motivated sponsored group. These groups posed very serious security challenges to the country.
  4. Economic depression: Social problems such as corruption, inefficiency, greed, and selfishness have led to economic depression in Nigeria. Basic facilities and amenities such as pipe borne water, electricity, and health system are not functioning well.
  5. Disunity: Contemporary social issues and problems such as ethnicity have led to disunity in our country. This has resulted in ethnic and religious violence especially in the northern part of the country.



  1. List three social problems affecting families in Nigeria.
  2. Explain the taboo known as incest.
  3. State four social problems affecting Nigeria as a nation.
  4. Explain two of the stated social problems


  1. In what three ways do social problems affect individuals in Nigeria.
  2. How can one avoid STD and HIV/AIDS ?
  3. Explain the taboo known as incest.
  4. State four social problems affecting Nigeria as a nation.

Lesson Notes / Scheme of work

Primary 1  |  Primary 2Primary 3

Primary 4 |  Primary 5Primary 6



Question Bank

Primary 1 |  Primary 2  |Primary3

Primary 4  | Primary5 Primary6



Lesson Notes

Primary School lesson notes, all subjects.

Lesson notes

Lesson  notes and plan for secondary schools

Question Bank

Question bank for primary

Question Bank

Question Bank for Secondary School

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