Understand the Nigerian Political System – EASY

Last updated: July, 2021

With current happenings and the growing need and consciousness to become more politically active and informed, I decided to create this space to provide regularly updated, easy-to-understand information on the Nigerian Political System.

The information below is accurate to the best of my knowledge and is a compilation from my personal research and study in my bid to become more politically informed.

Also, please let me know in the comments if you spot a mistake. Thank you and I hope you learn a thing or two 😁.


Nigeria is located in Western Africa, bordered by Cameroon, Benin Republic, Niger, Chad and the Atlantic ocean.

Nigeria is one of 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Other members include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Nigeria is also a member of the African Union and other international bodies including the UN.

Population: Almost 200 million

Currency: Nigerian Naira

Official Language: English

Other Languages: Over 200 languages and over 750 dialects

Political Capital: Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT)


The Nigerian political system is made up of three tiers:

First Tier: The Federal Government (FG)

Second Tier: 36 States and the FCT

Third Tier: 774 local governments

Nigeria runs a presidential system and the FG own all the natural resources. The 1999 constitution gives executive power to the president as both head of state and chief executive.

President: Muhammadu Buhari

During elections, the political party nominates the Vice President.

The Nigerian electoral system practices the first-past-the-post system which simply means the winner of any election is the candidate to first pass the divisive number.

Vice President: Yemi Osinbajo

The president creates their cabinet with at least 1 representative from each of the 36 states.

Nigeria has a bicameral House of Representatives which simply means there are two houses or levels:

House of Representatives


Senate Assembly

The House of Assembly is made up of 360 seats (36 states multiplied by 10 but can also be affected by the population of individual states).

The Senate Assembly is made up of 109 seats (36 states multiplied by 3 plus 1 from the FCT).

State house of assembly is the legislative house in individual states. The number of representatives is based on the state population and is usually 3 to 4 times the number sent to the national House of Representatives.


Nigeria is divided into 6 political zones:

South West

South East

South South

North East

North West

North Central


The Judiciary runs on three codes of law:

Customary Law

Nigerian Statute

Islamic Law

The customary court is presided over by traditional leaders; the Nigerian statute is presided over by state and federal judges; the Islamic court is presided over by Islamic religious leaders.

Federal law prevails when there is a clash with state law.


The finance system allows the local government to directly receive monthly subsidies from the Federation account.

©Ọrẹolúwa Matẹ̀milọ́lá 2021 All Rights Reserved


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