Section 16 – Know Your Constitution: Part 1

Know Your Constitution

The 1999 Constitution

Section 16 (1)

The State shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution. 

(This means that Nigeria should give meaning to the provisions of this Constitution by;)


Section 16 (1) (a)

harness the resources of the nation and promote national prosperity and an efficient, a dynamic and self-reliant economy; 

(Using the wealth of the nation to make Nigeria a rich and self-sustaining economy;)


Section 16 (1) (b)

Control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity; 

(Controlling the National Economy to ensure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of equality.)


Section 16 (1) (c)

without prejudice to its right to operate or participate in areas of the economy, other than the major sectors of the economy, manage and operate the major sectors of the economy; 

(Participating in major areas of the economy and other areas of the economy.)


Section 16 (1) (d)

without prejudice to the right of any person to participate in areas of the economy within the major sector of the economy, protect the right of every citizen to engage in any economic activities outside the major sectors of the economy. 

(Protect the rights of every person to participate in economic activities in major sector of the economy and other sectors of the economy.)


Section 16 (2)

The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring:

(Nigeria shall focus its policy on making sure that;)


Section 16 (2) (a)

The promotion of a planned and balanced economic development; 

(That the economy is developed through a balanced plan.)


Section 16 (2) (b)

That the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good; 

(The wealth of the Country is utilized and distributed for the good of all the people.)


Section 16 (2) (c)

That the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group; and 

(That the economic system should not permit all the wealth and means of making wealth in the hands of a few people.)


Section 16 (2) (d)

That suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens. 

(That proper housing, food, adequate minimum wage, pension and cafe for the elderly, unemployment and sickness benefits and welfare for disabled people should be provided for all the people of Nigeria.)


Section 16 (3)

A body shall be set up by an Act of the National Assembly which shall have power; 

(That a body will be set up by the National Assembly which shall have the power;)


Section 16 (3) (a)

To review, from time to time, the ownership and control of business enterprises operating in Nigeria and make recommendations to the President on same; and 

(To review the ownership and control of business in Nigeria periodically and make recommendations to the President.)


Section 16 (3) (b)

To administer any law for the regulation of the ownership and control of such enterprises.

(To administer the laws for guiding the ownership and control of such businesses.)  


Section 16 (4)

For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section – 

(For the purposes of subsection (1))


Section 16 (4) (a)

The reference to the “major sectors of the economy” shall be construed as a reference to such economic activities as may, from time to time, be declared by a resolution of each House of the National Assembly to be managed and operated exclusively by the Government of the Federation, and until a resolution to the contrary is made by the National Assembly, economic activities being operated exclusively by the Government of the Federation on the date immediately preceding the day when this section comes into force, whether directly or through the agencies of a statutory or other corporation or company, shall be deemed to be major sectors of the economy; 

(The reference to the major sectors of the economy shall mean those areas of the economy that the National Assembly may declare to be operated by the Federal Government directly or through its agencies or companies alone on the day before this section becomes law.)


Section 16 (4) (b)

“economic activities” includes activities directly concerned with the production, distribution and exchange of wealth or of goods and services; and 

(Economic activities include activities directly involving the production, distribution and exchange of wealth or of goods and services; and)


Section 16 (4) (c)

“participate” includes the rendering of services and supplying of goods

(Participate includes rendering of services and supplying of goods.)

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