Section 17 & 18 of the 1999 Constitution: State Social Order and Government Policy

Social Order

The 1999 Constitution

Section 17 (1)

The State social order is founded on ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.

(Nigeria’s order is built on thoughts of Freedom, Equality and Justice.) 

Section 17 (2)

In furtherance of the social order-

(To push this order-) 

Section 17 (2) (a)

every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law;

(Every citizen shall enjoy equal rights, obligations and opportunities in the face of the law)

Section 17 (2) (b)

the sanctity of the human person shall be recognized and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced;

(The importance and sacredness of each life shall be recognized and every person shall be respected and portrayed.) 

Section 17 (2) (c)

governmental actions shall be humane;

(The actions of the government shall be human.) 

Section 17 (2) (d)

exploitation of human or natural resources in any form whatsoever for reasons, other than the good of the community, shall be prevented; and

(People and natural resources shall not be exploited unless it is for the good of everyone.)

Section 17 (2) (e)

the independence, impartiality and integrity of courts of law, and easy accessibility thereto shall be secured and maintained.

(The law courts shall be independent of outside interference, impartial in its judgement and uphold its principles. These shall be maintained and protected. )

Section 17 (3)

The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that-

(The state shall make sure it’s policies are directed towards -) 

Section 17 (3) (a)

all citizens, without discrimination on any group whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment;

(Every citizen no matter their group, shall have the opportunity to secure a sufficient means of living and suitable employment.) 

Section 17 (3) (b)

conditions of work are just and humane, and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, religious and cultural life;

(Fair and human conditions of work and good facilities for leisure, social, religious and cultural life.)

Section 17 (3) (c)

the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment are safeguarded and not endangered or abused;

(The welfare, health and safety of every person in employment are protected and not in danger or abused.) 

Section 17 (3) (d)

there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons:

(provision of adequate medical and health facilities for every person.)

Section 17 (3) (e)

there is equal pay for equal work without discrimination on account of sex, or on any other ground whatsoever;

(Every person shall be paid equally for equal work done no matter their sex or on any other ground.)

Section 17 (3) (f)

children, young persons and the aged are protected against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect;

(Children, young people and the aged are protected from exploitation in whatever form and against and moral and material neglect.)

Section 17 (3) (g)

provision is made for public assistance in deserving cases or other conditions of need; and

(In situations where people need assistance and can’t get it, provisions shall be made for them.)

Section 17 (3) (h)

the evolution and promotion of family life is encouraged.

(Family life is promoted and encouraged)

Section 18 (1)

Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.

(Government shall make sure there are equal and good opportunities for education at every level) 

Section 18 (2)

Government shall promote science and technology

(The Government shall encourage science and technology) 

Section 18 (3)

Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end Government shall as and when practicable provide

(The government shall work hard to end illiteracy and to achieve this shall provide;) 

(a) free, compulsory and universal primary education; 

(b) free secondary education;

(c) free university education; and

(d) free adult literacy programme.

Section 23 & 24 of the 1999 Constitution: National Ethics & Duties of a Citizens

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