JAMB Syllabus for Government: A Comprehensive Guide

JAMB Syllabus for Government: A Comprehensive Guide for UTME Preparation –


When it comes to excelling in the UTME examination, one cannot underestimate the importance of studying the JAMB Government syllabus. Considered an open secret to achieving a high score, the JAMB Government syllabus provides a roadmap to understanding the fundamental concepts and topics that are crucial for success in the examination. In this article, we will delve into the syllabus, its structure, and how it can help you in your preparation.

Part I: Elements of Government

Arms of Government


Understanding the three arms of government – the executive, legislative, and judiciary – is essential for comprehending the political system. This section explores the roles and functions of each arm and their interdependence.

Basic Concepts in Government

To grasp the intricacies of government, it is important to familiarize yourself with basic concepts such as power, authority, sovereignty, and rule of law. This section provides a comprehensive overview of these concepts and their significance in the study of government.


Citizenship plays a vital role in any political system. This section delves into the meaning and rights of citizenship, as well as the responsibilities that come with it. Understanding the concept of citizenship is crucial for comprehending the dynamics of government.


The constitution serves as the foundation of a nation’s governance. This section explores the importance of constitutions, their components, and the principles they uphold. An in-depth understanding of the constitution is key to comprehending the structure of government.

Forms of Government

Different countries adopt various forms of government. This section discusses the major forms of government such as democracy, monarchy, totalitarianism, and socialism. Exploring the characteristics and functioning of each form of government provides a broader understanding of global political systems.

Political Ideologies

Political ideologies shape the policies and actions of governments. This section examines ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and communism. By analyzing these ideologies, you can gain insights into the diverse approaches to governance.

Political Parties and Party Systems

Political parties are essential components of democratic systems. This section explores the role of political parties, their formation, and their impact on governance. Understanding party systems provides a deeper comprehension of the political landscape.

Pressure Groups

Pressure groups exert influence on government policies and decisions. This section discusses the role of pressure groups, their strategies, and their impact on the political process. Examining pressure groups enhances your understanding of the dynamics between citizens and the government.

Principles of Democratic Government

Democracy serves as a cornerstone of many governments. This section examines the principles that underpin democratic governance, such as popular sovereignty, majority rule, and protection of minority rights. Understanding these principles is crucial for analyzing democratic systems.

Processes of Legislation

Legislation is a vital aspect of government functioning. This section delves into the legislative process, including lawmaking, bill formulation, and the role of legislative bodies. A comprehensive understanding of legislative processes enhances your knowledge of the functioning of government.

Public Opinion

Public opinion shapes political decisions and policies. This section explores the significance of public opinion, methods of measuring it, and its impact on governance. Understanding public opinion enables a deeper analysis of government responsiveness.

Structures of Governance

Government structures vary across different countries. This section examines the structures of governance, including unitary, federal, and confederal systems. Analyzing these structures provides insights into the distribution of power within a nation.

Systems of Governance

The systems of governance employed by countries influence their political processes. This section discusses parliamentary, presidential, and hybrid systems. Analyzing these systems enhances your understanding of government functioning.

The Civil Service

The civil service plays a crucial role in implementing government policies. This section explores the functions and structure of the civil service. Understanding the civil service provides insights into administrative processes within government.

The Electoral Process

Elections serve as a cornerstone of democratic systems. This section examines electoral processes, including voter registration, campaign activities, and the role of electoral bodies. A comprehensive understanding of the electoral process enhances your knowledge of democratic governance.

Part II: Political Development in Nigeria

Constitutional Development in Nigeria

Understanding the historical development of Nigeria’s constitution is vital for comprehending the country’s political landscape. This section explores the evolution of Nigeria’s constitution from pre-independence to the present day.

Imperialist Penetration

Imperialist penetration had a significant impact on Nigeria’s political development. This section discusses the influence of colonial powers on Nigeria’s political system and the subsequent struggles for independence.

Institutions of Government in Post-Independence Nigeria

This section examines the institutions of government that emerged after Nigeria gained independence. Topics covered include the executive, legislature, judiciary, and the civil service. Understanding these institutions is crucial for analyzing Nigeria’s political system.

Local Government

Local government plays a crucial role in governance and development. This section explores the structure, functions, and challenges of local government in Nigeria. Understanding local government enhances your comprehension of Nigeria’s political framework.

Political Parties and Party Politics in Post-Independence Nigeria

Political parties play a vital role in Nigeria’s political landscape. This section delves into the formation, ideologies, and role of political parties in Nigeria. Examining party politics provides insights into the dynamics of Nigerian governance.

Post-Independence Constitutions

Nigeria has experienced several constitutions since gaining independence. This section examines the post-independence constitutions and their impact on governance. Understanding these constitutions is crucial for comprehending Nigeria’s political history.

Pre-Colonial Polities

Pre-colonial polities laid the foundation for Nigeria’s political development. This section explores the traditional political structures and systems that existed before colonization. Examining pre-colonial polities enhances your understanding of Nigeria’s historical context.

Process of Decolonization

The decolonization process played a pivotal role in Nigeria’s political history. This section discusses the struggles, movements, and milestones that led to Nigeria’s independence. Understanding the process of decolonization is crucial for analyzing Nigeria’s political development.

Public Commissions Established by the 1979 And Subsequent Constitutions

Public commissions are instrumental in ensuring transparency and accountability. This section examines the public commissions established by the 1979 and subsequent constitutions in Nigeria. Understanding these commissions enhances your knowledge of Nigeria’s governance structure.

Public Corporations and Parastatals

Public corporations and parastatals contribute to Nigeria’s economic and social development. This section explores the functions, structure, and challenges of public corporations and parastatals. Examining these entities provides insights into Nigeria’s governance system.

The Military in Nigerian Politics

The military has played a significant role in Nigeria’s political history. This section delves into the influence of the military on governance, including coups, military rule, and the transition to civilian rule. Understanding the military’s impact enhances your comprehension of Nigeria’s political landscape.

The Structure and Workings of Nigerian Federalism

Nigeria operates a federal system of government. This section examines the structure and workings of Nigerian federalism, including the distribution of powers between the central government and the states. Understanding Nigerian federalism is crucial for analyzing the country’s governance model.

Part III: Foreign Policy and Nigeria’s Relations with the International Community

Foreign Policy

Foreign policy shapes a nation’s relations with other countries. This section explores the concept of foreign policy and its significance for Nigeria. Examining foreign policy enhances your understanding of Nigeria’s engagement with the international community.

Nigeria in International Organizations

Nigeria’s participation in international organizations influences its global standing. This section examines Nigeria’s role in international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Understanding Nigeria’s involvement in these organizations provides insights into its foreign policy objectives.

Nigeria’s Foreign Policy

Nigeria’s foreign policy is guided by certain principles and objectives. This section explores Nigeria’s foreign policy stance, including its emphasis on African unity, non-alignment, and economic diplomacy. Examining Nigeria’s foreign policy enhances your comprehension of its international relations.

Relations with African Countries

Africa holds strategic importance for Nigeria’s foreign policy. This section discusses Nigeria’s relations with other African countries, including regional cooperation, conflict resolution, and economic partnerships. Understanding Nigeria’s relations with African countries provides insights into its diplomatic engagements.

Part IV: International Organizations


This section highlights the objectives of studying international organizations. Understanding these objectives helps you grasp the importance of analyzing their operations and impact.


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) plays a crucial role in regional integration. This section examines ECOWAS, its objectives, structure, functions, achievements, challenges, and prospects.


The Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its successor, the African Union (AU), are instrumental in promoting African unity and cooperation. This section explores the objectives, structure, functions, achievements, challenges, and prospects of these organizations.


The Commonwealth is an international organization comprised of countries with historical ties to the British Empire. This section examines the objectives, structure, functions, achievements, challenges, and prospects of the Commonwealth.


The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plays a significant role in global oil markets. This section discusses OPEC’s objectives, structure, functions, achievements, challenges, and prospects.


The United Nations (UN) is a global organization committed to peace, security, and development. This section explores the objectives, structure, functions, achievements, challenges, and prospects of the UN.

African Petroleum Producers Association

The African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) promotes cooperation among African oil-producing countries. This section examines the origin, objectives, structure, functions, achievements, problems, and prospects of the APPA.

JAMB Recommended Textbooks for Government

To further enhance your understanding of government, JAMB recommends the following textbooks:

  • Adigwe, F (1985) Essentials of Government for West Africa, Ibadan: University Press Plc.
  • Anifowose, R and Enemuo, F. C (eds)(1999) Elements of Politics, Lagos; Malthouse Press Limited.
  • Appadorai, A. (1978) The Substance of Politics, London: Oxford University Press.
  • Ball, A. R. (1983) Modern Politics and Government, London: Macmillan.
  • Ofoegbu, R. (1977) Government for the Certificate Year, London: George Allen and Unwin.
  • Olawale, J. B (1987) New Topics on Ordinary Level Government, Ilesha: Jola Publishing.
  • Oyediran, O. Nwosu, H., Takaya, B., Anifowose, R., Femi, B., Godwill, O. and Adigun, A. (1990) Government for Senior Secondary Schools, Books 1, 2 and 3, Ibadan: University Press Plc.
  • Oyeneye, I., Onyenwenu, M. and Olusunde, B. E. (2000) Round-Up Government for Senior Secondary School Certifi-cate Examination: A complete Guide, Ibadan: Longman.
  • Oyovbaire, S., Oguna, A. E. C., Amucheazi, E. C., Coker, H. o. and Oshuntuyi, O. (2001) Countdown to Senior Secondary Certificate Examination: Government, Ibadan: Evans.
  • Wrench, J. (1995) Modern Political Concepts, London: Macmillan.

It is advisable to study these textbooks in conjunction with the JAMB Government syllabus to ensure comprehensive preparation for the UTME examination.


The JAMB Government syllabus serves as a valuable resource for students preparing for the UTME examination. By studying the syllabus and recommended textbooks, you can gain a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts and topics related to government. Remember to create a study plan, engage in regular revision, and practice past questions to further enhance your preparation. Best of luck in your UTME examination!


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