Sociology Project Topics

Financial Racism and Tribalism in Nigeria

Financial Racism and Tribalism in Nigeria

Financial Racism and Tribalism in Nigeria


Objectives of the study

The main objective of the study is to examine the impact of financial racism and tribalism in Nigeria.

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

  1. To assess the impact of tribalistic politics in Nigeria’s economic development.
  2. To investigate and recognize the role of ethnicity in Nigerian politics
  3. To proffer possible solutions to the menace of financial racism and tribalism in Nigeria.



Concept of racism

Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to physical appearance and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another. It may also mean prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity. Modern variants of racism are often based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. These views can take the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems in which different races are ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities.

In terms of political systems (e.g., apartheid) that support the expression of prejudice or aversion in discriminatory practices or laws, racist ideology may include associated social aspects such as nativism, xenophobia, otherness, segregation, hierarchical ranking, and supremacism.

While the concepts of race and ethnicity are considered to be separate in contemporary social science, the two terms have a long history of equivalence in popular usage and older social science literature. “Ethnicity” is often used in a sense close to one traditionally attributed to “race”: the division of human groups based on qualities assumed to be essential or innate to the group (e.g. shared ancestry or shared behavior). Therefore, racism and racial discrimination are often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of whether these differences are described as racial. According to a United Nations convention on racial discrimination, there is no distinction between the terms “racial” and “ethnic” discrimination. The UN Convention further concludes that superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous. The Convention also declared that there is no justification for racial discrimination, anywhere, in theory or in practice.

Racism is a relatively modern concept, arising in the European age of imperialism, the subsequent growth of capitalism, and especially the Atlantic slave trade, of which it was a major driving force. It was also a major force behind racial segregation especially in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and South Africa under apartheid; 19th and 20th century racism in Western culture is particularly well documented and constitutes a reference point in studies and discourses about racism. Racism has played a role in genocides such as the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, and genocide of Serbs, and colonial projects including the European colonization of the Americas, Africa, and Asia as well as the Soviet deportations of indigenous minorities. Indigenous peoples have been—and are—often subject to racist attitudes.




Research design

The study employed quantitative descriptive research design to examine financial racism and tribalism in Nigeria.

Sources of Data

To achieve the objectives of the study, the primary and secondary methods of data collection were employed. The primary sources include questionnaire, interviews and observation. The secondary sources include journals, bulletins, textbooks and the internet.

Population of the study

A study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description (Prince, 2019). In this study the study population constitute of Nigerian citizens in Lagos state.



Data analysis

Below are the tabulated presentations and analyses of the research data and the responses from the questionnaires.

Table 4.1 above indicates that 36% of the respondents are within the (18-22) age bracket, 46% are within the (23-27) age bracket, 10% are within the (28-32) age bracket while 8% are within the (33 & above) age bracket.

Table 4.8 above indicates that 74% of the respondents are being affected by financial racism and/or tribalism, while 26% are not being affected by ethnicity.




This study was carried out on financial racism and tribalism in Nigeria. From the numerous literatures reviewed and from the data collected, analyzed and from the hypotheses tested, the following conclusions have been drawn.

The problem of financial racism and tribalism is inherent in the Nigerian political system. This factor of ethnicity developed as a result of the colonial activities which isolated the public and masses from the benefits and convenience/security of the system, thus, leaving the people with little or no choice than to seek comfort, security and material as well as socio-psychological support and sense of belonging from their various ethnic organizations/associations. This spate of ethnic arrangement led to the formation of ethnic driven political parties and militia groups to promote, represents and protect their primordial interest.

Furthermore, competition for scarce resources has been the more common bases of ethnic consciousness and tensions. This competition include in areas like land, boundary, natural resources and also for political power and control.

In the political sphere and in relation to economic development, especially in areas like elections, formation of political parties, voting in elections and support for candidates, the impact of ethnicity cannot be overemphasized. Politicians seeking mass support found out that the only platform on which they can win the votes of the masses or appeal to the interest of the populace is to appeal to communal cries and sentiments rather than universalistic appeal and ideology. This explains the process of political party formation over the years. The Action Group (AG) leaders for instance were quick to find out that they could best get Yoruba backing, only by focusing on anti-Igbo images. The idea was that if the people were not ready or comfortable with the domination by strangers, then they should give their support to AG.

From the findings, it has been discovered from the opinion of Nigerians that ethnicity and tribalistic politics are impediments to the economic development in Nigeria. However, this discovery was not influenced by the sex, or the educational qualification of the respondents.

Finally, for Nigeria to develop politically and in all spheres, the stranglehold and grip of ethnicity in the lives of the Nigeria masses must be changes. Unity in diversity must be promoted and proper education must be the order of the day and the pursuit of the government.


The following recommendations are advanced by this study:

  1. To build a virile state the ruling elites should encourage national discourse to enable the various groups’ air their grievances and fears.
  2. Removal of column showing ethnic backgrounds or state of origin in forms like bank account opening or loans forms, scholarship forms, employment forms, job application forms, school admission forms etc in a bid to unify us as Nigerians not using ethnic background as criteria for qualification.
  3. Recognising the heterogeneous nature of the Nigerian society, our leaders should look beyond ethnic differences and formulate unifying national goals which will hence, put ethnic sentiments as second place in terms of priority.
  4. Nigeria should discard the belief and notion of three (3) main ethnic groups officially recognised (Hausa, Igbo & Yoruba) in order to give the numerous ethnic groups identity.
  5. Federal character commission should be scraped and employment and appointment should be made on the basis of merit not ethnic background.


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