Education

What Is National Integration And Factors Affecting It

An integrated nation consequently is characterized by a high level of cooperation between the various groups and sub-groups for the benefit of all the members. In this article, I will discuss factors affecting national integration and how to promote it.

What is National Integration

National integration is a process of creating a sense of national consciousness, uniqueness of identity, and loyalty among people with different socio-cultural identities (racial, ethnic, language, religion, etc.) into a single territorial political society.

Factors Affecting National Integration

Below are the factors affection national integration:

Ethnic Diversity

According to Vanguardngr Newspaper, Nigeria is made up of several ethnic groups, the majority of which are the Igbo, Hausa, and the Yoruba.  Within these ethnic groups are several tribes numbering 371. Due to this ethnic diversity, some ethnic group may tend to be loyal to their own people at the expense of national interest. So, this is one of the factors that may affect national integration.

Structural Imbalance

The way Nigeria is structured is also a threat to national unity. Structural Nigeria is grouped into North and South and the political power of the nation is somehow vested to the Northern part of the country. And this has been a long term threat to the country

Language multiplicity

There are over 400 languages in Nigeria. Language difference is a threat because there will high tendency for poor communication. Although the nation adopted the use of the English language to help solve this problem, the high illiteracy rate in the country has made the effort futile. People that can communicate in the country are not up to 40% of the population. So, the country is faced with misinformation and a communication gap because of language multiplicity.

Nepotism

 It is a form of favoritism that is granted to relatives and friends in various fields i.e. giving preference to friends and family without merit. A nation where merit is not embraced will likely face national disunity. For example, when people favor their relatives above others in terms of employment, awards of contracts, e.t.c. So, this makes those that are not favored feel the system is cheating them and this might threaten national integration.

Corruption

Corruption increases inequality, decreases popular accountability and political responsiveness, and thus produces rising frustration and hardship among citizens. A nation where her citizens have a sense of inequality will be faced with national disunity.

How to Promote National Integration

Formation of political parties with national outlook: Political parties should assume national character.  Parties should have their headquarters in the Federal capital.  It must also accept people from all walks of life to be members.

Encouraging Nigerians to be patriotic: The people must all feel as Nigerians with one destiny and one goal.  They must have ‘we’ feeling.

Organizing national cultural festivals: National cultural festivals that bring people of different culture, religion, class, etc. together should be organized. This will help people to understand and appreciate other people’s culture.

Promotion of cultural re-orientation/awareness: This can be done by strengthening the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to encourage Nigerians to learn the languages, eat the food and wear the traditional dresses of one another.

Encouraging inter-ethnic and inter-tribal marriages: Inter-ethnic and inter-tribal marriages help in promoting national integration. Through this, cultural ties are strengthened among Nigerians.

Promoting equal economic opportunities: There must be a conscious effort to promote equal economic opportunities for all socio-cultural groups in Nigeria.

Providing equal access to education: Equal educational opportunities should be given to all Nigerians from primary to tertiary levels. Promoting Public education for national integration: This can be done through the mass media by sensitizing Nigerians on common national issues and values.

Providing equal access to representation in government: The application of the federal character or quota principle in appointment into positions in government at all levels will help achieve equal access to representation.

Strengthening the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme: More incentives such as automatic employment, cash donations, awards etc. should be given to outstanding corps members who served in other states outside their cultural areas.

Promoting religious tolerance: Citizens must be admonish to appreciate spiritual values, beliefs, and practices that differs from their own. This way, national unity will be promoted.

Good and responsible governance/leadership to promote sense of belonging among Nigerians.

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter.

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