Request a Demo

Edit Template

JAMB Government Syllabus

Don’t waste your time by reading without direction! Download this UTME Government Syllabus to study smart and excel in your exams

Home » JAMB Syllabus » JAMB Government Syllabus

About JAMB Government Exam

Are you planning on writing Government in the coming UTME exams and you haven’t started reading with the syllabus approved by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)? Then you are doing it all wrong.

This syllabus serves as a guide as you prepare for your exam. If you intend to pursue careers in Law, Political Science, International Relations or Public Administration, you will be required to write Government in JAMB.

Studying this syllabus diligently will give you an idea of how your exam questions will be. Aside from a list of topics it shows, you are also told what you are expected to know at the end of it. It is a must-read for every jambite.


The aim of this JAMB Government Syllabus for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their knowledge of Government, to determine their suitability for placement in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.

These objectives are to:


  1. Appreciate the meaning of government;
  2. Analyze the framework and specify the institutions of government;

iii. Appreciate the basic principles of democratic governance and their application in Nigeria;

  1. Explain the concept of citizenship and define the duties and obligations of a citizen;
  2. Appreciate the process of political development in Nigeria;
  3. Evaluate the political development and problems of governance in Nigeria;

vii. Understand the determinants and dynamics of foreign policy as it relates to Nigeria;

viii. Assess the role of Nigeria as a member of the international community and the workings of international organizations.

Government Syllabus for JAMB Exams

Basic Concepts in Government:

Power, Authority, Legitimacy,Sovereignty;

Society, State, Nation, Nation-State;

Political Processes;Political Socialization, Political Participation, Political Culture.

2. Forms of Government:
Monarchy, Aristocracy, Oligarchy, Autocracy, Republicanism, Democracy definitions, features, merits and demerits.

3. Arms of Government:
The Legislature – types, structure, functions, powers;

The Executive – types, functions, powers;

The Judiciary – functions, powers, components.

Their relationships

4. Structures of Governance:
Unitary – features, reasons for adoption, merits and demerits

Federal – features, reasons for adoption, merits and demerits

Confederal – features, reasons for adoption, merits and demerits.

5. Systems of Governance:
Presidential, Parliamentary and Monarchical.

6. Political Ideologies:
Communalism, Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Totalitarianism, Fascism, Nazism.

7. Constitution:
Meaning, Sources, Functions, Types – Written, Unwritten, Rigid and Flexible.

8. Principles of Democratic Government:
Ethics and Accountability in Public Office, Separation of Power, Checks and Balances, Individual and Collective Responsibility, Constitutionalism, Rule of Law, Representative Government.

9. Processes of Legislation:
Legislative Enactments – acts, edicts, bye-laws, delegated legislation, decrees.

10. Citizenship:
Meaning, types;

Citizenship rights;

Dual citizenship, renunciation, deprivation;

Duties and obligations of citizens;

Duties and obligations of the state.

11. The Electoral Process:
Suffrage – evolution, types;

Election – types, ingredients of free and fair election;

Electoral System – types, advantages and disadvantages of each;

Electoral Commission – functions, problems.

12. Political Parties and Party Systems:
Political parties – Definition, Organization, functions.

Party Systems – Definition, organization, functions.

13. Pressure Groups:
Definition, types, functions and modes of operation.

Differences between Pressure Groups and Political Parties.

14. Public Opinion:
Meaning, formation and measurement.

Functions and limitations.

15. The Civil Service:
Definition, characteristics, functions, structure, control and problems.
Candidates should be able to:
i. identify the fundamental concepts in governance;
ii. analyze various political processes.

Candidates should be able to:
i. distinguish between different forms of government.

Candidates should be able to:
i. identify the duties and obligations of the various arms of government and their agencies;
ii. relate each arm to its functions;
iii. appreciate how these arms interrelate.

Candidates should be able to:
i. compare the various political structures of governance.

Candidates should be able to:
i. distinguish between the different systems of governance.

Candidates should be able to:
i. differentiate between the major political ideologies;
ii. contrast modes of production.

Candidates should be able to:
i. Define and identify sources and functions of constitutions;
ii. compare the nature of constitutions.

Candidates should be able to:
i. identify the principles of democratic government;
ii. determine the application of these principles;

Candidates should be able to:
i. analyze the processes involved in the making of laws.

Candidates should be able to:
i. differentiate between the various methods of acquiring citizenship;
ii. specify the rights and responsibilities of a citizen;
iii. assess the obligations of the state.

Candidates should be able to:
i. distinguish the different types of franchise
ii. identify and explain the types of electoral systems
iii. analyze the various electoral processes.

Candidates should be able to:
i. assess the role of political parties;
ii. distinguish between types of party systems.

Candidates should be able to:
i. evaluate the functions and the modus operandi of pressure groups;
ii. distinguish between pressure groups and political parties.

Candidates should be able to:
i. compare methods of assessing public opinion;
ii. assess the functions of public opinion;
iii. analyze the limitations of public opinion.

Candidates should be able to:
i. analyze the significance of civil service in governance.
1. Pre – colonial Polities:
Pre-jihad Hausa, Emirate, Tiv, Igbo, Yoruba
Their structural organization;

The functions of their various political institutions.

2. Imperialist Penetration:
The British process of acquisition – trade, missionary activities, company rule, crown colony, protectorate;

The British colonial administrative policy – direct and indirect rule;

The French colonial administrative policy – assimilation and association;

Impact of British colonial rule- economic, political, socio-cultural;

Comparison of British and French colonial administration.

3. Process of Decolonization:
Nationalism – Meaning, Types;

Nationalist Movements – emergence, goals, strategies;

Nationalist Leaders – Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Ladipo Solanke, Aminu Kano, J. S. Tarka, Tafawa Balewa and others;

Emergence of nationalist parties;

Influence of external factors.

4. Constitutional Development in Nigeria:
Hugh Clifford Constitution (1922)

Arthur Richards Constitution (1946)

John Macpherson Constitution (1951)

Oliver Lyttleton Constitution (1954)

Independence Constitution (1960)

Their features, merits and demerits.

5. Post – Independence Constitutions:
1963, 1979, 1989 and 1999- characteristics and shortcomings.

6. Institutions of Government in the Post – Independence Nigeria:
The Legislative – structure, functions and working.

The Executive – structure, functions and workings.

The Judiciary – structure, functions and workings.

7. Public Commissions Established by the 1979 and Subsequent Constitutions:
The Civil Service Commission, the Public Complaints Commission, Electoral Commissions, National Boundary Commission and others – objectives functions and problems

8. Political Parties and Party Politics in Post-Independence Nigeria:
First Republic

Second Republic

Third Republic

Fourth Republic – Evolution, membership spread, structure etc.

9. The Structure and Workings of Nigerian Federalism:
Rationale for a Federal System;

Tiers of government and their relationship;

Creation of States – 1963, 1967, 1976, 1987, 1991, 1996;

Problems of Nigerian Federalism – census, revenue allocation, conflicts etc. solutions e.g. Federal character, etc.

10. Public Corporations and Parastatals:
Definition, types, purpose and functions;

Finance, control and problems;

Deregulation, privatization, commercialization – objectives, features, merits and demerits;

Comparison between public corporations and parastatals.

11. Local Government:
Local government administration prior to 1976;

Features of local government reforms (1976, 1989) – structure, functions, finance and inter-governmental relations;

Traditional rulers and local governments;

Problems of local government administration in Nigeria.

12. The Military in Nigerian Politics:
Factors that led to military intervention;

Structure of military regimes;

Impact of military rule – political, e.g creation of states, introduction of unitary system (Unification Decree NO. 34) etc. economic, e.g SAP, etc.

Processes of military disengagement
Candidates should be able to:
i. appreciate the effectiveness of the pre-colonial political systems;
ii. compare pre-colonial systems of governance

Candidates should be able to:
i. trace the processes of imperialist penetration;
ii. assess the impact of British and French policies;
iii. distinguish between British and French colonial practices.

Candidates should be able to:
i. evaluate the process of decolonization;
ii. assess the roles of nationalist leaders and parties;
iii. assess the impact of external forces and ideas (Pan-Africanism, Back-to-Africa Movements, Second World War etc).

Candidates should be able to:
i. compare the various constitutional developments.

Candidates should be able to:
i. assess the workings of the various constitutions.

Candidates should be able to:
i. evaluate the operations of the arms of government and their agencies, e.g the civil service, armed forces, police, courts and others.

Candidates should be able to:
i. evaluate the operations of public commissions;
ii. assess the problems of the Public Commissions and their constraints.

Candidates should be able to:
i. contrast political processes in the republics;
ii. evaluate the ideologies, structure and composition of the political parties.

Candidates should be able to:
i. examine the workings of Nigerian federalism;
ii. identify its problems;
iii. evaluate the corrective measure adopted.

Candidates should be able to:
i. examine the operations of public corporations and parastatals;
ii. identify the processes involved in privatization and commercialization;
iii. assess the economic importance of privatization and commercialization.

Candidates should be able to:
i. trace the evolution and structure of local government;
ii. identify the major problems faced by local governments.

Candidates should be able to:
i. evaluate the reasons given for military intervention;
ii. assess the achievements of military rule;
iii. determine the conditions that necessitated withdrawal from governance.
1. Foreign Policy:
– Definition, purpose, determining factors; formulation and implementation.

2. Nigeria’s Foreign Policy:
Relations with major powers;

Relations with developing countries, e.g the Technical Aid Corps (TAC), etc.

Nigeria’s Non-Alignment Policy.

3. Relations with African Countries:
Africa as the “centerpiece” of Nigeria’s foreign policy – guiding principles, implementation and implications;

NEPAD – origin, objectives and implications.

4. Nigeria in International Organizations
The United Nations;

The Commonwealth;

The Organization of African Unity;

The African Union;

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Candidates should be able to:
i. Define foreign policy, identify and explain its determinants.

Candidates should be able to:
i. identify the major objectives of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
ii. analyze Nigeria’s non-aligned posture

Candidates should be able to:
i. evaluate the role of Nigeria in continental affairs;
ii. assess the role of NEPAD in developing Africa.

Candidates should be able to:
i. analyze the dynamics of Nigeria’s involvement in international organizations;
ii. assess their contribution to the development of Nigeria.
1. International Organizations:





African Petroleum Producers Association;

– Origin, objectives, structure, functions, achievements, problems and prospects of these organizations.
Candidates should be able to:
i. evaluate the operations of these international organizations;
ii. assess the role of these organizations in world affairs;
iii. appreciate the challenges of these organizations and how they can be overcome.

Recommended JAMB Government Textbooks

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

Frequently Asked Question on JAMB Government Exam

How is the JAMB Government exam score calculated?

Aside from The Use of English, each question in the remaining 3 subjects is graded 2.5 marks. Hence, the three subjects carry 300 marks. For example: If you get 28 questions right in your Government exam, the calculation will be 28 x 2.5 = 70% (in percentage).

What is the allocated time for JAMB?

It is a two-hour exam and you are expected to complete all four papers within the allocated time frame. To do this well, try as much as possible to spend between 20-50 seconds on each question so you can have enough time to cross-check your work without being in a hurry.

How do i prepare for JAMB Government exam?

Practice ! Practice and more practice!!!. Study past questions daily. Go through the syllabus and read every single topic under it.

How to study Government exam for JAMB?

To prepare for JAMB Government exam, study the recommended syllabus provided by JAMB, review textbooks and study past questions. You can equally attend tutorials if necessary and seek guidance from experienced tutors.

How many questions are in JAMB Government exam?

You will be tasked to answer 40 questions.

What are some common mistakes candidates make in JAMB, and how can I avoid them?

Common mistakes people make at JAMB Government exams  include zero understanding of art terminologies, misinterpretation of art historical contexts, incomplete answers, and inadequate time management. You can avoid these mistakes by studying the syllabus as well as past questions, improving time management skills, and seeking clarification on unclear concepts.

Are there any specific JAMB Government exampreparation courses or workshops available for candidates?

Yes, some coaching centers, and online platforms offer JAMB Government preparation courses, tutorial, and study materials to help candidates improve their knowledge and performance in the subject. You can explore these resources to supplement your preparation.

Do I need to attend a JAMB tutorial to pass?

Not at all. You can read and ace your exams yourself. All you need to do is to have a consistent reading habit.However, tutorials can also help you prepare better, connect with your peers, and gauge your confidence levels.


Ad Space

Other Categories


Nigerian Exams


Professional Exams


International Exams


School Syllabus


Primary School


Secondary School

Welcome to We’re on a mission to empower learners of all ages and backgrounds with educational resources they need to succeed academically and professionally

Professional Certification

CIBN Syllabus

CITN Syllabus

CIPM Syllabus

APCON Syllabus



Media Kit


© 2024 Created with Page 5 Digital