Joined UNESCO: 14/11/1960

Head of State and/or Government

Head of State: H.E. Mr Muhammadu Buhari

Permanent Delegation to UNESCO

H. E. Mrs Mariam Y. Katagum
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate (10/09/2009)

Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to UNESCO
Maison de l'UNESCO Bureau MS1.59 à MS1.72 1, rue Miollis 75732 PARIS Cedex 15

National Commission for UNESCO

President: H. E. Mr Mallam Adamu Adamu

Secretary-General: Mr. Kehinde A. Ayotunde

Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO
Plot 245, Samuel Adesujo Ademulegun Street 2nd Floor, Central Business District Abuja Nigeria
+234- 8033526843
(+ 234.9) 413 91 37
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Representation in the Executive Board

The 1991 amendment modified Article V of the Constitution, regarding the status of members of the Board. From the 27th session of the General Conference (1993), the Executive Board consists of Member States rather than of persons (26 C/Resolution 19.3).
Title Name Years Sessions
MemberMr Samuel J. Cookey1962-197064-85
MemberChief Reginald S.G. Agiobu-Kemmer1976-1980101-110
MemberMr A. Bola Olaniyan1980-1985111-122
MemberMr Yahaya Aliyu1987-1991128-137
ChairpersonMr Yahaya Aliyu1989-1991133-137

Participation in subsidiary organs

Organs elected by the General Conference

Executive Board
Member (Term expires : 2019)
International Coordinating Council of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)
Intergovernmental Council for the International Hydrological Programme
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)
Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication
Bureau Member
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)

Other intergovernmental organs

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
Member (Term expires : 2019)

Addresses delivered in the general policy debate by the Head of Delegation at the General Conference

37 session of the General Conference

His Excellency Mr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Minister of Education of Nigeria

Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 37th session of the General Conference - revised and corrected version of the verbatim records of plenary meetings

36 session of the General Conference

H.E. Mrs Ruqayyatu AHMED RUFA'I, Minister of Education

Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 36th session of the General Conference and posted as received

35 session of the General Conference

H.E. Mrs. Aishatu Jibril Dukku, Minister of State for Education

“(…) I wish to commend the Director-General for the success achieved in his administrative and structural reforms which have translated into greater efficiency, transparency, accountability and visibility in all areas of operation of UNESCO in the past decade.”
“(…) We congratulate the incoming Director-General and invite her to continue with the reforms to take UNESCO to even greater heights.”
“(…) Given the present state of the world situation of illiteracy, hunger, disease, and lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the work of UNESCO remains relevant and of such strategic importance today.”
“(…) As regards the Programme and Budget for 2010-2011 (35 C/5), Nigeria supports the emphasis placed on the overarching priorities, Africa and Gender Equality as well as the various strategic-programme priorities in all the major programmes.”
“(…) We support the South-South Fund for Education as a mechanism of cooperation, and exchange of best practices among the developing countries. The Fund should be strongly supported, by both developing and industralized countries, through contribution of extra-budgetary funds.”
“(…) UNESCO needs more than zero nominal growth budget to execute its global mandate.”
“(…) Allow me to appreciate UNESCO’s assistance for the implementation of the Nigeria-UNESCO Special Plan of Cooperation, enunciated by Resolution 56 of the 30th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1999 and thereby contributed to our success stories among which are: the “Support for Revitalizing Technical and Vocational Education in Nigeria”, which has been described as a model which other African countries could adopt; the establishment of the Category 2 Institute of African Culture and International Understanding, as well as the establishment of a Centre of Excellence and two Centres of Reference for the promotion of UNESCO model curricula on journalism education in Nigeria.”
“(…) We must be resolved to continue to foster partnerships and uphold the ideals of UNESCO of building peace in the minds of men.”

34 session of the General Conference

H.E. Dr Igwe Aja-Nwachuku, Minister of Education

“I salute and express our appreciation to the visionary and committed leadership of Mr Director-General, as the head of the Secretariat, whose tenure has brought immense benefits to Nigeria and indeed to the continent of Africa through various initiatives and programmes of UNESCO. It is with great pleasure that we welcome the return of Singapore to the Organization as its 193rd Member States, thus further enhancing UNESCO’s universality.”
“The UNESCO Africa Regional Conference on Literacy and the Dakar + 7 Forum on EFA held recently in Bamako, Mali, underscored the fact that although considerable progress has been made in expanding access to primary education in sub-Saharan Africa, much needs to be done to improve the quality of learning. Experts at these meetings expressed serious concern that many countries in the sub-region may not attain the EFA goals by the 2015 target year unless concerted efforts are made to intensify advocacy for non-formal education, improve education information and data management, substantially boost investments in the education sector and institutionalize efficient and effective quality control. In this direction, Nigeria is taking bold steps to reinvigorate the Federal Inspectorate Services for effective quality control in the education sector. We are very hopeful that UNESCO would, as usual, support our efforts in this regard.”
“For us as a nation, the popularisation of science and technology is of crucial importance. This is not necessarily to create of a country of scientists, but for the evolution of a society of scientifically literate citizens. We are therefore seriously emphasizing improvement in the teaching and learning of basic science.”
“We welcome the continuing reforms in UNESCO that have now covered the Education, Sciences and Culture Sectors, the work of the Executive Board as well as the General Conference itself. We now await results and the effects of these reforms in the form of enhanced performance of the Organization.”
“We also continue to follow with keen interest, developments in the relationship between UNESCO and Africa; cooperation between UNESCO and the African Union, with NEPAD; and cooperation with African sub-regional economic communities such as ECOWAS, CEMAC, SADC and so on.”
“Nigeria is exhibiting here in UNESCO, part of the 30th anniversary manifestations of the FESTAC 77, the Festival of Black and African Arts and Crafts which took place in Nigeria 30 years ago. It is our pleasure and pride to share this cultural offering from Africa and the Black Diaspora with this global gathering.”
“In May of 2007, UNESCO, through the Director-General signed a unique Memorandum of Understanding with the then Nigerian President Obasanjo in the field of culture. Among the areas of collaboration in the memorandum is Nigeria’s plan to establish an institute for African culture and international understanding. The project on which Nigeria and UNESCO have been cooperating has developed, and you have before you at this session appropriate request and relevant documentation on the establishment of the institute as a category 2 institute under the auspices of UNESCO.”

Celebration of anniversaries

  • 100th anniversary of the foundation of King’s College, Lagos (1909) (2009)

  • King’s College was founded in 1909 as the first federal government secondary school with the aim of providing qualitative education, initially addressed to boys and later on to girls in Africa, particularly from Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana. A first generation of civil servants, academics, jurists and other liberal professions has been trained by this regional educational institution, which also provided a sports and cultural education. King’s College enabled the creation of a shared vision on the future of the continent. Its experience could inspire African educational institutions to make education and culture a tool to promote regional integration.

  • 100th anniversary of University Evening Classes in West Africa (1906) (2006)

  • This anniversary is linked with UNESCO’s effort towards Education for All and enhanced access to Higher Education in West Africa. This celebration will be an excellent opportunity for the ongoing effort in advocacy for open and distance learning (ODL) to sensitize, inform and strengthen the importance and potential of non-conventional mode of education. At the same time the anniversary serves as model for other subregions of the world at a time when UNESCO is making Education for All its priority.

  • 500th anniversary of the establishment of Benin Court Art (2002)

  • Benin Court Art is an important part of African history, heritage and expression. Benin Court Art’s objects are the most extensively studied and described in the context of African culture south of the Sahara. These objects are found in the world’s most important museums and collections. As a matter of fact, Benin Court Arts belongs to the whole of humanity, demonstrating vividly the cultural identities of the peoples concerned and the world’s cultural diversity.