10 Importance of Military Rule in Nigeria

Nigeria has had several periods of military administration throughout its history. Although political unrest and curtailment of human liberties are frequently linked to military administration, it is important to acknowledge that there are some areas where this country has benefited from military rule.

This article seeks to examine the significance of military rule in Nigeria and throw light on both its advantages and disadvantages.

Importance of Military Rule in Nigeria

Improvement of National Security

The ability of military power to address problems with internal security was one of the main reasons it became significant in Nigeria. Military regimes frequently place a high priority on national security, which results in increased measures to combat terrorism, insurgency, and other challenges to the stability of the nation. 

Nigeria was able to safeguard its inhabitants from internal and external aggressions and preserve its territorial integrity under military rule.

Stability in Leadership

In periods of political upheaval and ambiguity, military power offered a feeling of stability in the political system. Military regimes provided a stable and authoritative form of government in a country where political transitions were frequently accompanied by turmoil.

The implementation of long-term development goals and programs was made possible by this stability.

Infrastructure Growth

Nigeria under military administration underwent considerable infrastructure development. Military governments understood the value of creating a solid physical infrastructure to promote economic expansion and raise the general level of living.

Significant expenditures were made in sectors including communication systems, power generation, and transportation networks.

Economic Development and Policies

Another importance of the military regime in Nigeria was the policies they set and implemented. The development of Nigeria’s economy was influenced by military governance.

Strategies to diversify the economy, lessen reliance on oil earnings, and support regional businesses were put in place by military regimes. They implemented economic changes with the intention of promoting growth, luring foreign capital, and generating job opportunities.

Related: 10 Importance of Agriculture in Nigeria

Eliminating Corruption

Nigeria’s military government frequently made attempts to combat corruption, which has long been a problem there. To hold dishonest officials accountable, several military leaders started anti-corruption initiatives, opened investigations, and put policies in place.

These measures attempted to rebuild public confidence and establish a more open and responsible system of government.

Reforming Public Sector Organizations

In Nigeria, institutional transformation was made easier by military control, unlike the democratic rule where several processes have to be followed. It offered a chance to evaluate and restructure a number of industries, including the government, the legal system, and law enforcement.

These changes intended to improve the efficacy, professionalism, and efficiency of governmental institutions.

National Identity and Unity

The many ethnic and cultural groups in Nigeria were encouraged to work toward national identity and unification throughout periods of military administration.

Military governments placed a strong emphasis on maintaining national cohesion and made efforts to promote a sense of shared identity.

Foreign Affairs and World Relations

Nigeria’s foreign policy and international relations were impacted by military governance. It influenced the nation’s position on local and international matters, and military commanders represented Nigeria abroad. 

Nigeria maintained diplomatic ties, took part in peacekeeping operations, and was heavily involved in regional organizations when it was under military rule.

Democratic Governance Transition

The military’s role in facilitating Nigeria’s transition to democratic leadership is also significant. This importance of military rule in Nigeria seems counterintuitive but is valid.

Despite its drawbacks, military control ultimately made Nigeria’s transition back to civilian democracy possible.

By starting the political transition process and transferring authority to civilian governments, military leaders built the framework for democratic institutions and procedures.

Related: 10 Importance of Democracy in Nigeria


Military rule in Nigeria had both positive and negative impacts on the country. While it provided stability, enhanced national security, and promoted infrastructure development, it also limited civil liberties and faced criticism for human rights abuses. It is crucial to recognize the complexities and nuances of military rule to understand its significance in Nigeria’s history.


Was military rule beneficial for Nigeria’s economy?

The military rule implemented economic reforms that aimed to diversify the economy, attract foreign investment, and stimulate growth. However, the overall impact on the economy is a subject of debate, with both positive and negative consequences.

Did military rule contribute to the development of infrastructure?

Yes, military rule played a significant role in infrastructure development. Major investments were made in transportation networks, power generation, and communication systems, improving the country’s overall infrastructure.

How did military rule affect Nigeria’s foreign relations?

Military rule influenced Nigeria’s foreign policy and international relations. Military leaders represented Nigeria on the international stage, maintained relationships with other nations, and participated in regional organizations and peacekeeping missions.

Were there any positive aspects of military rule in Nigeria?

Yes, the military rule provided stability in leadership, enhanced national security, promoted infrastructure development, and tackled corruption. However, it also faced criticism for human rights abuses and limitations on civil liberties.

Did military rule impact the country’s democratic transition?

Military rule played a crucial role in Nigeria’s transition to democratic governance. It initiated the process of political transition and handed over power to civilian governments, paving the way for the establishment of democratic institutions and processes.

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