and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Nigeria is the most populous country in
Africa, with about 140 million people (2006 national census) and the largest concentration
of Black people in the world. One in ﬁve Africans is a Nigerian. There are about 250 ethnic
groups, with three major tribes constituting over 40 percent of the population: the
Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. Other major ethnic/linguistic groups include the Tiv, Ibibio, Ijaw,
Kanuri, Nupe, Gwari, Igala, Jukun, Igbira, Idoma, Fulani, Itsekiri, Edo, Urhobo and
the Anang, and there are approximately 374 dialects within these ethnic groups. The
oﬃcial language is English, but indigenous languages are also commonly used, and most
Nigerians understand and speak the “broken English” (Pidgin English). The most popular
religions in Nigeria include Islam, Christianity and the worship of several indigenous
Formal public relations practice in Nigeria can be traced back to January 1, 1944 when the
British colonial administrators established the ﬁrst Public Relations Department.2
The department was headed by Mr D.C. Fletcher, as the leader of a group of staﬀ, which
included a public relations oﬃcer, an assistant public relations oﬃcer, a process engraver, a
press oﬃcer, a publicity artist, an antiquities oﬃcer, a photographer, a ﬁlms oﬃcer, a radio
oﬃcer and a conﬁdential secretary. The function of the department was mainly to carry
out “public enlightenment” programs relating to government activities. The colonial
administrators targeted selected publics, such as Nigerian soldiers who participated in
World War II as part of the British Army. After Nigeria gained its independence in 1960, the
public relations department was transferred to the newly created Federal Ministry of
Information (FMI) where it continued with information activities for its various publics.
Typical information and... [continues]
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