Population: 166.6 million (2012)
Major religions: Islam, Christianity
Official language: English
IFES movement: Nigeria Fellowship of International Students (NIFES)
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with the largest economy in Africa. Although it now has an elected leadership, it is a growing challenge for the government to prevent the country from breaking apart along ethnic and religious lines. The imposition of Islamic law in several northern states has embedded divisions and caused thousands of Christians to flee; others are learning how to live out their faith in a difficult situation.
- 420 tertiary institutions, over 320 IFES groups
- 74 full-time staff, over 150 volunteers
- graduate ministry of 2,500, no high school ministry
- largest group over 750
- average size about 350
- smallest is 5 members
Growth in the number of staff in NIFES has allowed for the restructuring of the country into various ministry zones. As a result, staff make fewer tiring trips, enabling more in-depth discipleship. This has improved relationships with graduates and churches.
Locally written bible studies are a great strength of the movement, and more students are now involved in leading these studies as a result of their participation in the writing process. Evangelism and prayer are also key priorities for NIFES. On the other hand, ownership of the vision by graduates needs growth, as does support-raising, and many staff find it difficult to juggle the demands of work, family and church.
View from the inside
Bala Usman, General Secretary of NIFES, believes that ‘IFES/NIFES understand the biblical ideal for transformation: students can transform the church, society and the nation!
‘I am inspired by seeing young boys and girls turned to righteousness – what other joy do you look for in the world?! Despite the challenges, pressures and demands of student ministry, my heart leaps for joy because of what God is doing in the lives of students. As Paul says in Corinthians 4:17, “…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”’
- for students to continue to learn what it means to engage the whole university;
- for increased vision among graduates for resourcing the ministry;
- for the continued expansion and development of the Land of Promise conference centre, that it might be a blessing to many and a source of revenue for the movement.