In the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is stated in Section 23 that the national ethics (values) shall be Discipline, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Social Justice, Religious Tolerance, Self-Reliance and Patriotism.

The lack of these ethical values in our society has resulted into various forms of crimes committed on a daily basis; ranging from armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, murder, burglary, financial crimes, cybercrimes, fraud, terrorism.

Ethical Values are a set of established principle governing virtuous behavior in a society. It is important that every society develops and promotes a set of suitable ethical values for citizens within the community to keep in mind when relating with others. Values which serve to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong, moral and immoral. Ethical values frequently form a basis of what is permitted and what is prohibited within a society.

Universal or Core Ethical Values are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. These can be used as the basis for ethical thinking and to determine behaviours that uphold our values.


Trustworthiness concerns a variety of behavioral qualities — honesty, integrity, reliability and loyalty.


Respect is about honouring the essential worth and dignity of all people, including oneself. We are morally obligated to treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are, and be the best we can be in all situations, even when dealing with unpleasant people.


Life is full of choices. Being responsible means being in charge of our choices and therefore our lives. It means being accountable for what we do and who we are. It also means recognizing that what we do, and what we don’t do, matters.


Fairness is impartial and just treatment or behaviour without favouritism or discrimination. It usually refers to a range of morally justifiable outcomes.


Caring is the heart of ethics. It is scarcely possible to be truly ethical and not genuinely be concerned with the welfare others. That is because ethics is ultimately about our responsibilities toward other people.


The concept of citizenship includes how we ought to behave as part of a community. The good citizen knows the laws and obeys them – but they also volunteer and stay informed on the issues of the day.

Apart from promoting peaceful co-existence within a society, adopting the principles of ethical values has a great impact on sustainable development of a functional society.

In every area of the society, ethics comes into play. The time spent by individuals on ethics, is the key in having a successful life and career.

The role of ethical values in our society and in an individual’s life is very necessary because it has a large influence on today, as well as the future.

Hence, we need to task ourselves as individuals and teach our children the importance of ethical values in both their public and private lives. There is evidence that teaching children at an early age is the most effective time to reinforce ethics and values.

Taking a proactive part in moral guidelines will shape and lead a person into adulthood and their life as a productive member of the society.

The ASJEV Initiative is appealing to leaders, parents, teachers, role models; drawing their attention to the problems of crimes and underdevelopment created by unethical behaviors in the community and the society at large. Hence, one cannot but overemphasize the need to give a pride of place to ethical values in our society.

Thanks for reading. Please drop your comments – let’s hear your thoughts.



What are Ethical Values?