Every human being have an origin. That is, a root where they originate from. This origin is often the village or community they hail from. In most places however, it is the quarters, compound, area or locality which their great grandfathers and upper lineage resides and continue to dwell.

Therefore, to be an indigene, you must come from a particular area. To be an indigene of a community, you must have a root in that community. An indigene of a community is someone whose lineage were rooted in that community, whether they were born, raised or lived in that community or not does no longer matter, provided their great grand parents and upper lineage hailed from that community.

Definition of Indigene

An indigene is one who is native to an area or community. One can be an indigene only by parental lineage and not by merely being born in a community or residing in the community. If one is born in a community or lived there all along, it does not make one an indigene of that community. One is only an indigene if either parents hailed from that place being claimed.

Indigenship there refers to the belongingness or association to a particular place through birth (not just place of birth). Indigeneship is originating in a particular place or in the vicinity.

Indigene traces the bearer to a root, an identifiable locality and not necessarily a state, region or country. That is why as a Nigerian, you cannot hear someone say ‘I am an indigene of Nigeria’. Rather we use a citizen for a wider locality like Nigeria. Instead, we say ‘I am an indigene of ‘this and that’ community’. So, indigeneship is referring to where your parents comes from – the root.

One can actually have multiple roots. That is, one can be an indigene to many communities. This is because one is an indigene to his/her father’s community and mother’s community. One is also an indigene to the various communities the grand parents have roots to. This means if a grand parents came from separate communites, the bearer is an indigene to all such various linked communities and stand the chance to benefit from all privileges accrued thereoff.


Since we have understood the meaning of indigene, defining what non-indigene is has become easier. Simply put, non-indigene is someone who does not originate from a particular place or vicinity. Hence, the rights and privileges that comes with being an indigene of a place, institution, etc. will not accrue to a non-indigene.

Universities, Indigeneship and Non-indigeneship

You may want to reason how Universities comes in here. Well, in Universities, there is a classification between those who are indigene to the university location and others. To federal universities, all nigerians are indigenes becuase the Federal government sponsors federal universities. All students in federal universities also pays same fees.

However, in state Universities, only students who hails from the state which the university is located are accepted as indigenes. In the Niger Delta University for instance, only Bayelsans are regarded as indigenes and benefit from the privileges accruing to indigenes.

For example, in Niger Delta University (NDU), indigenes do not pay tuition fee which is currently N50,000 while non-indigenes pay the tuition fee. This makes the difference between indigene and non-indigene fees to be N50,000. For instance, indigenes in Education 100 level pay N110,000, while non-indigenes pay N160,000.


So, this is all for indigenes and non-indigenes and how it affects universities operations in Nigeria. So, if you have no sponsor, try to study in the university located in your state of origin to pay lesser fees.

If you are interested in reading about how indigeneship affects your admission, kindly click the link below and read up the material

The Issue of Indigene and Non Indigene and How it Affects your Admission


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