Estimated Total Population:

195.87 million

World Bank, 2018

Estimated SGM Population:



Estimated Total SGM Adult Population:



Estimated % of SGM Adults (18+):



In Nigeria, less than two in ten people say that homosexuality should be accepted by society (Pew Research Center, 2020). These attitudes have origins in the implementation of penal codes by the British. Additionally, Nigeria has large Christian and Muslim populations which particularly contribute to the country’s low tolerance for SGM populations, with only 6% of Christians and 8% of Muslims in the country likely to say that homosexuality is acceptable(Pew Research Center, 2020). Yet despite the public sentiment and Islamic Sharia laws criminalizing consensual same-sex acts, there exists a lively activist culture in Nigeria, including organizations like the Bisi Alimi Foundation, which researches Nigerian perception about LGBT populations with the intent to create “a culture of acceptance,” and The Initiative for Equal Rights(TIERs), a Nigeria-based non-profit advocating for human rights for all through pro-bono legal work, storytelling and documentation of human rights violations. It is perhaps through their advocacy work that the country has no dearth of literature regarding SGM populations.

Nigeria's Laws and Policies from ILGA World Report (2019)

Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
Civil Unions
Joint Adoption
Second Parent Adoption
Employment Nondiscrimination Laws
Broad Protections
Criminalization of Violence
Ban of Conversion Therapy
Consensual Same-Sex Acts are Legal?
Any Gender
Max Penalty (Yrs in Prison)

Selected Published Studies, Reports, and Other Documents

Adebajo, S. B., Eluwa, G. I., Allman, D., Myers, T., & Ahonsi, B. A. (2012). Prevalence of internalized homophobia and HIV associated risks among men who have sex with men in Nigeria. African journal of reproductive health16(4), 21-28.

Allman, D., Adebajo, S., Myers, T., Odumuye, O., & Ogunsola, S. (2007). Challenges for the sexual health and social acceptance of men who have sex with men in Nigeria. Culture, health & sexuality9(2), 153-168. DOI: 10.1080/13691050601040480

Arimoro, A. E. (2018). When Love is a Crime: Is the Criminalisation of Same Sex Relations in Nigeria a Protection of Nigerian Culture?. Liverpool Law Review39(3), 221-238.

Comstock, A. L. (2016). Gay rights and US foreign aid: a look at Nigeria and Uganda. The Journal of International Relations, Peace Studies, and Development2(1), 2.

Makanjuola, O., Folayan, M. O., & Oginni, O. A. (2018). On being gay in Nigeria: Discrimination, mental health distress, and coping. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health22(4), 372-384. DOI: 10.1080/19359705.2018.1482809

McKay, T., & Angotti, N. (2016). Ready Rhetorics: Political Homophobia and Activist Discourses in Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda. Qualitative Sociology, 39(4), 397–420. doi:10.1007/s11133-016-9342-7

Muhammed, A. A., & Amuda, Y. J. (2018). LGBT: An Evaluation of Shariah Provisions and The Laws of Malaysia and Nigeria. Global Journal Al-Thaqafah (GJAT)8(1), 15-29.

Nmah, P. E. (2012). Christianity, polygyny and homosexuality in Nigeria: A theopeotics culture of acceptance and rejection. AFRREV IJAH: An International Journal of Arts and Humanities1(2), 41-56.

Oginni, O. A., Mosaku, K. S., Mapayi, B. M., Akinsulore, A., & Afolabi, T. O. (2017). Depression and Associated Factors Among Gay and Heterosexual Male University Students in Nigeria. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(4), 1119–1132. doi:10.1007/s10508-017-0987-4

Oginni, O. A., Mapayi, B. M., Afolabi, O. T., Obiajunwa, C., & Oloniniyi, I. O. (2020). Internalized homophobia, coping, and quality of life among Nigerian gay and bisexual men. Journal of homosexuality67(10), 1447-1470. DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2019.1600899

Ogunbajo, A., Iwuagwu, S., Williams, R., Biello, K., & Mimiaga, M. J. (2019). Awareness, willingness to use, and history of HIV PrEP use among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Nigeria. PloS one14(12), e0226384.

Ogunbajo, A., Restar, A., Edeza, A., Goedel, W., Jin, H., Iwuagwu, S., ... & Mimiaga, M. (2020). Poor sleep health is associated with increased mental health problems, substance use, and HIV sexual risk behavior in a large, multistate sample of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in Nigeria, Africa. Sleep Health.

Okanlawon, K. (2019). Perceptions and attitudes of heterosexual Nigerian University students towards homosexuality and LGB persons. Journal of LGBT Youth, 1–28. doi:10.1080/19361653.2019.1620665


Okuefuna, S. O. (2016). LGBT and the Law: Protecting the Rights of Minorities in Nigeria (Doctoral dissertation, MA Thesis, Law School, University of Eastern Finland).

Rodriguez-Hart, C., Musci, R., Nowak, R. G., German, D., Orazulike, I., ... Charurat, M. (2017). Sexual Stigma Patterns Among Nigerian Men Who Have Sex with Men and Their Link to HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevalence. AIDS and Behavior, 22(5), 1662–1670. doi:10.1007/s10461-017-1982-4

Seb-Akahomen, O. J., Lawani, A. O., & James, B. O. (2018). Stigma and suicidality among people living with HIV attending a secondary healthcare facility in Nigeria. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. doi:10.1111/ppc.12321

Sekoni, A. O., Jolly, K., Gale, N. K., Ifaniyi, O. A., Somefun, E. O., Agaba, E. I., & Fakayode, V. A. (2016). Provision of healthcare services to men who have sex with men in Nigeria: students' attitudes following the passage of the same-sex marriage prohibition law. LGBT health3(4), 300-307.

Schwartz, S. R., Nowak, R. G., Orazulike, I., Keshinro, B., Ake, J., Kennedy, S., ... & TRUST Study Group. (2015). The immediate effect of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act on stigma, discrimination, and engagement on HIV prevention and treatment services in men who have sex with men in Nigeria: analysis of prospective data from the TRUST cohort. The lancet HIV2(7), e299-e306.

Sholeye, O.O., Animasahun, V.J. and Oyelekan, A.A. (2018), "Medical students’ perception of sexual orientation in Sagamu, southwestern Nigeria: implications for access to HIV care", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 347-355.

Sogunro, A., & Fatunla, D. (2017). Compendium of Laws: Discriminating against Persons based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression in Nigeria.