Numbers of Volunteers

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The Number of Nigeria Peace Corps Volunteers

The Peace Corps Washington website at one point (ca 1996) stated that 2523 Peace Corps Volunteers served in Nigeria. This number is almost certainly in error. The number may represent the number of individuals who accepted invitations to join training groups destined for Nigeria or who actually joined these groups (two of which were diverted to other countries during the Biafran War).

The number of trainees in each group is listed below. These numbers came from a count of individuals listed in the training group directories (except where noted otherwise).

Group Number Group Number Group Number Group Number
I (1) 38* XI (11) 139 XXI (21) 77 XXXI (31) 72
II (2) 30* XII (12)111 XXII (22) 75 coaches14*
III (3) 48 XIII (13) 132 XXIII (23)66 1 9*
IV (4) 90 XIV (14) 34 XXIV (24)97 2 13*
V (5) 66 XV (15) 108** XXV (25)62 3 18*
VI (6) 68 XVI (16) 70 XXVI (26) 89
VII (7) 183 XVII (17) 27 XXVII (27) 67***
VIII (8) 73 XVIII (18) 33 XXVIII (28) ****
VIV (9) 58 XVIV (19) 32 XXVIV (29) 39
X (10) 90 XX (20)104 XXX (30) 15
TOTALS Total = 2247

* These numbers are actual counts of PCVs who served and consequently are likely to be undercounts of those who started training. There apparently were no training group directories for Nigeria 1 or 2 (in 1961), Nigeria 1, 2 or 3 (in the 1990s), or the athletic coaches who served in the early 1970s.

** This number includes 14 “Senior Year” Peace Corps trainees who were not listed in the Nigeria 15 training group directory – determined by comparison of the directory with a list of Nigeria XV PCVs that includes the name of the school to which they were assigned.

*** This number does not include the Ghana trainees who were also listed in the Nigeria 27 directory.

**** Nigeria 28 was the group diverted to another country.

It is possible that 2247, plus the number of trainees who dropped out or were de-selected from Nigeria 1 and 2 (in 1961), Nigeria 1, 2 and 3 (in the 1990s), and the number of trainees in the two groups diverted to other countries would add up to 2523. However, these add-ons would have to total 276 trainees.

It is my best estimate that about 1900 PCVs served in Nigeria. However this count, even in principle, is difficult to define since there are stories of PCVs arriving in Nigeria and leaving within a week or a month or 3 months. Where do we draw the line?

More recently (December 2010) a Peace Corps Washington website <http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.wherepc.africa&noflash=yes> stated that 2094 volunteers served in Nigeria (1961-1971, 1992-1995).

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