Federalism And Intergovernmental Relations In Nigeria

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


Nigeria has been engulfed in one form of crisis or another in the past and recent times what has made the past administration situation so alarming is that the concentrated power has been deployed sectionally.

It is Been in the appointment of the only people from a particular section of the position in the federal cabinet, ministries and corporations even in the security service and the diplomatic corporation. The crisis generated by the constricted and construed political space-facilitated by the constitution which ought to be collective will of the people.

Nigeria’s federalism, as at today is completely distorted, the distortion is responsible for the intemperate and vociferous agitation restructuring the economy to reflect the letter and spirit of true federal principle which is embedded in a lot of thing.

In any federal state, a formula is usually used to share the revenue of the federation between the federal and the component units government on one hand and among the government of the component units on the others. The 1999 constitution has done nothing much to curtail the powers of the federal government behemoth, that constitution had devolved very little power to the state and local government councils.

The struggle for a true federalism and intergovernmental relations must be won, for Nigeria to remain as one nation and the equality in the division of political power. Lastly, the practice of federalism and intergovernmental relations in Nigeria, should be done in a way that the component units (the state and local governments) will have a feeling of oneness, equal division of political power at various levels of governments for there to be growth and development in all areas of jurisdiction in the Nation-Nigeria.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

In the early colonial days, Nigeria was administered as a Unitary State until 1946 when Richard constitution introduced regionalism, although the regional legislatures that were set up as a consequences of regionalism had severely limited legislative power since then, Nigeria has been administered as a FEDERAL STATE, except for a brief period in 1960, when the late general Aguiyi-Ironsi tried to re-introduce Unitarism but failed. But before the colonial days, the amalgation of the two Nigerian groups in the year 1914 “formed the basic for the evolution of Nigerian’s federalism (Winseh and Olowu 1995).

Inspite of the cultural Socio-economic political and educational disparities between the various ethnic nationalities that existed in the two protectorates, it is significant to note that during the colonial administration the educated elites then supported the adoption of federalism, because they felt that a federal system would enhance national unit and integrations of the component parts of the country. However, subsequent development has been generally acknowledged as fundamental elements of federal system in Nigeria. There was also in place emergence of new authoritarian structures and strong disposition of centralization of state power and resources. These inconsistence and problems have similarly precipitated controversies that continue to form national discourse on the nature of and suitability of the federal system in Nigeria.

Federalism was established just for the purpose of sharing political power between the central government and its component and its component units (state and local government) with the aim of each component units being independent and with a will of its own apparatus of conduct of conduct of its own affairs. Permit me to say, that the term federalism is a form of government where the component units of a political organization participate in sharing powers and functions in a cooperative manner. And thereafter a mutual relationship should be found among the three tiers and arms of government and this is what we called Inter-governmental relations.

According to Anderson (1960) he sees inter-governmental relations as a term intended to designate an important body of activities or interactions occurring between governmental units of all types and levels within the federal system; He went further to say that inter-governmental relations are close associates with federalism. Research on federalism and inter-governmental relations has for long been of interest to scholars and researchers. It is based on this premises that a research on federalism is worth pursuing.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

One of the Nigeria problems all started from the military rule and people say that our major problem in Nigeria context started since fifteen years of military rule had left the nation’s economy blighted and since then even when Obasanjo resumed as the president of Nigeria in a civilian way the story still did not change for better.

A federating state like Nigeria, power that exist like the political power ought to be shared between the central government, state government and local government. The sharing pattern of political power into various units of government is one of the problems in the Nigeria federalism, where the federal government is seen as the lord of all to the other tiers of government. The distribution of revenue allocation in Nigeria has not been properly shared to the various tiers in time past. One of the features of federalism is that a state has the right to create its own local government. Base on the above statements the following questions will be considered. How is the nature character of Nigeria politics?

How has federalism and intergovernmental relations being operated in Nigeria, especially in the Lagos State environment and federal government during the past administration?

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

Federalism simply talks about sharing of power among the government, while inter-governmental relations involve the interaction seen between the units of government.

This research work is too see how federalism and inter- governmental relations can be well articulated, executed and produce good result when the federal state and local government work together in unity and love.

Also, to find out the cause and profound solutions to the problems of true federalism and inter-governmental relations among the tiers of government.

Furthermore, this study aims at spelling out the role of state government over the issue of creation of new local government. Lastly, to find out how the federal government reacted towards the Lagos State government over local government

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is there any relationship between federalism and performance of the three tiers of government in Nigeria?
  2. To what extent does federalism affect inter-governmental relations in Nigeria?
  3. What is the relationship between inter-governmental relations and socio-economics development?
  4. What is the effect of Nigeria federalism on state creation?

1.5 Statement Of Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were raised in process of this research study. They are:

Hypothesis 1
  • Ho: There is relationship between federalism and the performance of three tiers of government in Nigeria.
  • Hi: There is no relationship between federalism and the performances of three tiers of government in Nigeria.
Hypothesis 2:
  • Ho: There is significant relationship between federalism and Inter-governmental relations in Nigeria
  • Hi: There is no significant relationship between federalism and inter-governmental relations in Nigeria.
Hypothesis 3:
  • Ho: There is relationship between the inter-governmental relationship and socio-economics development.
  • Hi: There is no relationship between the inter-governmental relations and social-economics development.
Hypothesis 4:
  • Ho: There is significant relationship between Nigeria federalism on state creation.
  • Hi: There is no significant relationship between the Nigeria federalism on state creation.

1.6 Scope / Limitations Of The Study

This study is limited to Lagos State environment. Where the relationship between the past federal governmental and Lagos state governmental will discussed.

Also, how resources and revenue allocation are both shared among the states, local government and federal government through the constitution and how it was distributed in the past tenure.

Also, a number of unavoidable limitations due to natural and other factors were experienced during my research work. Filling and returning of the questionnaires, I spent much money in transportation, printing of materials and the time I was to collect the questionnaires from the respondent as well, couple with the bad road in Nigeria.

1.7 Significance Of The Study

This study is significant because it will serve as a guide to the federal government to know how to involve the other component into the national programme and then encourage them to always given in their contribution to the growth and development of the nation and also for each component, they will be independent to themselves without the dictates of other units.

This study will also serve as a guide to our upcoming administrators and politicians in school to know how to regulate the government both in easy times and tough times when they occupy the positions.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Federalism is as a process of which separate political communities enter into an agreement of working out a solution, adopting joint decision on joint problems.

Inter-Governmental Relations:

It can be defined as the effective and efficient relationship among the tiers of government and which in return will bring about development into a state.


Is a system of laws and basic principles that a state is governed by.

Fiscal Federalism:

It can be defined as the division of public sector functions and finances among different tiers of government.


Is the income of a government form all sources, used to pay for a nation’s expenses.

Derivative Formula:

This is a stipulated pattern used in distributing apportioned revenues to the various components of government in a federal state.

Federation Account:

It simply means the exercise of revenue sharing to each level of government with guaranteed percentage from the central pool.

1.9 Organisation Of Study

This research comprises five pages the introduction – the background of the study up to the last page definition of the terms.

The second chapter is the Literature review where various books relating to the topic were discussed accurately.

The chapter three is the research methodology – where several samples and samples and methods used in extracting information were carried out and responses gotten were clearly stated.

The fourth chapter is the presentation and analysis of data. Here, the results gotten from the questionnaires and other sources like text books, journals, newspaper e.t.c were explained accordingly.

The last page which is the chapter five encompasses the summary, conclusion and recommendation of the whole study.

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