Federalism And The Viability Of Nigerian States (The Bayelsa Experience)

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Federalism And The Viability Of Nigerian States (The Bayelsa Experience)


Abstract


The aim of the research work is to examine the effect of federalism and the viability of the Nigerian states. The study will be conducted in Yenagoa local government area, Bayelsa state, Delta State, Nigeria. The survey research design through the administration of questionnaires was used for the study. The data were collected through a survey questionnaire using the simple percentage method. The results from the study revealed that the majority of the respondents were of the opinion that there is a significant relationship between federalists and the economic development of the state and that federalistism has improved the economic growth of the State. Findings from the survey revealed that there are a number of problems that have derailed Nigerian Federalism. The best form of government for Nigeria is the federal system with its basic tenets properly and carefully administered.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

The termfederalism as practiced in Nigeria is some way below the normal standard for true federalism practiced globally and this has had effect on the viability of the Nigerian state. As the continuous rise in knowledge of the nation’s awareness of its ethnic, its religious, political diversity and corporative existence, the formation and the structure of the Nigeria federalist claims has to be re-examined and to be redirected for good. When we talk about true federalism we shall be talking about ways to promote the economic development of Nigeria. True federalism kind of unites and binds all people of the nation together with the main aim of creating a dialogue in order to instigate the competition in revenue generation. But overall goals of true federalism can only be achieved when those in governance are given free roles in decision making and policy generation in Nigeria.

The terms federalism as practiced in Nigeria has been considered a prey-predator relationship; where the states governments in Nigeria are the prey while the federal government of Nigeria is regarded as the predator. In this kind of relationship the federal government of Nigeria (predator) is chasing and squeezing the little life of the Nigerian states government (prey).

According to Deniel in the year 2002 stated in his work that the federal formation and structure of Nigeria is completely a kind of gross anomaly.

Federalism in Nigeria as the case maybe generated from historical, economic, political, social and cultural factors; this factor can also be constitutional.

The Nigeria constitution as at 1999 have a couple of citations in both the second and the fourth schedule on the tax power of both the Nigerian federal, the state and the local government; also on the Nigeria major system of revenue generation and allocation and the continuous management of general public funds in Nigeria.

The continuous issues arising from revenue generation and fund allocation has brought about several debate and dialogue than the practice of federalism, resource management and control for more than 3 decades.

Take the Niger delta region for example especially Bayelsa state; this region is one of the highest contributor to the Nigeria economy through their rich mineral resources yet most of the allocation due to the people of Bayelsa are not duly received by both the state and the local government of Bayelsa. It is to this regard that the researcher wishes to choose Bayelsa as the case study of the research work.


1.2 Statement of Problem

The term federalism is widely regarded as the interaction between the different tiers of government in Nigeriaconcerning the issue of federalism practice in Nigeria; the issue is more noticed among the Nigeria delta region especially the Bayelsa state. The people of Bayelsa state have long suffered from revenue allocation as compared to other states. The oil sector is one of the major contributors of the Nigeria economy. About 60% of the revenue generated by the federal government of Nigeria is coming from the Niger delta region of Nigeria yet the fund and revenue allocation in this region is very poor. This issue has led to so many crises in Nigeria hindering the socio economic development of Nigeria.


1.3 Aims and Objectives of Study

The aim of the research work is to examine the effect of federalism and the viability of the Nigerian states. The specific aims of the research work are stated below as follows:

  1. To examine the effect of federalism on the socio economic development of the Nigerian states
  2. To investigate the effect of federalism on the people of Bayelsa state
  3. To determine the factors affecting the implementation of true federalism
  4. To examine the role of federal government of Nigeria in development of true federalism in Nigeria
  5. To examine the relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state
  6. To make recommendation for further research on the federalism.

1.4 Research Question

In other to ascertain the objective of the research work, the study came up with the following research questions:

  1. What is the effect of federalism on the socio economic development of the Nigerian states?
  2. What is the effect of federalism on the people of Bayelsa state?
  3. What are the factors affecting the implementation of true federalism?
  4. What are the roles of federal government of Nigeria in development of true federalism in Nigeria?
  5. Is there any relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • HO: there is no significant relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state
  • H1: there is a significant relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state

1.6 Significance of Study

The study federalism and the viability of Nigeria state will be of immense benefit to the three tiers of government, the general public, the private sector, the people of Bayelsa state, student and other researchers that want to carryout research on similar topic.


1.7 Scope of Study

The study federalism and the viability of Nigerian states is only limited to Bayelsa state from the previous administrations to the present administration.


1.8 Limitation of Study

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.9 Definition of Terms:

Federalism:

Federalism is regarded as the federal principle or system of government

Viability:

Is simply is the ability of the state in accordance to the study to be able to maintain itself and recover its potentials


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

The objectives of the study were;

  1. To examine the effect of federalism on the socio economic development of the Nigerian states
  2. To investigate the effect of federalism on the people of Bayelsa state
  3. To determine the factors affecting the implementation of true federalism
  4. To examine the role of federal government of Nigeria in development of true federalism in Nigeria
  5. To examine the relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state
  6. To make recommendation for further research on the federalism.

Findings from the study revealed that majority of the respondents were of the opinion that there is a significant relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian states and that federalism has improved the development of Bayelsa state.


5.2 Conclusion

This paper has focused on Nigerian federalism, its origin, problems and possible ways to a true federal system. In my study, I have reviewed the concept of federalism, and its basic tenets proposed by K.C Wheare. The researcher has also gone ahead to place the basic tenets of K.C Wheare federalism to Nigeria situation visa vis the definition and features of federalism and I argued that, the federal system proved to be workable in Nigeria between 1954 and January 1966 but the advent of the military makes the federal government to sees itself as superior to the state governments. This is due to the fact that military federalism has been more common in Nigerian polity. Apart from this problem, other problems discussed include: the superiority of the state governments over the local governments. This is due to the fact that, since the federal government sees itself as superior to the state governments, the state government in turn prove their superiority over the local governments and this act does not make federalism workable in the country as it negate one of the features of federalism proposed by K.C Wheare which posit that Each levels of government must be co-ordinate and independent.

Resource control by the owners of the resources is also one of the problems I considered that has derailed Nigerian federalism. Here, I agued that ethnic crisis is likely to continue unless the federal government allows the owners of resources to control their resources in their own way. The present federal arrangement where the Federal government control and dominate the large share of states resources has been a clog on a wheel on Nigerian federalism and this has to stop if Nigeria really want to experience true federal system. The last issue I considered is fiscal federalism in Nigeria. Successive government has failed to find solution to how revenue in the country should be allocated. This is evidence considering the on going revenue allocation that was rejected by the state and federal governments. I finally argued that, for Nigeria to live the apron of a unitary system robed in federal colour, 50% of the proceeds should be paid to the state from which it is produced. Also, 50% should go to the state to which the goods are going or in the case of excise duty, the state in which the goods are produced. These are among other recommendations discussed.

On a final note, Nigeria federal structure since inception has witnessed several fiscal and structural reformation as new realities emerge and this is not without major deficits but like in all political organization, there is no prefect policy. The Nigerian federal structure may not have succeeded in solving all its political ills, it is nonetheless, what has kept us unite together. However, even non federal systems are faced with similar problems bothering on threat to its very existence. Therefore, our inability to have stability in the political system in spite of years of practicing federalism should not be taken as bankruptcy of the system. In line with this, I come to conclusion that the best form of government for Nigeria is the federal system with its basic tenets properly and carefully administered. Thus, I submit that a true federal system in Nigeria is possible if the basic tenets that defined federalism are enshrined in the constitution.


5.3 Recommendations

We have clearly seen that the future of this country lies in only one direction- true federalism, together with fiscal federalism and resource control by the owners of the resources. In making specific recommendations for structural changes which will create an atmosphere of enduring peace, harmony and progress, there should be a clear division of power between the federal government and the state government. The federal government should exercises exclusive power in certain basic matters of general relevance and importance, leaning the bulk of the subject matter to the state, with a few in the concurrent list. A federal government should exercise powers exclusively only in the following areas: National Defence, Foreign Relations, Currency, Exchange Control, Telecommunications, Immigration, Customs and Excise, Copyright, Patents and Design, Citizenship and Naturalisation, Shipping in external waters. And other matters currently in the legislative list (federal) should be in the concurrent list (federal and state). The states and the federal government should exercise their powers in these matters in a manner that does not interfere with the jurisdiction of other authorities. In the following areas, the state must have exclusive authority except that the federal government could lay down standards and guidelines and perhaps make grants towards some of these subject matters. Agriculture and Fisheries, Education, Health, Labour, Housing, Local Government, Forestry, Town and Country Planning, Lands, State Judiciary, Vetinary Services. Similarly, the local government must be given autonomy in their own jurisdiction and state governments should hands off from the control of local affairs.

As already noted, the state have to be given the economic power to carry out their increased political, social and economic responsibilities. A system of revenue allocation to meet this may be summarized as follows

1. Minerals-Oil and Solid:

50% of the proceeds should be paid to the state from which it is produced. Such states territory includes 200 miles continental shelf

2. Customs and Excise:

50% should go to the state to which the goods are going or in the case of excise duty, the state in which the goods are produced.

3. Value Added Tax:

Only states should collect value added tax. The federal government should have no such power. State should retain their VAT for their own use. The VAT is a tax on the customer of goods and services within the territory of the state. The federal government may only collect VAT in the federal capital territory. Thus all taxes made from purchases of petroleum product from a state should be remitted to the state. At the moment, VAT is collected and administered by the federal government which keep a percentage to itself and then distribute the balance in an arbitrary manner, under which states from which little or nothing has been collected, get the bulk of the funds.

Lastly, a conference of Nigeria Nationalities should be call. Nigeria, according to the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is a mere geographical expression. As we saw earlier, the nations and peoples of Nigeria existed separately and independently for century until they were forcefully brought into the artificial state called Nigeria. The territory called Nigeria is as much a victim of European colonial callousness as the rest of Africa. Many of the inter boundaries of Nigeria are as artificial as inter-state boundaries of Africa. Was it not Lord Salisbury who stated thus at the Berlin conference 1885: ‘‘We have been engaged in drawing lines on map where no white man’s foot ever trod; we have been given away mountains and rivers and lakes to each other, only hindered by the small impediment that we have never know where the rivers and lakes and mountain were.’’ Another Briton, an official who participated in the drawing of the Southern section of the Nigeria Cameroon border, is also recorded to have recalled, years after that: ‘‘In those days we just took a blue pencil and ruler, and we put it down at old Calabar, and drew the blue line to Yola…… I recollect thinking when I was sitting having an audience with the Emir (of Yola) surrounded by his tribes, that it was a very good thing that he did not know that I, with a blue pencil, had drawn a line through his territory.’’ The carry over of this artificiality of boundary into Nigeria, is evident when Kwara and Kogi states are treated as Northern, instead of Yoruba (Western) states, or when Asaba and Agbor (Oshimili, Anioma and Ika) are included in a Delta state. It is therefore clear that a conference of Nationalities will involve, not only a restructuring of functions between the bloated centre and the states, but there also has to be, a re-grouping of the states along national/ethnic lines. To continue with the examples I have given above, Kwara and Kogi will merge with the Yoruba states and Asaba and Agbor (Oshimili, Anioma and Ika) should merge with their sister Igbo states east of the Niger.


Get Complete Project Material

5,000 5000

The Complete Material Will Be Sent to You in Just 2 Steps

Quick & Simple…


Step One Purchase

Make Payment (Through Transfer) of ₦5,000 to Any of the Account Below

Access Bank PlcAcc No: 0811003731
Samphina Academy
Current Account
Zenith BankAcc No: 1225513212
Samphina Academy
Current Account

Or CLICK HERE To Pay With Debit Card


FOR STUDENTS OUTSIDE NIGERIA
CLICK HERE To Purchase Material ($15)
FOR GHANIAN STUDENTS
Make Payment of 120 GHS to 0553978005 | Douglas Cloud Osabutey | MTN MoMo

Step Two Purchase

Send the Following Details on WhatsApp ( 08143831497) After Payment

  1. Payment Details

  2. TOPIC: Federalism And The Viability Of Nigerian States (The Bayelsa Experience)

The Complete Material Will Be Sent To You On WhatsApp After Receiving Your Details
T & C Apply


  Contact Our Help Desk


Need a Different Topic? Perform a Quick Search



List of Related Works

Click on Any Topic to Preview the Content

samphina.academy

Samphina Academy

Samphina Academy is an Online Educational Resource Center that is aimed at providing students with quality information and materials to aid them in succeeding in their academic pursuit.