true federalism: a panacea for rapid growth in nigeria

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Background of the Study
Nigeria claims to be practicing Federalism but the type of Federalism it is practicing is not Federalism in the real sense of its meaning.

Federalism in Nigeria roots back to the amalgamation of the southern and northern protectorates of Nigeria in 1914 by Lord Lugard; though it was the Leyttleton’s constitution of 1954 that brought a ray of what Federalism is all about and by extension the provisions of the 1999 constitution describes expressively the tenets of the Federal system of government; with Nigeria having three tiers: the federal, state and local government.

Federalism is one form of government that supports the sharing of power between the central and state governments with no interference of either of them in their affairs. True Federalism is not about the central government being more powerful than the state government even down to the distribution of wealth This is because the powers of both the central and state governments stem from the constitution, where their autonomies are clearly spelt out.

Federalism is a form of government that is best practiced in a heterogeneous ethnic society like Nigeria; Federalism is about unity in diversity.

Nigeria consisting of people with diverse languages, different religion, different climate, different culture, etc need to practice True Federalism to aid socio-economic development.

The Federal government not exercising more power than the state government; rather allowed to control the affairs of the state to its advantage and for the betterment of the country at large.

However, for Nigeria to have sustainable development, national integration and equitable distribution of its resources, True Federalism must be adopted. The state governments must take their eyes off the central government, and vice versa so they can effectively discharge their duties (Kenneth Wheare, 1963).

Meanwhile, for Nigeria to experience rapid growth in all its sectors ‘True Federalism’ is the way out.

Statement of the Problem
It is obvious on how states in Nigeria are not allowed to control their affairs without the interference of the central government. There are not allowed to maximize their resources for the good of the state; rather they are made to rely on the allocation from the Federal government which is not sufficient to meet the needs of the state.

However, the Federal government has failed to offer good governance through equitable distribution of wealth. Some states are given certain privileges than the other. A good example is the people of Niger Delta who contribute immensely to revenue generation of Nigeria through the supply of crude oil; yet they have poor roads, unstable power supply, poor health services, degraded environment etc.

In addition, the northern part of the government seems to enjoy much allocation than other states, even down to political appointments (Muhammed, 2008: p44). The purpose of the federal character is forfeited, thus bridging the law of True Federalism.

Another major problem of True Federalism is corruption. Corruption is a factor that has eaten deep into the Nigeria system. When a power is controlled someone from a particular ethnic group or community, the persons tend to accumulate wealth just for members of this community neglecting other communities.

1.2 Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this research is to discover how True Federalism can be a panacea for rapid growth in Nigeria.

Other specific objectives include:

To determine how True Federalism can be practiced in Nigeria.
To determine the factors that militates against True Federalism in Nigeria.
To examine the effect of True Federalism on the economic growth of Nigeria.
To recommend ways of improving True Federalism in Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions

Can True Federalism be practiced in Nigeria?
What are the factors militating against True Federalism in Nigeria?
What are the effects of True Federalism on the economic growth of Nigeria?
Are there ways of improving True Federalism in Nigeria?

1.4 Research Hypotheses

Ho: True Federalism cannot be practiced in Nigeria.

: True Federalism can be practiced in Nigeria.
1.5 Significance of the Study/ Justification of the study

This study is important to the general public, most especially the government. It is meant to bring to their knowledge that Nigeria is not practicing True Federalism. It is meant to educate, sensitize and enlighten the general public on what True Federalism entails; and to the government that they stop deceiving Nigerians and practice True Federalism to ensure the rapid growth of the economy.

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a bench mark or guide for other work or study.

1.6 Scope/Limitations of the Study

This study is broad since it is studying True Federalism: a panacea for rapid growth in Nigeria.

Limitations 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 (internet, questionnaire and interview).
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.
1.7 Definition of Terms

Federalism: This refers to the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government (the central or ‘federal’ government) with regional governments (provincial, state, Land, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single political system.

True Federalism simply means practicing the tenets of federalism.

Panacea: Is a solution or remedy for all difficulties or something that will make everything about a situation better.

Rapid development: This refers speedily change in the standard of living.


Kolawole, D.2008 Nigeria tribune

Muhammed, A. (2008). “Some Comments on Five Decades of Nigerian Federalism” in Hassan Saliu et al (eds). Perspectives on Nation – Building and Development in Nigeria: Political and Legal Issues (Lagos, Concept Publications, ) P.44

Wheare K.C (1963) the Federal Government London Oxford University.

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