Federalism: Meaning, Origin, Features, Factors, And Problems Of Federalism In Nigeria (Government)

Table Of Contents

  • Origin Of Federalism In Nigeria
  • Meaning Of Federalism
  • Features Of Nigerian Federalism
  • Factors That Lead To The Adoption Of Federalism In Nigeria
  • Problems Of Nigeria’s Federalism

Origin Of Federalism In Nigeria

The history and origin of federalism in Nigeria can be traced to the division of Nigeria into three provinces by Governor Bernard Bourdiho in 1939 (1935 – 1943). He recommended the replacement of the provinces by regions which arthur richards constitution later implemented in 1946. It was the idea of Richard’s constitution that brought in a federal structure but which it didn’t accomplish to the end.

However, in 1953, Governor MacPherson’s constitution improved on that Richard’s by creating house of Representative with powers to make law for the country and the regional houses of assembly to make law for the regions.

Later in 1954, In Lyttleton constitution with federal system of government for the country. This was as a result of the constitutional conference that was held in London in 1953, It was there and then, decision was made that Nigeria should become a federal state.

What Is Federalism

Federalism is a system of government whereby powers are constitutionally shared between the federal government and other component unit. Their powers and functions were shared to them by the constitution.

Features Of Nigerian Federalism

1. Division of powers among the three regions.

2. The three levels of government derived their powers from the constitution.

3. Nigeria is a federation of 36 states which might be more or lesser soon.

4. The federal laws supersedes all the laws of the states government.

5. There is powerful supreme courts that settles constitutional conflicts for the three regions of Government.

Factors That Lead To The Adoption Of Federalism In Nigeria

1. The land marks and population of Nigeria leads to the adoption of federalism administrative convenience.

2. Many groups and bodies did not support military system and this lead to the adoption of federalism.

3. Nigeria had a heterogeneous population which means it have many tribes and several religions.

4. Nigeria were influence by the colonia experience that formerly started in 1914. They discovered that over the past years federalism was going to allow a great degree of relative independence to each of the regions.

Problems Of Nigeria’s Federalism

1. Revenue Allocation: This refers to the sharing of the revenues collected from the state. Over the past years till date, this has pose a big problem.

2. Creation Of States: In Nigeria, There has been a constant demand for new states, The agitation for creation of more states has a problem to Nigerian federalism.

3. Boundary Dispute: There are frequent occurrence of boundary dispute in the federation. The dispute are between the components units. For example, In Nigeria, A lot of boundary dispute have been settled and a lot of other cases are pending in the various boundary commissions.

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