Nigeria's Federalism: an Exploration of Its Dilemma

May 2013
Developing Country Studies;2013, Vol. 3 Issue 5, p65
Academic Journal
Nigeria's federalism has been distorted from its original vision and structure. This situation presents the concept of federalism as a weak form of government that needs to be transformed for effective performance. The British colonial masters, and our foremost patriotic nationalists, adopted federalism as the best form of government for a country that is glaringly diversified in geographic, ethnic, language and religious constitution. At its initial practice in Nigeria, the regions were autonomous in governance, finance and duties. The military incursion into governance and politics, distorted the practice of decentralization for centralization. Noting that Federalism has propelled countries like USA, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Australia, etc. to an enviable political administration and economy, there is need for Nigeria to re appraise her practice of federalism in order for her to transform the practice of democracy and her economy and impact positively on her national development and foreign policy. This paper attempts to examine Nigeria's federalism, sieve the strength in the philosophy of federalism, determine where Nigeria's dilemma in the practice is anchored and suggest ways forward. The purpose of this paper is to expose the strength in the philosophy of federalism and to strengthen its practice in Nigeria.


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