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True Federalism debate in Nigeria has been the focus of public debate for many years now. It is an issue that has for the very first time in the history of Nigeria forced Southern Nigeria which comprises of the South-South, South-East and now South-West, to unite to fight for a common cause. The practice of true federalism and resource control formed the focal at the 1957 Constitutional Conference in London and the 1958 Conference that eventually led to the enactment of the 1960 Independence and 1963 Republican Constitutions. The 1960 Independence and the 1963 Republican Constitutions respectively enshrined some fundamental principles of true federalism and resource control as a result of the level of deprivation percentage accruable regions. In the course of Nigeria's political evolution, these constitutions were either suspended or repealed by successive military regimes and the country tilted towards what majorly looks like a unitary system but with a very strong Federal Government at the centre. With the return of democracy and the contending developmental problems that the Niger Delta region had successively experienced, there has been a spontaneous and consistent call for the institutionalization of resource control and true federalism. Defined as the control and management of resources by states and local governments from whose jurisdictions the resources are extracted, all federal states and local governments from whose jurisdictions the resources are extracted, all federal states, from the Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Malaysia, Switzerland and United States of America have it enshrined in their respective constitutions. For instance, under the Canadian constitution, the provinces and federal government legislate on natural resources in which the provinces have substantial control over their own natural resources. In the United States of America, states have power over their resources and are subject only to federal taxes and laws on strategic resources. Financial subordination makes mockery of true federalism irrespective of how carefully the legal forms may be preserved. The states should not permanently remain dependent on the federal government for survival. In view of the relationship of the subject to Nigeria's continuous existence as an indivisible entity, it has become important to undertake a comprehensive study of true federalism and resource control from an historical perspective. The 1960 Independence and 1963 Republican constitutions not only granted greater fiscal autonomy to the regions, but also empowered them to favourably compete with one another. This phenomenon has generally been misunderstood. The advocacy for resource control does not seek the exclusive control and ownership of mineral and other resources by the states. This advocacy is built upon the philosophy of justice that the federating states should have a deeper stake in the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources located within their territories. The 36 states together with the Federal Capital Territory make up the federation today have been reduced to beggars, because of their representative gathering every month at Abuja for monthly federal allocations. Only Lagos and Rivers states can pay their workers without the federal intervention. Odje (2000) succinctly considers the twin concepts of true federalism and resource control. For him, the two concepts mutually complement each other. A true federal state practices resource control while resource control functions vibrantly in a true federal state. Hence, with its wide diversities in ethnicity, cultures, languages and faiths, only a true Nigerian federation or a confederation offers any chance of success as a sustainable polity in a changing world.


Resource control and allocation of revenue among units of a federation are very important for both political and economic reasons (Watts et al. 2013). In Nigeria, the discovery, exploration, and subsequent realisation of huge revenue from the sale of oil and other mineral resources has led to high tension, controversy, negative politics, unhealthy rivalry among the components of Nigerian federalism and peoples. These have also been followed by dislocation and deterioration of economic and political development, unity and cohesion of the Nigerian state; and instead of optimum utilisation of the proceeds from oil to invest in and diversify other non-oil sectors, there lingered the problem of both inefficient use and inequity of oil wealth. With that, Nigeria became confronted by many forces among which are the units of the government (federal, states and local) which all rely near absolute on oil revenue, and non-government dissident elements and groups who also enjoy the oil money squander mania and increased animosity among its populace. The process of revenue generation and allocation has all along been defined by political contentions at numerous levels, such as in the constitutions making and development, fiscal and monetary policies and programmes, political scheming, militant activities and threats of secession (Oyediran, 1979). The oil resources initially found in the minority areas has in Nigeria's history been held and controlled by the conglomerates of the major tribes who control the state political machinery. Increase in oil revenue has similarly, led to political leaders misusage and more corrupt practices rather than investment and diversifications. To most oil rich economies like Nigeria, Venezuela, Angola, oil has caused a deformation to institutional and rational channels of socio-economic development which resulted to superfluous an unsustainable lifestyle and consumptions. Nigeria's economic and socio developmental track has since the exploration and boom of oil been determined and dependent on oil revenue led to the dearth of the most vital sector of being the largest labour employer, GDP contributor and the solid minerals (Watts, 2013:Iii). Indeed, the existing inadequacies and problems of Nigeria's federalism, especially on resource control and allocation have generated calls for fiscal federalism which most Nigerians commonly refer to as ‘true federalism' (Loughlin et al., 2013).


1) What is the level of resource control in Nigeria?

2) What is the impact of federalism on resource control in Nigeria?

3) What are other factors that influence resource control in Nigerian federal system?

4) What is the relationship between federalism and resource control in Nigeria?

5) What are the challenges of True federalism and Resource control in Nigeria?

6) What are solutions to the challenges of federalism and Resource control in Nigeria?


The main aim of the study is to examine problem and prospects: federalism and resource control in Nigeria Specific objectives of the study are:

1) To assess the level of resource control in Nigeria

2) To examine the impact of federalism on resource control in Nigeria

3) To determine other factors that influences resource control in Nigerian federal system.

4) To determine the relationship between federalism and resource control in Nigeria.

5) To examine the challenges of True federalism and Resource control in Nigeria.

6) To recommend solutions to the challenges of  federalism and Resource control in Nigeria


This study would enable the researcher to pass their experience on the subject matter to government Ministries, schools which includes students and lecturers to serve as a medium for further research.


The general scope of this study covers problem and prospects of federalism and resource control in Nigeria.


Research Design

According to Asika (2009), research designs are often referred to as the structuring of investigation aimed at identifying variables and their relationships to one another. In this study, questionnaire serves as useful guide to the effort of generating data for this study.

The research used descriptive survey design as the strategy or plan of action regarding events which upon implementation will enable the researcher to investigate the problem of this study. The study was designed in a systematic process of providing answer to the research questions and research objectives.

Population Of Study

The population of this study will comprise of selected staff of federal ministry of finance plateau state of Nigeria.

Sources Of Data

Data for this study will come from the primary and secondary data. The primary data will be generated through the field survey using structured questionnaire as a major research instrument. The secondary data on the other hand will be obtained from relevant literatures ranging from textbooks, journals, articles, periodicals, seminar paper .

Data Collection Instrument

In this study, questionnaire and interview is research instrument will be used. Given that most of the items in the questionnaire will be targeted to determining the respondents' views on the federalism and resource control in Nigeria. The questionnaires will be administered and distributed to the teenagers in selected areas in Nigeria. Questionnaire is the main research instrument that will be used for the study to gather necessary data from the sample respondents. The questionnaire will be structured in such a way that it provides answers to the research questions.

This instrument will be divided and limited into two sections; Section A and B. Section A deals with the personal data of the respondents while Section B contains research statement postulated in line with the research questions and hypotheses in chapter one. Options or alternatives will be provided for each respondent to pick or tick one of the options.

Validity And Reliability Of The Instrument

Onwumere (2005:66), defines validity as “the extent to which a measuring instrument on application performs the function for which it was designed.”  Validity is determined by the degree of provision of correct response from sample objects by the relevant research design or research instrument. To ascertain the validity of the instrument, content validity will be adopted, in which the researcher will subject the instrument to face validity by giving it to two research experts in Abuja, who will examine the items and make sure they are in line with the objectives of the study. The structure and language of the questionnaire will be modified in the light of their corrections. The instrument will be structured in such a way as to minimize the effect of errors like inconsistency and ambiguity.

Anyanwu (2000:87), defines reliability as “the ability of a particular measuring instrument to yield similar result when to the same situation at different times.” The reliability of instrument was determined by a reliability test through the use of Cronbach's Alpha to check the consistency of the intended measure. The Cronbach's Alpha coefficients for most of the constructs in the pilot study had an acceptable level of internal consistency based on the suggestion of Nunnally and Bernstein (2005). To solidify the reliability of the instruments, a pilot study of 20 questionnaires was carried out to evaluate the internal consistency of the instruments.

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