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POLITICAL SCIENCE

FEDERALISM IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT

IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT

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FEDERALISM IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT

CHAPITRE ONE

INTRODUCTION

Federalism, according to K.C Wheare, is a system of separating powers so that the central and regional administrations are each co-ordinate and independent within a sphere. He stated that the characteristics of this Federal Principle are the division of powers among levels of ,

a written constitution demonstrating this division of powers, and co-ordinate rather than sub-ordinate supremacy of the two levels of government with respect to their functions (K.C Wheare, 1953: 10).

The practice of federalism in Nigeria is one of the legacies bequeathed to Nigeria by the British colonial masters. Because federalism is concerned with the division of power between the central and component units, local government is a component in a federal system.

It is recognised as a third tier of government that is charged with responsibility at the grass roots. The constitution assigns specific powers to the local government, and the local government is to be independent in order to carry out all of its responsibilities without interference from the national government.

Nigeria's national integration difficulties are so severe that the Nigerian federation is on the verge of crumbling. The country's varied nature, along with the incorrect way of formation, gave rise to antagonistic and integrative processes.

Nigeria as a country came into being in 1914 as a result of the British fusion of the northern and southern protectorates. National integration is the ultimate goal that must be attained in a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria for any decent development to occur.

National integration, according to Chime [1971.50], is a process of cohesion between two or more social units in which these units come together to form a political whole that includes,

among other things, the joining of various parts of society into a functioning whole, the growth of obedience and loyalty to its pars, and the emergence of shared national values.

As a result, Nigeria would have received national unity in which obedience and loyalty to the Nigerian state exceed loyalty to its constituent sections. Citizens' social equality is thus implied by conception.

Federation is a type of government that outlines the connection between component components that are thought to have the capacity for unifying distinct cultural cultures; it is also a system of government that was implemented to improve national integration in Nigeria.

Religions instead participate in ethnicity, political struggle between socioeconomic classes, religious conflict, and so on, culminating in national integration difficulties that reached a height during the era of attempted succession and civil war.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria is fundamentally a plural society, with its component groups separated by substantial disparities in language, ethnicity, and culture, resulting in differences in attitude, viewpoint, and character. Faced with these challenges, Nigeria turned to federalism as a means of accomplishing its long-sought aim of national integration.

In essence, the approved federalism is supposed to minimise the enormously aggressive inter-ethnic struggle and conflict, relieve the often reported fear of dominance, bring government closer to the people, and provide greater chances to the various communities, thereby integrating the country.

Decentralisation of power among component parts is required for federation. It also required that no component unit be sufficiently large as to exclude others. The situation of Nigeria demonstrates that power is concentrated in the hands of the central government. On the other hand, structural imbalances exist between Nigeria's northern, eastern, and western regions.

As a result of this position, political influence is disproportionately in favour of the north over other religions. The subject of revenue allocation in Nigeria is fraught with complications.

As if all of these issues aren't enough for Nigeria federalism, the issue of onshore-offshore dichotomy, as well as the alarm raised about the marginalisation of all religions in Nigeria, are threatening the country's unity. As our research questions, we can summarise them as follows.

Is the system of income allocation the primary cause of Nigerian federalism's national integration crises?

Could true federalism in Nigeria help to solve the problem of national integration?

Could religion and ethnic loyalty be a significant barrier to Nigerian national integration?

1.2 Objectives of The Study

The study aims to, among other things,

To investigate the relationship between revenue allocation and Nigerian national integration.

To determine if the implementation of true federalism in Nigeria could aid in the resolution of the challenges.

To investigate the role of faiths, ethnic allegiance, and national integration in Nigeria.

1.3 Significance of the Research

It has become clear that without unity, Nigeria cannot achieve any serious development. Some of Nigeria's founding fathers saw federalism as a practical tool for achieving the aim of national unity.

The rationale was to test if there might be unity in diversity, implying that there might be ways to integrate varied ethnic groupings into a contemporary . Despite all attempts, the aims of national integration are not yet achievable due to the multiple issues inherent in Nigeria federalism.

It is thus the mission of this study to contribute significantly to the resolution of the problem of national integration. Aside from that, the effort will contribute to the body of research resources available for future research on federalism and national integration in Nigeria.

1.4 Literature Review

Much research has been conducted on the subject of federalism and its relationship to national integration. The majority of scholarly publications were unable to provide a complete examination of Nigerian federalism and its impact on national integration.

Despite the fact that some of them produced significant scientific contributions to knowledge from which a variety of conclusions can be drawn.

Federalism, as practiced in Nigeria, entered our political arena during the colonial era. The idea is strongly related to the numerous social relationships that are coordinative rather than subcoordinative. It promotes collaboration among groups with equal legitimacy claims who seek a common social order.

According to Jinadu, [1979:15], it is often established as a type of governance and constitutional structure purposefully designed by political architects to deal with the difficult problem of maintaining unity while preserving variety.

When it comes to Nigerian federalism, two schools of thought have formed. The first school of thought held that the British imposed federalism on Nigeria in order to preserve neocolonial control of the country after the mantle was lowered.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a devout federalist, referred to the British-imposed federal system as an abhorrent damaging and dividing British legacy, Awolowo, [1968:69].

They also argued that the colonial power left enough organised imperfection behind to stymie inter-ethnic interactions after independence. However, this school's view of imposition is not entirely impartial, as Nigerians concerned consented for her to become a federal state.

The second school of thought holds that historical and geographical variables shape Nigerian federalism's political evolution. Nigeria, being a big and culturally diverse country, could not have been controlled for a long time from a single headquarters, according to Akinyemi (1979:91).

This viewpoint is incorrect, as it is now time for historical and geographical considerations to dictate Nigeria's constitutional evolution more than anything else.

Ethnicity is an important factor to consider while discussing the structure of Nigerian federalism and national integration in general. It has been characterised as a social phenomena linked with contact among members of different ethnic groups, referring to social formations identified by the communal character of their boundaries, with language, culture, or both as shared characteristics,

Nnoli (1973:58). Nigeria is a country made up of many ethnic groups with different physical backgrounds, ancestry, and traditions. Nnoli goes on to highlight various characteristics that distinguish one from ethnocentrism, which simply means pride in one's tribe, a hindrance that causes group members to be inward gazing.

He believes that ethnicity exists in a political society made up of several ethnic groupings. It is also distinguished by a shared awareness of being one in respect to the other groups.

Impulsiveness can be seen as a trait of ethnicity, which, as previously said, is usually associated by nepotism and corruption. Conflict is also regarded as a significant part of ethnicity.

According to him, it is unavoidable in conditions of interethnic competition for rare valued resources, especially in a society where inequality is viewed as natural and wealth is extensively traded.

Several efforts have been made to correct these societal irregularities, and as Ibrahim Babangida stated from an anthropological and sociological standpoint, Nigeria is a complicated society, and nation in Nigeria must be a need because it is a complex and costly undertaking.

Eleigwa (1995:5) and Nnoli (1978) both anticipated that Nigeria's recovery would be difficult. According to him, an acceptable solution to Nigeria's ethnic problems must stem logically from thorough scientific assessments of the roots of ethnicity's creation, persistence, and growth in the country.

In his lecture, Towards a Greater Nigeria, Ojukwu stated that national integration cannot be done by providing setaceous speeches; rather, appropriate approaches will include de-emphasizing tribe and ethnic origin in all government papers, and that no Nigeria should offer any kind of instability.

However, Ema Awa [1976] observed that federalism entails cooperation between the two levels of government, with the extent and amount of such cooperation increasing as the federation evolves.

Bargaining becomes increasingly crucial as the federation grows in strength. As he went on to explain, there are always some tensions between the regions and the federal government, as well as between the regions themselves.

After reviewing the extant literature on federalism, it was discovered that while the authors made significant contributions, they did not provide a thorough of the problem of Nigerian federalism as it affects national unity.

Following on from this, the topic of national integration must eventually arise when delving into the definition of federalism. As a result, it became necessary to examine the contributions made by some intellectuals on national integration.

Duuelger views national integration as fostering solidarity and reducing antagonism among citizens in a political system. It specifically refers to the development of a feeling of territorial rationality that eclipses local loyalty.

Chime defines national integration as a process of coherence between two or more social units in which those units come together to form a political whole, which can be regarded as community in some situations.

In his book Cultural Engineering and Nation Building in East Africa 1902, Ali Mazrui defines national integration as the process of bringing together disparate entities into a shared sense of national consciousness.

In the same vein, De Uree defines integration as the combination and autonomous social and political problems arising among its members, for controlling their behaviour and the processes occurring among them, for keeping peace among them, and or mobilising their power or resources for making collection decisions,

and acting as a new unit with respect to its social or physical environment as a result of all of this. Prior to these definitions, integration would be regarded of as the process of strengthening the capability of a social or political system based on decision making.

National growth is linked to national integration. It is typically used as a platform for national growth. Only in an atmosphere of cooperation and togetherness can development be realised.

Where everyone feels a sense of belonging and wishes to give his or her fair share to the advancement of national goals.

As stated by O. Aboyade (1976:16) stated in his book, Issues in the Development of Tropical Africa, that development is fundamentally a continual process of creating and more efficiently allocating resources for larger social gratifying purposes.

While political development refers to a people's general ability to govern themselves efficiently, this ability to govern also refers to the ability to extract resources and make and control decisions. It also implies the ability to solve society problems and resolve disagreements.

If a society is capable of doing all of the above, it will almost surely lead to economic development for that country.

Finally, after reviewing the available literatures on federalism and national integration, it was discovered that some of them may explain the feasibility of accomplishing national integration to some level.

However, in this study, we will attempt to investigate the feasibility and adaptability of federalism to the arduous work of constructing a coherent nation out of desperate and combative Nigerians.

1.5 Theoretical Structures

Theoretical frameworks are particularly beneficial in research work since they improve internal activity. With this in mind, there are numerous theories utilised in the field of political science for study analysis; nevertheless, we shall employ David Easton's system theory.

Scholars regard Ifesinachi's theory as a collection of connected parts and their interrelationships, which are separated from those elements that are not part of the system by ambiguous analytic boundaries.

The theory explains the component of the system composed of groups, individuals, or locations where the frequency of a specific pattern of interaction falls to a visible degree.

Interdependence is the system's unifying factor since stability and subsequent growth can only be accomplished when all of the system's components operate together.

To analyse this work using David Easton's system theory, Easton [2002] defines a political system as “that system of interacting in any society through which binding or authoritative allocations are made and implemented.”

[Easton in Okere 2002:98] This implies that an organisation interacting with an environment, influencing it and being influenced by it, as well as many interacting internal parts that constitute parts of the arrangement that the soci

Easton's conceptions of political system include three essential components: authoritative allocation, values, and society. At this point, a brief application of this theory to the Nigerian political environment before and after independence is required.

The theory would be used in this study because, in Nigeria, as in any other third-world federative system, the power to allocate the country's resources is essentially concentrated at the central government, [federal level],

which is the hierarchy of authority [federal level, state and local government], with the central government sitting on top of other levels in revenue allocation.

This is primarily owing to the country's prolonged military administration, which has been one of the country's scourges. All groups and cleavages must come together for the country to experience genuine unity and subsequent development, because no portion of the system can function efficiently and maximally without relying on the other components.

1.6 Theories

It is essential to develop some guiding hypotheses. The hypotheses thus developed are.

The manner of revenue allocation is a crucial issue contributing to the crisis of national integration in Nigerian federalism.

Federalism in Nigeria could aid in addressing the issue of national integration.

Religious and ethnic attachments pose significant risks to national collapse.

1.7 Data Collection/Analysis Methods

We used secondary sources of data as the primary strategy in this investigation. This is justified by its inherent virtues. Empiricism must be complemented with reliable and scientific evidence and ideas for any research to be significant.

Secondary materials such as textbooks, research papers, government publications, newspapers, periodicals, and so on will be heavily used.

1.8 Limitations of the Study

The primary issues encountered during this study were material shortage and inaccessibility. However, the study was completed effectively due to the extra efforts made to obtain more resources and materials for analyses.

1.9 Definitions of Terms

Some fundamental concepts will be used in this study. National integration and federalism are two of these principles.

National cohesion
National integration necessitates the existence of national consciousness, or the sense of individual or group identity inside the nation state as the only political unit through which their collective interests may be realised.

National integration thus entails patriotism, which a cry for supremacy necessitates on the part of the entire populace for the entire country whenever the necessity arises.

Federalism
Federalism refers to a system in which powers within a multinational country are shared between a federal or central authority and a number of regionalized governments, with each unit, including the central authority, functioning as a government separate and apart from the others.

The constitution specifies the division of power among the tiers of government. The centre and the component units [regions, states] have specified areas of authority, powers, and responsibilities that are shared among the levels of government, which are coordinates. Powers shared among levels might be classified as exclusive list, concurrent list, or residual list.

List of exclusives
Defence, internal affairs, national currency, immigration, maritime activities, aviation, and other topics are kept for the centre [federal government].

The List of Concurrent Events
Subjects here are to be exercised by both the federal and state governments. Agriculture, health, trade, education, and work are some examples.

List of Remaining Items
This covers responsibilities that are only performed by the state/unit government, such as chieftaincy titles.

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