Tiers of Government in Nigeria
growth between the military and civilian period in Nigeria. It employs Babalola BTA, Salako M. A., Yusuf S. A., Egbekunle S. O. as follows; section two reviews the related literature, section three focuses on . revenue brings about new level of government expenditure, which necessitates higher taxation. The first area of cooperation or relationship among the three tiers of government in Nigeria is the area of power sharing. As it has been noted. The African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM) primary published and unpublished reports of government and . (finance and manpower) and productivity levels in the Nigerian public service . Table 6 reveals that between and , three years of President Shagari's.
The power sharing relationship This is the first area of the relationship among the tiers of the government in Nigeria. Each of the tiers has a type of an important list.
There are three types: The exclusive list can be considered as a symbol of power. The concurrent list belongs to the federal and state governments. The residual belongs to the states.
The "power sharing" means that even though there are certain lists that belong to each tier, the responsibilities can be shifted among them in order to get better results. For example, even though primary education is in the list of the state government, other tiers can take it up when needed.
The power sharing relationship between the tiers means more productivity which is a great thing for the country, if you ask us. However, it leads to another area of cooperation. Revenue sharing or allocation This means that there are taxes that are collected by one tier of government on behalf of another.
It mostly occurs when the power and responsibilities for certain areas are shifted between tiers, like during the "power sharing" times. It is common to have revenue sharing or allocation between the federal government and one of the other tiers. It means that they are only responsible for issues on the local level. It is also known that the federal government is empowered by the Constitution and can have a significant impact on local government matters.
The big impact of the federal government on the local government matters was the cause of dispute between many Nigerians. In the last few years, there were some issues in the relationship between the local and federal governments. The implication is that no religion should be accorded primacy over the others. Some Muslims have questioned the secular nature of the Nigerian state by insisting that colonial rule, under the tutelage of both the Church of England and the State of England, created a more Christian than secular Nigerian state.
Many of these Muslims feel that they are not being accorded their freedom of religion as enshrined in Section 35 of the Constitution. As a compromise solution, the Constitution prohibits any tier of government from adopting an official religion; it also provides that states may elect to use Islamic Sharia customary law and courts.
The establishment of the state Sharia Court and Sharia Court of Appeal as well as thier constitution, practices, and procedure are governed by Sections and of the Constitution. Mutual suspicions among religious groups especially between Christians and Muslims have on occasion raised the political temperature of the polity.
Under colonial rule Nigeria had, in effect, six constitutions: After independence, Nigerian governments authorized the writing of five constitutions: Nigeria officially became a federation inafter a series of stages of constitutional engineering, and it remains the oldest surviving federation in Africa.
The federation neither emerged through a contract between states nor as a voluntary union of a number of originally independent states;3 rather, the modern history of Nigeria, as a political state, dates from the middle of the nineteenth century, when parts of what later became known as Nigeria came under the British colonial sphere of influence through charters granted to British companies and the eventual completion of the British conquest in Initially, there were three separate territories that were treated as separate entities: In Britain revoked the company charters so that it could administer each of these territories more directly.
These territories were brought under unified administrative control with the amalgamation of the Colony of Lagos Protectorate and the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria inand then with the amalgamation of the Protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria with the Colony of Lagos in to form the Protectorate of Nigeria, with its capital in Lagos. The dissatisfaction of Nigerian nationalists with the unitary nature of this Constitution and with the level of Nigerian participation led to a number of constitutional reforms.
The MacPherson Constitution, after another British governorcreated a quasi-federal Nigeria, and this was followed by the Lyttleton Constitution, after the then British secretary of state for the colonieswhich confirmed the Nigerian colonial state as a federation. As the prospects for independence approached, Nigerian politicians mobilized for competitive politics largely on ethnic and geo-ethnic lines. Mutual fears and suspicions of domination among these different ethnic and geo-ethnic groups generated intense pressures on the colonial administration for a more federal Nigeria.
This was a factor in the nature of the distribution of powers and responsibilities in the and Constitutions. After the Nigerian Civil War inNigerians reacted negatively to the earlier dualistic federalism of the s and its weak federal government, which they felt had encouraged secessionist bids from subnational groups.
The Federal Government which ought to give lead to the whole country was relegated to the background. As a matter of fact, a number of factors led to the centralization of political power under military rule, making it easy for subsequent constitutions to be designed in favour of the central government.
Given this background, it is easy to understand why the ostensibly civilian Constitution of tilted in favour of the federal government in its distribution of powers and responsibilities. The Constitution drew its inspiration from the previous military regimes, which umpired the transition to democratic rule. In the process, the outgoing military regime considered certain sections to be in the interest of the nation and entrenched them. As an illustration, the Land Use Decree - vesting ownership of land in government on behalf of the people -- was entrenched in the Constitution in spite of opposition to it.
In the next military government, that of General Ibrahim Babangida, set up a constitution review committee to review the Constitution. A constituent assembly was then inaugurated to debate the draft. The CA was precluded from deliberating on these issues, with regard to which the military regime felt that Nigeria had already arrived at a consensus. The Draft Constitution, although the result of a national constitutional conference, was inspired by the military regime of General Sani Abacha.
This draft constitution, unlike those of andtried to revisit the issue of the distribution of powers and responsibilities within the federation. It revised the legislative list and clearly established a state legislative list under which agriculture and education which used to be in the concurrent list were included. His successor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, set up the twenty-five-member Constitution Debate Collating Committee in November to review the and other constitutions and to come up with a new draft constitution.
The Constitution of was promulgated on 29 May Many Nigerians believe that this Constitution suffers a crisis of ownership because, when it was created, there was not even a pretence of general public participation.
It is this Constitution that I use as the basis of my discussion. Each level of government has constitutionally guaranteed autonomy in the area in which it operates. The exclusive legislative list has sixty-eight items, while the concurrent legislative list has twelve.
The exclusive legislative list includes: However, all matters not identified in the exclusive federal, concurrent, and the local government lists come under the jurisdiction of the states. These residual powers are in fact extensive. They include, among others, health services, rural development, and social welfare.
Nevertheless, states complain that the federal government has too much power and that the legislative lists should be revised in their favour. I return to this issue below.
The fiscal and monetary powers of each tier of government have also been delineated, especially by Decree No. State taxing powers cover personal income taxes pay-as-you-earn or direct taxation or assessment ; withholding tax individuals only ; capital gains tax individuals only ; stamp duties as instruments executed by individuals; entertainment tax pools, betting, and lotteries as well as gaming and casino taxes ; property tax, market taxes, and levies where state finances are involvedalong with naming of street registration fees at state capitals.
The Constitution expects local government councils to generate their revenues, in part, from: The distribution is both vertical in terms of federal-state-local and horizontal in terms of allocation among the states. The revenue formula inherited by the civilian administration in May for sharing the FA vertically among tiers of government breaks down as follows: When the Supreme Court declared the 7.
State and local governments rejected the amendments contained in the presidential order. This led to another presidential order in Julystipulating a new revenue formula: The local governments, and later the RMAFC, accused the state governments of misinterpreting and misusing the constitutional powers given to them in Section of the Constitution, which provides for the redistribution of funds to the local government councils in each state.
The state governments were alleged to have been illegally deducting funds meant for the local governments. An interesting aspect of Nigerian federation is its approach to the management of the economy. In the first and second republics the civilian leaders believed in development planning as a technique of managing economic development.
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Since then, succeeding military regimes have abandoned development planning and have opted for three-year rolling plans. Even under the Obasanjo civilian government i. This means that states must get the approval of the federal government in order to borrow money to execute their programs, whether from within Nigeria or from external sources.
This issue has become contentious given the mounting internal and external debt profiles of states and local governments. Recall that all revenues in the federation first go into the FA, from where they are shared.
The president felt that many state and local governments were heavily in debt as a result of internal and external loans.
He then proceeded to deduct these debts at source, thus leaving some states and local governments with zero statutory allocation from the FA. A Supreme Court judgment declared this illegal: The RMAFC has suggested that, for the next twenty years, no tier of government should borrow money; but this call is unlikely to be heeded. Each level operates relatively autonomously. However, years of military rule, with its hierarchical character, seem to have robbed the current federation of its pyramidal structure.
Relationship between the three tiers of government in Nigeria
Some Nigerians have argued that the excessive centralization of political and financial powers under military regimes has encouraged the federal government to take adventurous excursions into areas such as rural development e. Under the distribution of powers in the Constitution Nigeria is a centralized federation with strong unitary elements.
Currently, there are complaints about the overcentralization of power in the federal government the product of long periods of military rule. Their argument is one of subsidiarity: While Governor Tinubu of Lagos has argued for a state police force, Governor Dariye of Plateau State cannot imagine spending his meagre resources on maintaining a large force.
Similarly, there is a general outcry from subnational units over the current revenue allocation formula. However, there is a general view among Nigerians that there is a high level of complacency among the three tiers of government over revenue generation.
By statutory allocation from the FA accounted for between 46 percent to 95 percent of the annual budget of states. Only the states of Lagos and Kano generated up to 40 percent of annual budget revenues from internal sources. The situation has gotten worse, even though a few states are making some positive efforts to generate funds from internal sources.
This is because each government is heavily dependent on the statutory allocation from the FA, which is predominantly petroleum-based. Furthermore, many Nigerians are unhappy about the pattern of imprudent expenditure at all levels of government. Also relevant is the gap between constitutional provisions and the operation of the federation. An illustration of this is the election to local government councils, which was due to be held in December No elections were held until the expiry of the term of these councils in Maypartly because state governors and the ruling political parties did not want new elections at this level.
As an interim measure, and contrary to the constitutional provisions, state governors and the president met and decided on interim local government administrations under caretaker committees.
This action was taken in spite of the advice of the federal attorney-general regarding the unconstitutionality of such an action. Shortly afterwards, the president announced a panel to review the local government system, yet another action regarded by many legal experts as unconstitutional. Eventually, elections to local government councils were held in Aprildogged by complaints of electoral malpractice. Unfortunately, the absence of elected local government councils gave some state governors the opportunity to appoint their political minions in a caretaker capacity.
More disturbing still are the allegations that many state governors have diverted statutory FA allocations from local government councils to state coffers. This has hindered the level of development at the local, or grassroots, level, where most Nigerians live.
The first period is ; the second is ; and the third is While the federal system in Nigeria was introduced inthe country did not become independent until The impact of mutual suspicions and fears among ethnic and geo-ethnic groups in the terminal colonial period affected the distribution of powers among the three tiers of government.
Relationship between the three tiers of government in Nigeria ▷ dayline.info
The regions were more autonomous than they were at the terminal colonial period; that is to say, the autonomy of the regions increased after independence. Agriculture and education except postsecondary were on the residual list. On the concurrent jurisdiction list was the maintenance of law and order. The and Constitutions had regional constitutions appended to them.
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In the operation of the federation, the regions often displayed their autonomy in various ways. Each region had a deputy high commissioner or regional agent in London who operated as though he represented a different country.
In addition, the regions often interfered in areas that were the specific preserve of the federal government such as foreign affairs. Infor example, Israel gave scholarships to some Nigerian students to study in Israel. While the Eastern and Western Regions accepted these scholarships, the Northern Region rejected them because it did not recognize the State of Israel.
Interregional squabbles over the revenue allocation formula, and the allocation and location of industries such as the iron and steel complex under the National Economic Council, were reflections of the intensely centrifugal nature of the Nigerian federation.
The North had threatened to secede from the federation in if it did not receive 50 percent of the membership of the Legislative Council in Lagos. This was followed by two and a half years of civil war, which cost Nigeria an estimated one million lives.
After the civil war, General Gowon and his military government embarked on an aggressive centralization of power in order to enable the federal government to keep the country together and to give Nigeria a sense of direction.
Thus from through to the emphasis of successive leaders was on how to strengthen the central government in order to avoid the aggressive centrifugal tendencies of the federation under the First Republic.
By the central government had become so strong under military rule that emerging politicians began to complain of federal suffocation of the states. This centralization became more manifest in when General Sani Abacha, following the incarceration of Chief M. Abiola, the alleged winner of the June presidential election which was annulled Opposition groups especially Yorubas began to push for a sovereign national conference to discuss the future of the Nigerian federation.
They opted for a loose federation, like the one that had existed under the and Constitutions. It was in this context that General Abacha convened a national constitutional conference in The result of this conference was a two-volume publication: The draft Constitution, which was never promulgated, revised the legislative lists, giving states functions that they had not had in the and Constitutions.
The Constitution was promulgated on 29 Maythe day the military handed over power to the new civilian rulers. As noted above, even the new rulers had not been able to read in advance the Constitution they were expected to operate and defend. In sum, the logic of the distribution of powers and responsibilities in the Nigerian federation has involved the desire to strengthen the federal government sufficiently to provide an overarching umbrella under which all groups can be accommodated.
Like all federations, Nigeria has had to make adjustments.
Often the federal pendulum has tended to alternate between two extremes, depending on whether the pressure was coming from centrifugal or centripetal forces. The greatest inspiration for a centripetal federal constitution has been the military, which is always a major contestant in the Nigerian power equation. Successive military leaders have clearly pointed out that, if Nigeria is not to experience a repetition of its fratricidal war of the late s, then it must have a strong federal government - strong enough to be interventionist and to keep the country together.
This was partly why General Gowon25 opted for a federation with a strong federal government, and why General Murtala Mohammed and his team preferred a presidential rather than a parliamentary system of government. They wanted to avoid a politically split executive which they felt was a danger in a parliamentary systemand they believed that a presidential system would be more likely to provide effective leadership. Since the civil war the objective in the distribution of powers has been to strengthen the federal government politically and economically in order to enable it to intervene in essential policy areas and to keep the country together.
At the same time, behind the distribution of powers and responsibilities lies the principle that each tier of government has political, social, and economic obligations. While the federal government has the cardinal responsibility for the security of the state and of lives and property, each tier of government has social welfare and developmental functions. Revenue allocation is a concurrent matter shared by both federal and state governments.
Unfortunately, in many essential areas, there have, in practice, been few intergovernmental relations over the past four years. It should be noted that Nigeria operates as a symmetrical federation.
Thus, even with regard to the sharing of FA resources among the states, the federal equality of states has been a cardinal principle. Since colonial times all changes in the legislative lists have occurred as the result of a new constitution or traumatic changes such as military coups.
These have usually had an adverse impact on the polity. However, Section 9 2 of the Constitution does provide avenues for altering or amending the Constitution. So far, Constitution has not been amended, even though there have been loud demands for its review and the National Assembly has struck a committee for this purpose. While the Supreme Court has interpreted constitutional provisions and, in some cases, has given landmark judgments, the major changes to the distribution of constitutional responsibilities have occurred after a military coup, at which point a new constitution is usually written or the old one amended.
This always constitutes an attempt to bring the Constitution in line with a military mode of governance. Thus, the Constitution was amended only after the January military coup. The Constitution was replaced by the Constitution, which made drastic changes to the distribution of powers and responsibilities among tiers of government.
The Constitution was replaced by the current Constitution on 29 May Currently, the National Assembly has a constitutional review committee mandated to review the Constitution. Given that the political process is regularly punctuated by military coups, a legislative culture of making non-military amendments to the Constitution is yet to be adequately established. Indeed, while the National Assembly Constitution Review Committee is currently working on possible amendments to the Constitution, there have been demands from some sectors of the society for a national conference leading to a new constitution - one that would be owned by the people.
An Overview The year marked the definitive federalization of Nigeria. In that year the Nigerian Marketing Board was regionalized and regional executives and legislatures began to operate. The Constitution was different from the Constitution, especially as it provided for a federal arrangement with two legislative lists: All subject areas not covered by the two lists were residual and were reserved for the regions.
In the event that federal law conflicted with regional laws, the former was to take precedence. The Constitution presented sweeping concessions to regionalism. It provided for a weak federal government as it reserved for the regions an extensive range of matters not included in the exclusive federal and concurrent lists.
Regions became semi-independent entities, each with an independent judiciary, a civil service, and other organs of government. As mentioned above, the Independence Constitution of gave the federal government exclusive legislative powers over forty-four items, including defence, external affairs, aviation, currency, Lagos affairs, customs, mines, external borrowing, and shipping.
Twenty-eight items were placed on the concurrent list, and these included the judiciary, police, health, the civil service and higher education. However, the regions were granted a large measure of autonomy in all matters outside the exclusive and concurrent lists, and were empowered to maintain good government and law and order. The Republican Constitution of did not really make changes regarding distribution of powers between the federal government and the regions.
As inSection 64 4 stipulated that, when a regional law conflicted with a federal law, it was the federal law that was to take precedence. But there were other provisions relating to emergency powers and the creation of states. Under Section 65 of the Constitution, the federal legislature had the power, at any time, to make laws for Nigeria or any part of it on all matter whatsoever for the purpose of maintaining or securing peace, order, and good government during any period of emergency.
This meant that, in spite of the constitutional distribution of powers, the federal government could usurp the powers of the regions in order to make laws during emergencies. In the federal government declared a state of emergency in the Western Region and appointed an administrator for that region. This process actually started in with the fragmentation of the regions from three into four.
This was augmented from 4 into 12 infrom 12 into 19 infrom 19 into 21 infrom 21 into 30 inand from 30 into 36 in As noted, since all the military regimes in Nigeria have pursued the idea of a federation with a strong central government organized hierarchically to coincide with the command structure of the military.