Fiscal Federalism: The Bane of Socio-Economic and Political Development in Nigeria

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Since 1914 when the incongruous people from different parts were brought together in the name of amalgamation, the country Nigeria has not actually been acting as one Nigeria. Though the country came together with the principle of federalism and its workability, the empirical study has shown that there is no unity in diversity as earlier envisaged. The typical Nigerian is a self interest person of me, I and myself, very nepotic and ethnic oriented personality. However the economic autonomies of federalism has also not been fully implemented as started by the principle of federalism. This has brought some acrimony among some sections of the country as they demand to control their resources or have greater share of the revenues therefrom. Also the unity of Nigeria has been questioned due to the cognitive phenomenon, thereby replacing meritocracy with mediocrity. This paper seeks to analyze the federalism alongside Nigeria polity and revenue/resource allocation vis-à-vis the unity of Nigerian and proffer means for lasting peaceful resolution.              
Key Words Fiscal Federalism, Politics of Revenue Allocation, Socio-Economic Development, Political Development
Nigeria is a nation brought together by the British government (our colonial masters) not out of cultural affinity, nor religious belief, not even due to ethnic bondage, nor geographical location, neither due to economic development nor administrative uniformity, not even due to social understanding nor tribal resemblances or identity.  It was merely due to political convenience. Hence, the British creation of the country - Nigeria and the amalgamation of Southern and Northern protectorate in 1914 gave birth to the social problems and lack of unity in Nigeria. The problems of Nigeria started by amalgamating incongruous people together. The imperialistic ideology of our colonial masters contributed greatly to the problems of unity in political and social life of Nigerian people. The issue of conglomeration of different Nigerians into a unified national system called federation has been a very serious issue of discourse. In other words, the concept of federalism is the main problem of unity in the political and social system in Nigeria. 
    Though there may be so many postulations as to the political and social problems of Nigeria, but for the concise attention of this paper we would concentrate on political issues regarding  federalism, revenue distribution and the inherent unity. Political issues are such issues concerning power and its acquisition (Chikendu 2005), but  lasswell (1936) aptly summarized political issues as such issues involving who gets what, when and how for the purpose of acquiring power or position to effect decisions which is being guided by individuals or groups. For Ujo (2004), it  is the process of reconciling interest in organized group while Easton in Nnoli (2003) believes that political issues are the issues of authoritative allocation of resources. Social issues are such issues that relate to the well being of the people, and they are such issues as health management, education, shelter, industrialization and employment, portable water, and electricity etc. All the factors that would enhance development and alleviate poverty are related to socio political problems. They include such factors that enhance the standard of living and increases per capita income of the people within the society.
 Federalism is a situation or political setting of federal political orders where authority is divided between sub-unit and the centre (Onah, 2006). The sub-units maintain some elements of authorities, especially, as regards resource control and governance.

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Ugwu, A. (2018). Fiscal Federalism: The Bane of Socio-Economic and Political Development in Nigeria. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Ugwu, Anderson "Fiscal Federalism: The Bane of Socio-Economic and Political Development in Nigeria" Afribary. Afribary, 29 Jan. 2018, Accessed 08 Dec. 2023.


Ugwu, Anderson . "Fiscal Federalism: The Bane of Socio-Economic and Political Development in Nigeria". Afribary, Afribary, 29 Jan. 2018. Web. 08 Dec. 2023. < >.


Ugwu, Anderson . "Fiscal Federalism: The Bane of Socio-Economic and Political Development in Nigeria" Afribary (2018). Accessed December 08, 2023.