Background of the Study
Nigeria claims to be practicing Federalism but the type of Federalism it is practicing is not Federalism in the real sense of its meaning.
Federalism in Nigeria roots back to the amalgamation of the southern and northern protectorates of Nigeria in 1914 by Lord Lugard; though it was the Leyttleton’s constitution of 1954 that brought a ray of what Federalism is all about and by extension the provisions of the 1999 constitution describes expressively the tenets of the Federal system of government; with Nigeria having three tiers: the federal, state and local government.
Federalism is one form of government that supports the sharing of power between the central and state governments with no interference of either of them in their affairs. True Federalism is not about the central government being more powerful than the state government even down to the distribution of wealth This is because the powers of both the central and state governments stem from the constitution, where their autonomies are clearly spelt out.
Federalism is a form of government that is best practiced in a heterogeneous ethnic society like Nigeria; Federalism is about unity in diversity.
Nigeria consisting of people with diverse languages, different religion, different climate, different culture, etc need to practice True Federalism to aid socio-economic development.
The Federal government not exercising more power than the state government; rather allowed to control the affairs of the state to its advantage and for the betterment of the country at large.
However, for Nigeria to have sustainable development, national integration and equitable distribution of its resources, True Federalism must be adopted. The state governments must take their eyes off the central government, and vice versa so they can effectively discharge their duties (Kenneth Wheare, 1963).
Meanwhile, for Nigeria to experience rapid growth in all its sectors ‘True Federalism’ is the way out.
Statement of the Problem
It is obvious on how states in Nigeria are not allowed to control their affairs without the interference of the central government. There are not allowed to maximize their resources for the good of the state; rather they are made to rely on the allocation from the Federal government which is not sufficient to meet the needs of the state.
However, the Federal government has failed to offer good governance through equitable distribution of wealth. Some states are given certain privileges than the other. A good example is the people of Niger Delta who contribute immensely to revenue generation of Nigeria through the supply of crude oil; yet they have poor roads, unstable power supply, poor health services, degraded environment etc.
In addition, the northern part of the government seems to enjoy much allocation than other states, even down to political appointments (Muhammed, 2008: p44). The purpose of the federal character is forfeited, thus bridging the law of True Federalism.
Another major problem of True Federalism is corruption. Corruption is a factor that has eaten deep into the Nigeria system. When a power is controlled someone from a particular ethnic group or community, the persons tend to accumulate wealth just for members of this community neglecting other communities.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this research is to discover how True Federalism can be a panacea for rapid growth in Nigeria.