Public Administration Project Topics

True Federalism: A Panacea for Rapid Growth in Nigeria

True Federalism A Panacea for Rapid Growth in Nigeria

True Federalism: A Panacea for Rapid Growth in Nigeria

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.

Other specific objectives include:

  1. To determine how True Federalism can be practiced in Nigeria.
  2. To determine the factors that militate against True Federalism in Nigeria.
  3. To examine the effect of True Federalism on the economic growth of Nigeria.
  4. To recommend ways of improving True Federalism in Nigeria.




The dominant scholarly view-point tends to equate federalism with democracy. ‘True federalism’ says Wheare, can exist only where there is democracy; the absence of democracy is ipso facto the absence of ‘federalism’ even if we can observe the constitution and operation of a political system as being federal. A federal system demands forms of government which have the characteristics usually (associated) with democracy or free government. Dictatorship?. and its denial of free election is incompatible with the working of the federal principle (Wheare, 1946:47). Arguing in the same vein after an excellent study of the varied processes of constitutional change in Canada, USA, Australia and Switzerland, Livingstone declared:

Federal government presupposes a desire and an ability to secure the component units against encroachment by the central government. If the latter is an authoritarian dictatorship it is difficult to see how the safeguards of the federal structure can be worth much; the states would continue, perhaps to exercise their functions, but only on the sufferance of the central government? and at the mercy of the dictator (Livingstone, 1956). For Duchacek, democracy and federalism are always found together; federalism is the territorial dimension of democracy; competition between parties is a condition for federalism (Duchacek, 1970).

According to scholars of this intellectual persuasion, where the institutional and procedural indices of democracy-free elections and a party system with its guarantee of responsible opposition and constitutional checks and balances do not exist as in the case of military regime, there can be no true federalism.

However, Laski, under the psychology of the economic depression of the 1930s, drew attention to the issue which he made the title of an article, “The obsolescence of federalism”. For him, epoch of federalism was over. Federalism in its traditional form, with its compartmenting of functions, legalism, rigidity and conservatism was, he suggested unable to keep pace with the tempo of economic and political life that giant capitalism had evolved. Federalism was, he argued based on an outmoded economic philosophy, and was a handicap in an era when positive government action was required. Decentralized unitary government, he concluded, was much more appropriate to the new conditions of the twentieth century (Laski,1939:201). Sir Ivor Jennings, a noted British constitutionalist (who was to be an advisor in the 1940s and 1950s in the creation of several federations within the commonwealth) once wrote that nobody would have a federal constitution if he could possibly avoid it (Watts, 2000).

This skepticism was further generated in the 1950s by the unorthodox constitution of the Indian Federation which, in the light of Indian socio-economic and communal problems, strongly articulated the primacy of the central government, thus creating doubts among some students of Indian federalism whether India is a federation (Oyovbaire, 1985:19-22). Carnell ridiculed the classical federalist precepts by saying that federalism is a particular procedural machinery of western liberalism (Anyebe, 1995).





In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.


Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.


According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.

This study was carried to examine true federalism: a panacea for rapid growth growth in Nigeria. Residents in uyo form the population of the study.




This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.




It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the True federalism: a panacea for rapid growth in Nigeria. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing True federalism: a panacea for rapid growth in Nigeria


This study was on ascertain True federalism: a panacea for rapid growth in Nigeria. Three objectives were raised which included: To determine how True Federalism can be practiced in Nigeria, to determine the factors that militates against True Federalism in Nigeria, to examine the effect of True Federalism on the economic growth of Nigeria and to recommend ways of improving True Federalism in Nigeria. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from residents in Uyo. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).


In conclusion, the study on true federalism as a panacea for rapid growth in Nigeria underscores the critical importance of embracing a federal system that adheres to the principles of decentralization, autonomy, and cooperation among diverse regions. Nigeria’s historical experiences with centralized governance and ethnic tensions highlight the urgent need for a more inclusive and responsive approach to governance that can unlock the country’s immense economic potential.


Based on the findings of the study on true federalism as a panacea for rapid growth in Nigeria, the following recommendations are proposed to policymakers, stakeholders, and civil society actors:

  1. Initiate comprehensive constitutional reforms to strengthen the principles of true federalism, including a clear division of powers between the central government and subnational entities, and provisions for fiscal decentralization and resource control.
  2. Actively pursue the devolution of powers to states and local governments, empowering them to take greater responsibility for key areas such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and economic development.
  3. Implement measures to enhance fiscal decentralization, including the equitable distribution of revenue among states, the expansion of revenue sources for subnational entities, and the establishment of mechanisms for transparent and accountable fiscal management.
  4. Foster a culture of cooperation and collaboration among different levels of government to address common challenges and pursue shared objectives, including joint initiatives for infrastructure development, investment promotion, and poverty alleviation.


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