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The problem of federalism and the associated crises of national integration
in Nigeria raise serious alarm. The situation attracts growing interest and
concern. The crises are very severing such that they culminate in a strong
force being mounted on the federation with tendency to disintegrate the
country. The works addresses this phenomenon by investigating and
analysing the problem. Documentary research method is used in gathering
and analysing data. So textbooks, journals, periodical publications by related
government agencies formed necessary source of our data while we
employed system theory for pour analytical framework. The work identifies
the method of revenue allocations as the major factor responsible for the
crises of national integration in the Nigerian federalism. It concludes that in
face in this problem, harmonious unification or integration cannot take
place, political system cannot successfully adapt to both internal and
external environment such that the survival of the system is difficult. The
work recommends among others that federalism is the ultimate solution to
the problems of national integration, so federal character and other related
approaches should be effectively enforced. Again the current unjustifiable
method of revenue allocation should be reformed to reflect justice, equity
and fairness.
August 26 2013
Table of contents
Title Page i
Approval Page ii
Certification iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgment v
Abstract: vi
Table of Contents: vii
Chapter One: Introduction
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Statement of Problem 2
1.2 Objective of Study 4
1.3 Significance of Study 5
1.4 Literature Review 6
1.5 Theoretical Framework 13
1.6 Hypotheses 15
1.7 Method of Data Collection/ Analyses 16
1.8 Limitation of Study 17
.9 Conceptual Definitions 17
Chapter Two: Revenue Allocation and the Problem of National
Integration in Nigeria Federalism
2.0 Revenue Allocation and the Crises of National integration
In Nigerian Federalism: 20
2.1 Resource Allocation 20
2.2 Northern Domination and the Bogey of Power Sharing 24
2.3 Inequality created by Ethnicity 27
2.4 Structural imbalance and the issue of Restructuring 30
Chapter Three: Federalism and the Problem of National Integration
in Nigeria
3.0 Federalism and the problem of National integration 33
3.1 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) 34
3.2 The Federal character Principle 37
3.3 The Creation of States 39
3.4 The Mass Mobilization for Social Justice, Self Reliance and
Economic Recovery (MAMSER) 43
Chapter Four: Religious and Ethnic Loyalties and National
4.0 Religious and Ethnic Loyalties and National integration 46
4.1 Inter ethnic Rivalries and National integration in Nigeria 46
4.2 Religious Loyalties and National integration 48
Chapter Five: Summary /Conclusion and Recommendation
5.1 Summary 51
5.2 Conclusion 53
5.3 Recommendation 54
Bibliography 57
Journals/ Articles
Newspapers/ Magazines
PS/2009/ 270
Chapter One
The crises of national integration in Nigeria are very severing such
that the Nigerian federation is at its collapsing point. The heterogeneous
nature of the country combines with the improper mode of the country’s
formation gave rise to antagonistic and integrative processes.
Nigeria as a country came into corporate existence in 1914, as a result
of the fusion between the northern and southern protectorates by the British.
National integration is the ultimate goal to be achieved in a multi ethnic
country like Nigeria for there to be any reasonable development,.
According to Chime, [1971.50], national integration is a process of
cohesion between two or more social units, whereby these units come
together to constitute a political whole which include 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. It follows, that Nigeria would have received national unity where
obedience and loyalties to the Nigerian state, transcend loyalties to its parts.
Thus conceptualization implies social equality of citizens.
Federation is a system of government adopted to enhance national
integration in Nigeria; it is also a form of government that defines the
relationship between component parts assumed to have the potential for
integrating diverse cultural societies. The religions rather engage in
ethnicity, political struggle by social classes, religious conflict etc, which
culminate in the crises of national integration that reached climax during the
period of the attempted succession and civil war.
1.1 Statement of Problem
Nigeria is essentially a plural society, its component groups are
separated apart from each other by significant differences of language,
ethnicity, and cultures of Nigeria created differences in attitude, outlook and
Faced with these problems, Nigeria adopted federalism as a means of
achieving its much needed goal of national integration. In essence the
federalism so adopted is expected to reduce the immensely aggressive inter
ethnic competition and tension, allay the usually alleged fear of domination,
bringing government nearer to the people and give the different groups more
opportunities, thereby integrating the country.
Federation requires decentralization of power among the component
units. It also requires that no component unit should be as large in size as to
eliminate others. The case of Nigeria shows that power is concentrated in the
central government. On the other parts, there exist structural imbalance
between the northern, the east and west of Nigeria. This situation therefore
by majority, political power is proportionately in favour of the north above
other religions. The issue of revenue allocation in Nigeria is not without its
own problems. As if all these problems are not enough for Nigeria
federalism, the issue of on shore offshore dichotomy and equally the alarm
raised about the marginalization from all religion in Nigeria are by setting
the unity of the country.
We can summarily state the under following as our research questions.
1. Is the method of revenue allocation the major factor responsible for
the crises of national integration in the Nigerian federalism?
2. Could the practice of true federalism in Nigeria alleviate the problem
of national integration?
3. Could religion and ethnic loyalties be a major challenge in national
integration in Nigeria?
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The research is set out to among other things
1. To find out the relationship between revenue allocation and national
integration in Nigeria.
2. To discover if the operation of true federalism in Nigeria could help in
tackling the problems.
3. To inquire into the impact of religions and ethnic loyalties and national
integration in Nigeria.
1.3 Significance of the Study
It has become obvious that Nigeria cannot make any meaningful
progress in the absence of unity. Some founding fathers of Nigeria adopted
federalism as a pragmatic instrument for the achievement of the goal of
national unity. The rationale was to see if there could be unity in diversity
which means that there could be ways of bringing diverse ethnic groups into
a modern nation. However, amidst all the efforts, the goals of national
integration are not yet possible owing to the numerous problems inherent in
Nigeria federalism.
It is therefore the task of this work to contribute in no little measure to
the solution of the problem of national integration. Apart from thus, the
work will equally add to the volumes of research materials available for
further work on federalism and national integration in Nigeria.
1.4 Literature review
Much work has been done on the subject matter federalism and its
relation to national integration. Most of the scholarly works were unable to
give a comprehensive analysis of Nigerian federalism and how it affects
national integration. Though some of them made very relevant scholarly
contributions to knowledge from which a number of conclusions can be
Federalism as has been adopted in Nigeria found its way into our
political arena during the colonial era. The concept is closely related to the
various social based on coordinative, rather than sub coordinative
relationship. It emphasises partnership among parties of equal claims to
legitimacy who seek a common social order.
Jinadu says that it is usually built as a form of government and
constitutional structure deliberately designed by political architects to cope
with the different task of maintaining unity, while preserving diversity,
Jinadu, [1979:15].
Speaking about Nigeria federalism two schools of thought emerged on
its evaluation. The first school comprising of the nationalist believed that
British imposed federalism on Nigeria in order to maintain the neo colonial
control of the country after the lowering of the mantle. Chief Obafemi
Awolowo, a convinced federalist described the British imposed federal
structure as an abominable destructive and divisive British heritage,
Awolowo, [1968:69]. They also believed that the colonial power made sure
that there was enough structured imperfection left behind to bedevil inter
ethnic relations after independence. However, this view of imposition held
by this school is not exactly objective as Nigerians involved gave consent
for her to become a federal state.
The second school of thought is of the opinion that historical and
geographical factors determine the political evolution of Nigerian
federalism. Nigeria being a large and culturally variegated country could not
have been governed for a long time from one centre Akinyemi, [1979:91].
This view is not quite correct, as it is time that factors of history and
geography more than anything else determines the constitutional evolution
of Nigeria.
Ethnicity is one concept that cannot be over looked in the discussion
of the structure of Nigerian federalism and national integration as a whole. It
has been defined as the social phenomenon associated with interaction
among members of different ethnic groups refer to social formation
distinguished by the communal character of the boundaries of which their
common factors may be language, culture or both, Nnoli, (1973:58). Nigeria
is one country that comprised various ethnic groups with physical or
different backgrounds, ancestry and tradition. Nnoli goes further to mention
some characteristics that distinguish one from ethnocentrism which simply
connotes pride in ones group, a hampering that makes the members of the
group inward looking.
According to him, ethnicity exists in a political society consisting of
diverse ethnic groups. It is also characterized by a common consciousness of
being one in relation to the other groups. Impulsiveness can be sighted as an
attribute of ethnicity which says, is normally accompanied by nepotism and
corruption. Conflict is also seen as important aspect of ethnicity.
As he says, it is inevitable under conditions of inter ethnic
competitions for scarce valuable resources particularly in a society where
inequality is accepted as natural and wealth is greatly exchanged.
Several efforts have been made to adjust these social abnormalities
and as Ibrahim Babangida said from anthropological and sociological
viewpoint, Nigeria is a complex country, therefore nation building in Nigeria
context must be of necessity because it is a complex and expensive
Eleigwa, (1995:5), Nnoli 1978, also believed that the recovery of
Nigeria will not be an easy task. He says adequate solution to the ethnic
problems of Nigeria must stern logically from rigorous scientific analyses of
the causes of the emergence and persistence and growth of ethnicity in the
country. Ojukwu in his lecture, towards a greater Nigeria, said that national
integration cannot be achieved by giving setaceous speeches; rather
appropriate steps will include de emphasising tribe and ethnic origin in all
official documents that no Nigeria should offer instability whatsoever.
However Ema Awa, [1976] has noted that federalism involves
corporation between the two levels of government and such cooperation
increased in scope and quantity as the federation matures. Bargaining also
assumes more important as the federation becomes more highly developed.
As he further explained, there are always some conflicts in the relation
between the regions and federal government and among the regions and
After going through the available literatures on federalism it was
observed that the writers made relevant contributions, they did not give a
comprehensive analysis of the problem of Nigeria federalism as they affect
national integration. Sequel to this, in exploring the meaning of federalism,
the issue of national integration must inevitably arise. In line with this, it
became germane to review the contributions made by some scholars on
national integration.
Duuelger defines national integration as building up solidarity and
breaking down antagonism among the people in a political system. It refers
specifically to the creation of a sense of territorial rationality which
overshadows parochial loyalties.
Chime sees national integration as a process of cohesion between two
or more social units whereby those units come together to constitute a
political whole, which can in some cases be described as community.
Ali Mazrui in his book cultural Engineering and nation building in
East Africa 1902, sees national integration as the process of merging sub
going entities into a shared sense of national consciousness.
In the same vein De Uree also 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 mobilizing their power or resources for
making collection decision and as a result of all things, acting as a new unit
with respect to its social or physical environment. Prior to these definitions,
integration will be conceived as the process of increasing a social or political
system capacity based on decision making process.
National integration is relation to national development. It usually
constitutes a platform for national development. Development can only be
achieved in an atmosphere of cooperation and unity.
Where everybody feel a sense of belonging and wants to contribute
his own quota to the development of national goal.
According to O. Aboyade in his book, issues in the development of
tropical Africa (1976:16), he observed that development is essentially a
continuous process of generating and more efficiently allocating resources
for achieving greater social satisfying ends. While political development
relates to the overall capacity of a people to govern them efficiently, this
ability to govern relates to the capacity to extract resources, make and
regulate behaviours. It also means the ability to resolve societal problems
and manage conflicts.
If the society is able to do all these things mentioned, it will certainly
lead to economic development for that nation.
Conclusively, after going through the available literatures on
federalism and national integration, it was observed that some of them were
able to explain to an extent the feasibility of achieving national integration.
However in this study, we shall attempt to explore the suitability and
adaptability of federalism to the excruciating task of building a coherent
nation out of desperate and antagonistic people in Nigeria.
1.5 Theoretical Frameworks
Theoretical framework is indeed very useful in a research work in the
sense that it enhances its internal activity. With this in mind, there are lot of
theories used in the field of political science for research analysis; however,
we will adopt the system theory by David Easton.
This theory is seen by scholars among who is Ifesinachi as a set of
related elements and interrelations among them, which are disintegrated
from those elements not in the system by ambiguous analytic boundaries.
The theory explains the component of the system made up of groups,
persons or areas where the frequency of a particular pattern of interaction
falls to an observable degree. Interdependence is the uniting force in the
system; this is because stability and subsequently growth can only be
achieved when all the components of a system work together.
As a way of using the system theory by David Easton to analyse this
work, 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
organization interacting with an environment, influencing it and being
influenced by it and there also many interacting internal parts which
constitutes parts of the arranging that the society employs in formulating and
pursuing its collective goods [Almond and Powell 1980:4].
The three vital components of Easton definitions of political system
constitute authoritative allocation, values and society.
At this point, it becomes necessary to make a brief application of this
theory to the Nigerian political scene, before and after independence. The
theory would be employed in this study because in Nigeria, like any other
third world federative system, the power to allocate the resources available
in the country is essentially concentrated at the central government, [federal
level] that is the hierarchy of authority [federal level, state and local
government], with the central government sitting on top of other levels in the
allocation of revenues. This is basically due to the prolonged military rule in
the country, and this has been one of the banes. For the country to
experience genuine unity and subsequently development, all the groups and
cleavages have to come together since no part of the system can function
effectively and maximally without depending on the other components.
1.6 Hypotheses
It is necessary to formulate some guiding hypotheses. The hypotheses
thus raised are.
1. The method of revenue allocation tends to constitute the major factor
responsible for the crisis of national integration in the Nigerian
2. Federalism in Nigeria could help in talking the problem of national
3. Religious and ethnic loyalties are major threats to national disintegration.
1.7 Methods of Data Collection/ Analysis
In this study we adopted the use of secondary source of data as the
main method. This is justified due to its intrinsic values. For any research to
be meaningful, reliable and scientific fact and ideas must be supplemented
with empiricism.
Secondary materials like textbooks, research papers, government
publications, newspapers, magazines etc will be seriously put into use.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The basic problems which were encountered during this study were
the scarcity and inaccessibility of materials. However the study was
successfully done because of the extra efforts made to get more resources
and procure the materials for analyses.
1.9 Conceptual Definitions
In this study, some key concept will be used. Some of these concepts
include national integration and federalism.
I. National integration
National integration involves the existence of national consciousness,
which is the feeling of individual or group identity within the nation state as
the only political unit through which their collective interest can be realized.
National integration therefore involves patriotism which a call for supreme
scarifies on the part of the entire citizenry for the whole country if the need
II. Federalism
Federalism means an arrangement whereby powers within a
multinational country are shared between a federal or central authority and a
number of regionalized governments in such a way that each unit, including
this central authority exist as a government separately and independently
from the others.
Division of power among the levels of government by the constitution
is explicit. The centre and the component unit [regions, states] have defined
spheres of authority, powers and shared among the levels of government
which are coordinates. Powers shared among the various levels could be
categorized as exclusive list, concurrent list and residual list.
A. Exclusive list
Subjects on this list are reserved for the centre [federal government]
examples here are, defence, internal affairs, national currency, immigration,
maritime activities, aviation, etc.
B. The Concurrent List
Subjects here are to be exercised both by the federal and the state. Example
includes agriculture, health, commerce, education, works etc.
C. Residual List
This comprises functions to be exercised by the state/ unit government
alone, example includes chieftaincy title etc.


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