Federalism and Contending Issues in Contemporary Nigeria: Mapping Alternative Perspectives for a Neo-Federalist Paradigm

  •  Joseph Okwesili Nkwede    
  •  Kazeem Oluwaseun Dauda    
  •  Olanrewaju A. Orija    


Evidence abound that Nigeria’s form of federal system has been grappling with serious working and institutional challenges. The paper interrogated contending issues ravaging Nigeria’s federal polity with a clarion call for timely adoption of neo-federalism paradigm. It employed qualitative research method with classical model of federalism as framework of analysis. The paper established that Nigeria’s federal republic is associated with over-concentration of governmental powers at the centre, sectional domination of powers and political leadership, inept and corrupt leadership/bad governance, socio-economic crisis, insecurity, corruption, favouritism and nepotism, problem of power sharing and poor implementation of federal character principle, which further heightened the delivery of socio-economic services and democratic dividends to the people. It concluded that for Nigeria’s federation to stand the test of time and overcome myriad problems it is currently facing, embracing the neo-federalism paradigm is inevitable. Among recommendations proffered include devolution of powers, adequate provision of sustainable security, and election of dedicated, committed and visionary leadership at all levels of government with the ability to drive the economic blueprints of this nation towards greatness, provide essential needs for the citizenry and promote good governance.

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