FEDERALISM AND THE VIABILITY OF NIGERIAN STATES (THE BAYELSA EXPERIENCE)
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The term federalismi as practiced in Nigeria is some way below the normal standard for true federalism practiced globally and this has had effect on the viability of the Nigerian state. As the continuous rise in knowledge of the nation’s awareness of its ethnic, its religious, political diversity and corporative existence, the formation and the structure of the Nigeria federalist claims has to be re-examined and to be redirected for good. When we talk about true federalism we shall be talking about ways to promote the economic development of Nigeria. True federalism kind of unites and binds all people of the nation together with the main aim of creating a dialogue in order to instigate the competition in revenue generation. But overall goals of true federalism can only be achieved when those in governance are given free roles in decision making and policy generation in Nigeria.
The terms federalism as practiced in Nigeria has been considered a prey-predator relationship; where the states governments in Nigeria are the prey while the federal government of Nigeria is regarded as the predator. In this kind of relationship the federal government of Nigeria (predator) is chasing and squeezing the little life of the Nigerian states government (prey).
According to Deniel in the year 2002 stated in his work that the federal formation and structure of Nigeria is completely a kind of gross anomaly.
Federalism in Nigeria as the case maybe generated from historical, economic, political, social and cultural factors; this factor can also be constitutional.
The Nigeria constitution as at 1999 have a couple of citations in both the second and the fourth schedule on the tax power of both the Nigerian federal, the state and the local government; also on the Nigeria major system of revenue generation and allocation and the continuous management of general public funds in Nigeria.
The continuous issues arising from revenue generation and fund allocation has brought about several debate and dialogue than the practice of federalism, resource management and control for more than 3 decades.
Take the Niger delta region for example especially Bayelsa state; this region is one of the highest contributor to the Nigeria economy through their rich mineral resources yet most of the allocation due to the people of Bayelsa are not duly received by both the state and the local government of Bayelsa. It is to this regard that the researcher wishes to choose Bayelsa as the case study of the research work.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The term federalismi is widely regarded as the interaction between the different tiers of government in Nigeria concerning the issue of federalism practice in Nigeria; the issue is more noticed among the Nigeria delta region especially the Bayelsa state. The people of Bayelsa state have long suffered from revenue allocation as compared to other states. The oil sector is one of the major contributors of the Nigeria economy. About 60% of the revenue generated by the federal government of Nigeria is coming from the Niger delta region of Nigeria yet the fund and revenue allocation in this region is very poor. This issue has led to so many crises in Nigeria hindering the socio economic development of Nigeria.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The aim of the research work is to examine the effect of federalismi and the viability of the Nigerian states. The specific aims of the research work are stated below as follows:
To examine the effect of federalism on the socio economic development of the Nigerian states
To investigate the effect of federalism on the people of Bayelsa state
To determine the factors affecting the implementation of true federalism
To examine the role of federal government of Nigeria in development of true federalism in Nigeria
To examine the relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state
To make recommendation for further research on the federalism.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
In other to ascertain the objective of the research work, the study came up with the following research questions:
What is the effect of federalism on the socio economic development of the Nigerian states?
What is the effect of federalism on the people of Bayelsa state?
What are the factors affecting the implementation of true federalism?
What are the roles of federal government of Nigeria in development of true federalism in Nigeria?
Is there any relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
HO: there is no significant relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state
H1: there is a significant relationship between federalism and the viability of Nigerian state
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study federalism and the viability of Nigeria state will be of immense benefit to the three tiers of government, the general public, the private sector, the people of Bayelsa state, student and other researchers that want to carryout research on similar topic.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study federalismi and the viability of Nigerian states is only limited to Bayelsa state from the previous administrations to the present administration.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITAION OF TERMS:
federalismi is regarded as the federal principle or system of government
is simply is the ability of the state in accordance to the study to be able to maintain itself and recover its potentials
Republic, 1999-2003 , Bello-Imam, I. & Mike O. (eds.), Ibadan: JODAD Publishers. Akindele, O (2009); “Local Government Tax Mobilization
and Utilization in Nigeria”, M.Sc Seminar Presented to the Department of Public Administration, University of Maiduguri, 5th October.Azaiki, S. (2003) Inequities in Nigerian Politics.