Federalism was adopted for Nigeria to effectively manage her multi-nationalities through negotiations and compromises on issues of political and national importance. As a system of government, it allows for the existence, side by side, of a myriad of groups differentiated by culture, history, norms and so forth and necessitates forging a common identity unclouded by ethnic cleavages as a prelude to national growth and development. The paper traces the evolution of Nigeria’s federalism through the colonial and post-colonial era to examine the influence of governance or the lack of it over the nation-building processes in Nigeria. This is imperative if the threats to her social, political and economic development posed by problematic nuances including power sharing, ethnicity and religion must be effectively addressed. These have defined Nigeria’s history, dotted her sociopolitical landscape, threatened her stability and existence as a federation and defied solutions by her successive military and civilian governments. For Nigeria, a developing country with unique federal characteristics, this paper proposes measures of remediation deriving from Rokkan’s nation-building model. The model is deemed appropriate in view of its procedural qualities through which interest articulation and eventual harmonization can be achieved. The measures, if adopted, will offer a leeway for ensuring more beneficial intergovernmental relations, boost the practice of federalism and improve the tangibility of governmental functions, output and the value of public service delivery to her citizenry.
Published Date: 2018-12-28; Received Date: 2018-12-04