Repository logo

Examining intergovernmental relations in Nigeria’s Second Republic (1979-1983) and the Fourth Republic (1999-2007): insights from selected states in the South West, Nigeria.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study is an empirical research work that employed the use of primary and secondary data to interrogate the nature of intergovernmental relations in Nigeria’s Second and Fourth Republics with insights drawn from Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti states in South Western Nigeria. Primary data were collected through a field survey and public documents. Sources of secondary data include texts, journals, newspapers, and other published literature. A hybrid of two models, the overlapping-authority model and the coordinate-authority model, was adopted to analyse the authority structure of different political actors saddled with different constitutional responsibilities. The findings of the study revealed that the central government has more fiscal power for policy direction, than the subnational levels of government. The empirical analysis showed structural imbalance in Nigeria’s federalism, which constituted obstacle to federal stability. In addition, the central government has the prerogative to legislate on matters under the exclusive legislative list, which defines the nature of power relations between the central government and the government of the subnational units. The increase in the number of the subnational units from 19 to 36 states in the 1979 and 1999 constitutions respectively, and the expanded expenditure obligations, weakened the revenue base of the subnational levels of government. The subnational levels, in the Fourth Republic, unlike those of the Second Republic, are less viable. This development weakened their fiscal strength for effective service delivery, because they lacked fiscal resources to fulfil their expenditure obligations. The federal government retains the bulk of government revenue. Additionally, appointments to public offices did not reflect the federal character. Through the exploration of the provisions of the 1979 and 1999 constitutions, there existed discrepancies between the constitutional provisions and their practice. The attitudes and behaviours of the actors at different levels of government were not in tandem with the constitutional provisions, with clear evidence of outright violation of the rule of law. The study, therefore, recommends the need to reassess intergovernmental fiscal relationship, strengthen the mechanisms and institutions for intergovernmental policy coordination, reliance on economic expert for effective service delivery, obedience to law, and maximization of states resources as a way of improving federal-state-local relations.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.