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Nigeria is one of those countries that operates a federal system of government alongside with the western world. Given the territorially delineated cleavages abounding in Nigeria and the historical legacy of division among ethnic groups, regions, and sections, the federal imperative was so fundamental that even the military government- characteristically Unitarian, hierarchical, and centralist-attached importance to the continuation of a federal system of government. While, the system benefit most western countries, the reverse is the case for Nigeria considering the high level of political instability, ethnic crisis, and ethno/religious crisis among others The reason this is not far fetch; Nigeria is operating a federal system in an awkward manner and this has made frictions and clashes possible which are currently posing a threat to her political development. To this end, this project seeks to analyze the Nigerian federalism, the effects of the system on her political and economic development of the country particularly the Niger Delta region and to proffer a plausible way forward to achieving a true federal arrangement.
The Niger Delta regions are the oil producing regions of the south- south. The region has since the discovery and exploration of oil in Nigeria been the back bone of the country, contributing about 75% of the total revenue of the country. However, these resources have not translated into substantive meaning development for the region. The reason for this many believe is because the tax revenue sharing power has currently skewed in favour of the federal government to the detriment of the other tiers of government. This
action has brought nothing but pain, tears, crisis and agitation for the people of the Niger delta as even multi- national companies in the region have also refuse to carry out their statutory social responsibility for their host community. The problem is made worst with the increasing rate of environmental and health dangers pose to the region, by the continuous exploration of their oil by multinational organization. In defense of their right, the indigenes of the region resulted to kidnapping and vandalisation of government property. Although, there is relative peace in the region, there is the need to examine the factors that gave room to the agitations in the first place.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The distribution of resources among the various levels of government has never been easy and smooth, hence the contention and Nigeria is no exception (Okeke, 2004).The determination of what constitutes the federal revenue and how it should be shared among the component federating units in Nigeria lie at the center of most, if not all national conflicts. This is why scholars and researchers of National Political Issues have upheld that Revenue allocation in Nigeria has generated a lot of controversy in recent times ( Ugwu and Eme (2012).
practice of federalism in Nigeria has elicited several reactions and thus
generated critical debates by both scholars, politicians, journalists,
commentators and more particularly the oil producing communities of the Niger
Delta Region (Philips and Akpokighe, 2014).The issue of Nigerians federalism
and resource management particularly in the Niger delta is as old as country
itself. Since amalgamation, there had never been any national conference in the
country without these two issues gearing up.The nature of Nigerians federalism
is one that has placeda lot power and authority in the hands of the center,
thus creating a lot of imbalance and crises between the sharing and controlling
powers of the central and its other coordinating unit (such as the states and
the local government) in regards to so many issues including resource
management and control, revenue derivation, population, development, education,
local government control among others. These items of
dispute are mostly contained in the concurrent list. The case of Niger Delta literally comes to mind when the dispute between federalism and Resource management is been discussed.
The Niger Delta is one of the regions in the south South which comprises of state such as Bayelsa, Ondo, Rivers, Cross rives, AkwaIbom, delta state, among other state. Since the discovery of oil in Olibri in 1958, the Niger delta has been the financial backbone of the country, providing about 90 percent of the GDP of the country’s economy. Ironically, these resources has not transformed into any meaningful development for the region. The reason is mostly based on the nature of Nigerians federalism, which concentrates excessive powers in the hands of the center at the expense of states and other coordinating unit, plus the inequitable distribution, together with the lack of controlling power of their resources by the region, as well as the poor management of the resources by the exploiting companies and by the controlling powers. Undoubtedly, the recurrence and re-escalation of conflict in Niger Delta over resource control has a significant relationship with the nature of Nigerian federalism. This is why the entity Nigeria is often constructed to be an error of judgment or at best at conception of the colonial master to promote their pecuniary interest.
This project therefore seeks to examine among other things, the Nigerian federalism and its challenges of resource management, using the Niger delta region as a case study, the various attempts made by the Nigerian government at resolving these often emanating national dispute. Attempts will also be made
at recommending possible solutions towards reducing disputes that often arise from resource management and control in the region.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
True federalism is a system of government that deals with the independence of the centre and its coordinating units. This independence includes in areas of resources control and management, financial autonomy, among others.
Nigeria is one of the countries practicing federalism in the world. The nature of Nigerian federalism is one that encroaches on some of the basic principles of a true federal state which includes but not limited to ; non-dominance of the coordinating units buy the central government, financial autonomy of states, independence of the coordinating units to make key decisions, among others. This has thus generated a lot of argument among scholars and has even resulted into crises particularly in the Niger Deltal region of Nigeria that has produced about 75% of the country’s total earning but are not benefiting from the goodness of their resources.
This project therefore seeks to examine the sociopolitical and economic implication of the crisis on the Nigerian state, the outcome of the crises, its effects on the culture and way of life of a once peaceful and hospital people of the South-South among others.
1.3 OBJECTIVES THE STUDY
The major objective of this project is to examine the nature federalism in Nigeria and the challenges of resource management in the Niger Delta region. It will alsoseek to examine among other things, the following:
1. The various attempt made by different government at resolving resource control and management dispute.
2. It seeks to explain the crying of marginalization in the Niger Delta and the responses to the agitation.
3. To recommend possible solution aim at ensuring effective resource management between the center in Nigeria and its cording state units.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Thestudy posits that the practice and adoption of Nigerians federalism is far from being a true federation. It draws Nigerians attention to the gap between mere aspirations and actual practice vis-à-vis the management of federalism in Nigerian. This project is therefore concern with examining the contentious issues between the federalism in Nigeria and the challenges of resource management in the Niger Delta with a view to sensitizing policy makers and policy analyst that the conflict over resource management in Niger Delta has significant relationship with the nature of Nigerian federalism and thus requires adequate attention. Also, the study may serve as a veritable instrument of research material in the hands of subsequent researcher(s) carrying out a study on the major and sub-themes of the study
The recommendations in this may help in reducing the rate of insecurity and crisis originating from the disagreement between the federal government in Nigerian and the state over state resources
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONs
The basic questions which this research work seeks to answer are:
I. What are the challenges of the Nigerians federalism in respect to
resource management particularly, in the Niger Delta Area of Nigeria?
II. Why the crying of marginalization in Niger Delta?
III. What are the various responses of the Nigerian government to crying and
the Niger Delta for resource management and control?
IV. What are the contentious issues between Nigerian federalism and resource management particularly in the Niger Delta?
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The study basically focused on the contradictions in Nigeria’s federalism and the challenges of resource-management in Niger Delta. It looks into the problem confronting Nigerian federal government as regards resource management and in the Niger Delta. The response to the agitation so far, will also be examined.The geographical scope of the study is South Western States of Ekiti, Ondo State and Lagos State. This is because it is assessable for research and also has reasonable concentration of people from the Niger-Delta region.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financialconstrains confronting the researcher will not allow him to make the research work a comprehensive one. Also, the researcher has a limited time, since he has to combine this research with other academic and non academic works. This has made him to limit the time allocated for this project so that other activities do not suffer.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF STUDY
This research has been divided into five chapters.
The first chapter covers the introduction which contains the background of the study, statement of problems, objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope and limitations of the study as well as definitions of major term.
The second chapter covers the reviews of relevant literatures and theoretical framework with the aim of providing fundamental and historical background to the study under discourse.
The third chapter contains the research method of data collection for this study, the sampling techniques, Research Instruments, Research population, among other things.
The fourth chapter deals with the analysis of all collected data’s.
The fifth chapter which is the final stage deals with the summary, conclusion and the recommendation.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
As rightly noted by Oyedele (1999), federalism is not a very ambiguous concept. However, the fact that the literature is repelete with many definitions, which vary according to the perceptions of different scholars, makes it compelling to operationalize the concept. This is necessary in order to avoid misrepresentation of the intention of this research work.Federalism is an arrangement whereby powers within a multi-national country are shared between a federal or central authority, and a number of regionalized governments in such a way that each unit including this centralauthority exists as a government separately and independently from the others, operating directly on persons and property within its territorial area, with a will
of its own and its own apparatus for the conduct of affairs and with an authority in some matters exclusive of all others. In a federation, each government enjoys autonomy, a separate existence and independence of the control of any other government.
Each government exists, not as an appendage of another government (e.g. the federal or central government) but as an autonomous entity in the sense of beingable to exercise its own will on the conduct of its affairs free from direction by any government. Thus, the Central government on the one hand and the State governments on the other hand are autonomous in their respective spheres (Sagay 2005)But in Nigeria, the independent but coordinate relations between the centre and component parts have logically become subordinate, through the gradual erosion of autonomy and devolutions of powers has eventually led to over centralization of power at the centre (Nwosu, 1998).
1.9.2 Resource Control
As rightly used in this research work, it connote a compelling desire to regain ownership, control, used and management of resources for the primary benefit of the first owner (the communities and people) on whose land the resources originate. It refers to the exclusive right to the ownership and control of resources, both natural and created within its territory. It involves the region having a direct and decisive a role in the exploration for, and disposal of including sales of the harvested resources.
1.9.3 Resource Management
Resource management as used in this work is a major concern of federal government. While resource control has to do with regional agitation, resource management exclusive belongs to the federal government. Put simply, it is a situation whereby the nation’s resources were harmonized together for the development of whole country. This preposition arose from the fact that the central government is the only good manager of resources and distribution of such resources to the benefit of all. However, regional government can only agitate for resources control, they cannot be better manager. Hence, the crisis between Nigeria federal government and the Niger Delta.
1.9.4 Niger Delta Militant
This is refers to the widespread of groups against the backdrop of acute discontent with Nigeria’s political and economic processes in the region. This was occasioned by the prevailing political climate and economic crisis characterized by unemployment, acute inflation and impoverishment of the masses resulting from mismanagement of economic resources in their region.
Put simply, our main focus hers is militant in Niger Delta whose activities is characterized by hostage taking, kidnap for ransom etc. this is however not to say that the Niger Delta is the only region where ethnic militants operates.
1.9.5 Niger Delta
Nigeria is a country of many ethnic groups with unique cultures and characteristics. The Niger Delta area covers Imo, Abia, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Cross River and AkwaIbom States. These states are the oil producing states. The actors in the present day, Niger Delta conflict are the ethnic communities that extract oil. Each has it claim of complaints against the other. There is conflict and crisis in the Niger Delta.
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