Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

The Effect of Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) on Nigerian Federalism: An Examination Intergovernmental Management (IGM) 1999-2007

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

The Effect of Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) on Nigerian Federalism: An Examination Intergovernmental Management (IGM) 1999-2007

Article excerpt

Abstract

Federalism is a political mechanism for promoting unity-in-diversity in a heterogeneous society. The federal system through the IGR uses the IGM mechanism to provide understanding, cordiality balance and collaboration between and among units of government, and between government and the citizenry. In Nigeria's federal relation, the IGR seems not to have facilitated the right harmonious interactions between and among the various units of government, and among groups. This has resulted in continued conflict and disharmony in some important areas of federal relation with its negative impact on the citizenry and the federal state. Hence this paper utilizing the documentary method examines the utilization of the IGM practice from 1999-2007 in IGR interactions in some areas of government interface in our federal system.

Key words: Federalism; Federal system; Collaboration; Conflict; Relations; IGR and IGM national

INTRODUCTION

Federalism capsules heterogeneity with its appendage of complexities. It is designed to accommodate different units of government, diversity of social institutions and cultural formation that do not suit in fittingly or are easily amenable to a unitary system. It is a political organizational container concept that accommodates ... , , _ ,. .... contrast and it is capable of responding and adjusting rightly to the variegate needs of group complexities and diversity with less dislocations if properly managed. That is why the federal system is favored by scholars and students alike to meet the demand for national unity for the whole, while at the same time allow individual communal groups to maintain their identity that is distinct from that of the whole. Evidently, federalism symbolizes a political philosophy of promoting diversity-in-unity with decentralization serving as its standing pillar,

Decentralization creates space for the devolution of power to subnational units. It provides the space for continued adjustment, compromise, and integration ofdivergent groups interest for better policy making, implementation and fiscal allocation. This is a necessary yet challenging process. It is challenging because the needs of the various groups are diverse and conflicting but represents their individually preferred interest for which they are not willing to compromise. And if need be, these individual variegated group interest must be reflected in the national development agenda. Remolding and balancing those diverse interest into a single policy framework for action without undermining any group's values requires adopting and utilizing the right mechanism that will confront, manage and resolve the challenges that do arise in the complex and challenging process of joint policy , . . ... makln& flscal allocation and program implementation. The mechanism that makes this complex balancing is the IGM working within the framework of the IGR. The ability to capture diverse interests and balance into the national policy agenda makes a distinctive paradigm of organization geared towards resolving the systemic contradiction of its distinct collectivities (Bassey, 2005, p. 29).

The IGR interactions subsumes four distinctive areas of federal-state-local interactions which are: a) intergovernmental fiscal relations; b) intergovernmental administrative relations; c) intergovernmental social services delivery; d) intergovernmental legislative jurisdictional relations. The essence offense IGR is to facilitate engagement and involvement of all the units in the process of national planning such that harmony between the various groups is not compromised. Specifically, the IGR is an important arena of activities or interactions between governmental units of all types and levels within the federal system (Anderson, 1960, p.3; Adamolekun, 1983, p.89). It encompasses all the permutations and combinations of relations that occur between the various units of government. It is the platform that allows different actors the opportunity for continuing dialogue on issues of group importance leading to the balancing of the policy table in a manner that promotes national progress. …

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