GOVERNMENT

MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

MEANING OF MDG The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are eight international development goals that were officially established following the millennium summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations millennium declaration. All 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations have agreed to achieve these goals by the year 2015.   GOALS OF MDG Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Achieving universal primary education. Promoting gender equality and empowering women. Reducing child mortality rates. Improving maternal health. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Ensuring environmental sustainability. Developing a global partnership for development. Note the following: Each of the goals has specific stated targets and dates for achieving those targets. To accelerate progress, the G8- the Group of 8 industrialised countries: The Russian federation. Germany. France. Italy. United Kingdom. Northern Ireland. United State of America. Japan. These countries finance ministers agreed in June 2005 to.provide enough Funds to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Africa Development Bank (AFDB) to cancel an additional $40 to $55 billion in debt owed by members of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to allow impoverished countries to re-channel the resources saved from the forgiven debt to social programmes for improving health and education and for alleviating poverty.   OBJECTIVES OF MDG. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day. Secondly, that between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Achieve universal primary education and to ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. Promote gender equality and empower women. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005 and to all levels of education not later than 2015. Reduce child mortality rate. Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015 the under-five mortality rate. Improve maternal health. To reduce by three quarters between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality rate. Combat HIV/AIDS malaria and other diseases. Halve halted by 2015 and begun to reserve the spread of HIV/AIDS. Again halve halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases. Ensure environmental sustainability to integrate the principle of sustainable development into countries policies, programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources. By 2015, halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water. Also by 2020 to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. Develop a global partnership for development. To deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term. Secondly, in cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially in formation and communications.   MEANING OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES (NEEDS) The bedrock of NEEDS is its vision of a Nigeria with a new set of values and principles, which will facilitate the achievements of national goals of wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction. NEEDS has fashioned a reform agenda with emphasis on strengthening the macroeconomic environment and strengthening the growth agents within the system. The specific reform programmes in NEEDS include Government and Institutional reforms which entail: Public Sector reforms. Privatization and liberalization. Governance. Transparency and anti-corruption. Service delivery by government agencies.   NEEDS also specifies private sector reforms which will address issues such as security and rule of law; infrastructure; finance; sectorial strategies; privatization and liberalization; trade and regional integration. It also entails a human Development Agenda or Social Charter, which will focus on health, education, integrated rural development, Housing development and youth development, safety nets, as well as geopolitical balance. Finally, NEEDS specifies its financial and plan implementation strategies. Of-course, whatever funds are spent on this programme would be money well spent. Though, NEEDS is a medium-term economic reform programme, its, formulation has been made consistent with both short-term realities and long-term imperatives that derive from the country’s long term goals of poverty reduction, wealth creation, employment generation, and value reorientation. The Federal Government under NEEDS and the state government under the state Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS) will co-ordinate a planning framework with agreed common priorities in agriculture, public finance and public sector reforms, with emphasis on the social sector.   OBJECTIVES OF NEEDS The objectives are mainly threefold: Poverty Reduction Employment Generation. Wealth Creation. Immediate Goals of NEEDS To redefine the role of government in the economy, by de-emphasizing the participation of government in the running of business. This is in line with the global view that government has no business running business. It is the responsibility of government to create an enabling or conducive environment for the private sector to thrive, through legislation, tax regimes and other incentives. There existed some elements of coherence between Federal and State reforms, for the first time, in a very long time. This has ensured purposefulness, focus and objectivity.   MEANING AND OBJECTIVES OF VISION 2020 It is stated in the document ‘Vision 20: 2020 Economic Transformation Blueprint (2009) that by the year 2020, Nigeria will have a large, strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harness the talents and energies of it’s people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments to guarantee a high standard of living and quantity of high standard of living and quantity of life to its citizens. In order to achieve this, according to the same vision statement, a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of not less than $900 billion is required. This translates to a National per capital income of not less than $4000 annually by the year 2020. It is also stated that another implication of the vision 20: 2020 is that Nigeria’s economy must grow at an average rate of 13.8 percent during the period. Another expectation is that by 2020 Nigeria will generate 60,000 megawatts of electricity.   OBJECTIVES OF VISION 2020 The objectives of vision 20: 2020 have social, economic, institutional and environmental dimensions. The social dimension: Envisions an equal society that can sustain a life expectancy of at least 70 years. The Economic dimension: Envisages a vibrant economy, where manufacturing sector can contribute at least 25 percent to Gross Domestic Production (GDP) The institutional dimension: Expects a stable democracy. The environmental dimension: Envisions effective management of our natural environments. It is pretty clear, from the objectives, that the vision 20: 2020 is a grandiose adventure. The seven Point Agenda: The Seven Point Agenda encompasses the following areas: Power and Energy. Food security and agriculture. Wealth creation and employment. Mass transportation. Land reform. Security. Qualitative and functional education.   Power and energy: It is already stated that for the vision 20: 2020 to be achieved the target is 60,000 M.W. Food security and agriculture: The Seven Point Agenda expects a “5-10 fold increase in yield and production”, which would result “in massive domestic and commercial outputs and technological knowledge transfer to farmers”. Wealth creation and employment: As regards wealth creation, Nigeria’s economy is still fully dependent on crude petroleum exports. Abject poverty stares over 70 percent of Nigerians in the face. Nigeria is still ranked among the poorest countries in the world. On employment, one can observe some efforts of government and organisations here and there ready to help the teeming unemployed and unemployable youths in Nigeria to acquire some skills and become useful to themselves and society. Mass transportation: Most Nigerian roads are in a very bad state of repair reality. Rail transportation is still virtually in the pipeline. Government should steer up efforts to achieve a sustainable mass transportation as one of its objectives for vision 20: 2020. Land reform: The land reform issue is still at the discussion stage and the question is can the next four years or so see anything concrete in land reform? Security: With each day that passes in Nigeria, in-security of lives and property increases. There are the religious and tribal conflicts which usually leave hundreds of people dead and hundreds of others maimed. We also have the Boko Haram onslaught on the nation. Crimes such as armed robberies, kidnappings, judicial murder, ritual killings, corruption, are increasing at an alarming rate. Governments have much to do on this issue of insecurity in the country. Qualitative and functional education: In the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s education in Nigeria was at its best level. Even primary, secondary school and teacher training graduates were persons who contributed to the development of the society. They effectively manned the schools, government offices, company and industrial positions. Of-course, university graduates were very skilled persons who attracted respect all over the world. However, from the late 1980s, rapid educational decline set in as “a result of bad political, economic and national development policies”. Today, things have not really changed for better. Governments at all levels in the country should focus on vision 20: 2020 and come up with a policy that will enhance a qualitative and functional education at all levels – primary, secondary, university, etc ,. so, that it will be a dream come true.

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DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIA

Historical Background Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) and Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) were formed as political parties after the introduction of the Clifford Constitution. They could not be said to be national parties. Their activities were mainly restricted to Lagos. However, at the end of the Second World War, new political parties emerged and replaced the NNDP and NYM. Some of these new parties were in two groups – major and minor parties. Some of the major parties were the National Council of Nigeria and the Camerouns (NCNC), Northern People’s Congress (NPC), Action Group (AG). Some of the minor parties were the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), United Middle Belt Congress(UMBC), Dynamic Party (DP), Bornu Youth Movement (BYM) etc. Most of these parties, if not all, were regional in outlook and based on ethnic sentiment and it can be said that none of them commanded nation-wide support. Some scholars, have argued that NCNC was more of a national party than others. However, they were formed mainly to awaken people’s consciousness towards the struggle for political independence.   NIGERIAN NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (NNDP) The Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) was formed in 1923 and under the leadership of Sir Herbert Macaulay, popularly referred to as “Father of Nigerian nationalism” This party won all the three seats in Lagos into the Legislative Council in the elections of 1923, 1928 and 1933. It also won the elections into the Lagos Town Council when the elective principle was introduced. The Nigerian National Democratic Party NNDP) also founded Lagos Daily News. This was a newspaper formed by this party. It was an arm of the party which helped to encourage political activities, especially in Lagos. The party was mainly based in Lagos and did not have a national outlook. The financing of the party was done by party members. However, the political history of Lagos in the twenties and thirties was essentially the history of Herbert Macaulay’s political activities. He always identified himself with the people.   NIGERIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT It was formed in 1935 and featured characters like; Ernest Ikoli, Samuel Akinsanya and Dr. C. Vaughan. The movement competed with NNDP for the control of political activities of Lagos. Nnamdi Azikiwe, H.O. Davies, Obafemi Awolowo and Samuel Akintola later joined the movement. The party had a national outlook based on the composition of the members.   Aims and Objectives To work towards the unity of Nigeria. To work towards the attainment of self-rule.   CONTRIBUTIONS OF NIGERIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT Legislative council: It won all the three elective seats allocated to Lagos in the legislative council. Unity: It worked to promote national unity. National outlook: It was the first political party that had a national outlook in the composition of members. Set machinery for independence: It set the machinery for a political independence of Nigeria. Modern nationalism: It could further be said that this movement brought modern nationalism to Nigeria.   THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NIGERIA AND THE CAMEROUNS (NCNC) The NCNC was formed in 1944. The first president was Herbert Macaulay and the first general secretary was Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. At the death of Herbert Macaulay, Azikiwe became the president and when Southern Cameroun left Nigeria in August 1944, the NCNC changed its name to the National Council for Nigerian Citizens. This party was seen by some scholars as a truly national party.   AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE NCNC Political reforms: To arouse mass interest and obtain overwhelming national support for political reforms. Political education: To achieve political independence by giving political education to the people of Nigeria. To provide the members with a medium of expression: In order to secure political freedom, economic security, social equality and religious tolerance a good medium of expression had to be introduced. The British mandate: To advance the interest of the people of Nigeria and the Camerouns under the British mandate. To organise and collaborate effectively: The NCNC objective was to organize and collaborate with all its branches throughout the country. To extend democratic principles: Another important aim was to extend democratic principles to the people of Nigeria.   THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE NCNC The struggle for self-government: The party encouraged the unity of Nigerians and was foremost in the struggle for self government in Nigeria. Political rights: It educated Nigerians on their political rights. Publications: It introduced and published the West African Pilot which served as a powerful platform for opposing colonial rule. Nationalist opposition: The party was the brain behind nationalists opposition to the 1946 Richards Constitution. Constitutional conferences: It took part in most of the constitutional conferences, e.g. the 1953 London constitutional conference. Sending of delegates to London: The party was instrumental to the sending of delegates to London to protest the 1946 Constitution. Governance of Eastern Nigeria: The NCNC controlled the government of Eastern Nigeria in the First Republic (1963-1966). Formation of a coalition government: NCNC as a party, formed a coalition government with the Northern Peoples Congress between 1960 and 1966. Creation of Mid-Western Region: The NCNC worked in agreement with NPC in creating Mid-Western region out of the then Western region in 1963.   Development of the National Council of Nigerian and the Camerouns (NCNC) Split: The first development was as a result of the split in the Nigerian Youth Movement (N.Y.M) over representation of the party in the vacant legislative council seat in 1941. Tribal sentiments: The Ibo Union in Lagos prevailed on Nnamdi Azikiwe to form a new party and this was what led to the formation of NCNC. Leadership of the NCNC: Nnamdi Azikiwe took over the leadership of NCNC as a result of the death of Herbert Macaulay in 1946. Reactivation of the party: Reactivation of the party was a bold step taken by Nnamdi Azikiwe to make the party more effective. Membership: NCNC was formed in 1944, and was seen as having a national base as its membership spread all over the country, irrespective of tribe and religion. National and international involvement: The party was outspoken on national and international (African) issues, for example, the 1945 workers strike. The party was represented at different constitutional conferences, e.g. 1953 London Constitutional Conference. The leadership of Nnamdi Azikiwe attracted more support from Eastern region of Nigeria where it formed the government. There was an official opposition in the West which was in a coalition with NPC in the federal legislature. Change of name: The name of the party was changed to the National Council of Nigerian Citizens, when Cameroon ceased to be part of Nigeria. N.C.N.C as a party: Even as a party, NCNC was part of the United Progressive Grand Alliance (U.P.G.A) in 1964. Decline: The party started to decline from 1964, after the general elections and ceased to exist when the military came in to power on 15th January, 1966.   NORTHERN PEOPLE’S CONGRESS (NPC) Northern People’s Congress (NPC) was formed in 1951. It started as a cultural organization, Jamiyyar Mutanem Arewa. The party was dominated by the Hausa/Fulanis, and Islam was the main focus. It ruled Northern Nigeria between (1951-1965) The leader was the late Sir Ahmadu Bello with, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as deputy. The party produced the first prime minister of Nigeria.   AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF NPC Development of the North: The party worked towards developing the North, both politically and economically. Autonomy: To work towards making the North autonomous. Common understanding: To create an atmosphere for common understanding among the people of the North. Political education: The NPC helped in educating the Northerners on their political rights.   CONTRIBUTIONS OF NPC Governance: It controlled and ruled northern Nigeria for a number of years. Prime minister: NPC, as a party produced the first prime minister of Nigeria and ruled throughout the First Republic. Common understanding: The party created the atmosphere for common understanding among the people of the North. Constitutional conferences: It was involved in most of the constitutional conferences, both within and outside Nigeria, e.g. the 1953 London Constitutional Conference. Political education: It helped in educating the people on their political rights. It also increased the political awareness of the people of the North.   THE ACTION GROUP (AG) Action Group (AG) was formed in 1951 as the political wing of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa (a Yoruba cultural organization). It’s leader was Obafemi Awolowo. It dominated the Western region political scene for eleven years (19511962). Other political figures in this party were S.L Akintola, Bode Thomas, Chief Shonibare etc. Action Group, at its launch was declared a regional party, and it worked towards bringing together all the nationalists in the region.   Aims and objectives Federal form of government: It advocated for a federal form of government. To bring all nationalists in Western region under one umbrella. To awaken the political consciousness in the lives of the people. Growth and development: To work towards the growth and development of the West.   THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE ACTION GROUP Political scene: It dominated Western Nigeria’s political scene for about 11 years. Opposition party in parliament: It formed the opposition party in federal parliament before and during the First Republic. Struggle for independence: The AG joined the NCNC and NPC in Nigeria’s political struggle for independence. Universal Free Primary Education (UPE): It advocated for free education and successfully introduced the Universal Free Primary Education in Western Nigeria in 1955. Constitutional conferences: It was involved in most of the constitutional conferences, e.g. 1953 London Constitutional Conference. The motion for self- government: This motion was moved by Chief Anthony Enahoro in 1953. He was a member of Action Group.   PROBLEMS OF THE PRE-INDEPENDENCE POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIA Regionally based: The political parties were regionally based without national outlook. Personal establishments: The parties were founded by few ethnic leaders who managed the political parties as personal establishments. Intra party conflicts: Inter and intra party conflicts were the order of the day, hence factions always sprang up. Carpet crossing: This was a common feature and it contributed to weakening the party. Provision of poor quality of education: The political parties were unable to provide qualitative education because, in their campaigns, they emphasized personalities rather than issues.   MINOR POLITICAL PARTIES The minor political parties were either splinter or breakaway political parties from the major political parties, e.g. the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), led by the late Mallam Aminu Kano, broke away from NPC. It saw NPC as a conservative and unprogressive party. The United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) led by the late J. Tarka and Bornu Youth Movement (BYM) were local parties. formed primarily to achieve the creation of the middle Belt and North-East states, respectively The Dynamic Party (DP) led by Chike Obi, had national ideology, but it was a small party and could not make any appreciable impact on the populace, The party had to form an alliance with NPC. Chief S.L. Akintola left A.G. and formed United Progressive Party (UPP). Later UPP entered into a working alliance with some members of NCNC and they formed the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) etc.   POLITICAL PARTIES COALITION/ ALLIANCE SYSTEM OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC In 1957, a prime minister was appointed from the party already controlling the majority in the House of Representatives. This was the outcome of the 1957 London Constitutional Conference, that recommended the creation of the office of a prime minister. So, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, invited Action Group to join the NPC/NCNC coalition government and it was accepted. A national government was then constituted at this time. Again, the 1959 independence election did not produce an overwhelming majority winner. So, the NPC and NCNC agreed to form a coalition government and A.G ., the opposition party. Infact the, pre-independence and postindependence governments were based on coalition government in Nigeria. It however, showed the spirit of cooperation and oneness and even the love for the country as exhibited by some of these political parties. The 1964 general elections witnessed the coming together of both big and small parties in alliances. The…

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DELEGATED LEGISLATION

Delegated legislation is defined as the act of transferring powers and functions through the Acts of parliament to other organisations such as ministries, local governments, public corporations (PHCN, Water Board) etc. Laws made by these bodies are referred to as bye – laws. Parliament finds it more convenient to lay down the general principles of laws and then leave the administrative and technical aspects to these other bodies, whose powers are delegated by the parliament. Delegated legislation is a special feature of modern government.   TYPES OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION Bye – Laws: These are laws made by local governments, public corporations, ministries. These powers are conferred on them through the Acts of Parliament. Orders in Council: In Britain, for example these orders or proclamations are for the Queen or King to give orders on some matters having the backing of the law These orders are mostly ratified by the privy Council (highest Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom) which is a body that advises the crown on political and governmental issues of the state. Provisional Orders: A minister could be given the power to run an undertaking, e.g. a transport corporation, but at this stage, it is provisional or temporary until confirmed by parliament. Special procedure orders: The minister makes the order and presents it to the parliament. The order comes into force after 14 days, unless petitions of a general objection have been lodged against it. Statutory instrument: Ministerial regulation is governed by Statutory Instrument Acts. These instruments are mainly directed to rules applicable to the country. For example, no-smoking in public institutions (schools, health institutions etc as directed by the ministry of health). Rules of professional bodies: There are rules and ethics guiding the activities of every member of a professional body e.g. NMA and NBA. This rules are constitutionally legal and must be adhered to. Warrants: For example, search and bench warrants. This is legal document that is signed by a Judge and gives the Police authority to do something e.g. a warrant to search or arrest someone.   THE IMPORTANCE OR MERITS OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION TO MODERN GOVERNMENTS Reduction of work load: Delegated legislation has succeeded in reducing the pressure of work on parliament. Useful for emergencies: In case of an external attack, the executive can take quick decisions. It saves time: Delegated legislation saves parliament enough time, whose legislative machinery could break down if it were to enact all laws. Technical languages: It is useful where technical languages are involved in government policies. Efficiency: Delegated legislation makes for efficiency and precision. Experiment: It is useful where experiment is desired. Most local governments have achieved something realistic through this experiment. Adjusting to changing situation: With this development modern governments can adjust to changing situation and easily take care of contingencies.   REASONS WHY DELEGATED LEGISLATION IS OFTEN CRITICISED OR DEMERITS OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION It violates the principle of the rule of law: Delegated legislation violates the principle of the rule of law which lays emphasis on the freedom of citizens. Lack of publicity: The numerous bye-laws, rules and regulations are not known to the common citizen because they are not well publicised. It violates the principle of separation of powers: Delegated legislation also violates the principle of separation of powers and the sovereignty of the legislature. The executive: The executive may tend to grow more powerful than the legislature. Too many law – making bodies: Delegated legislation involves too many law-making bodies. The power of the judiciary to review the activities of the legislature is made difficult. Abuse of power: This can manifest itself. The departments involved in this exercise can easily abuse such powers delegated to them. It is undemocratic: Most of the laws made by some of these bodies are draconian, and undemocratic and do not have the support of the people. The executive could become dictatorial: The executive arm seems to have too much powers at its disposal. It could make it become dictatorial. It violates the principle of parliamentary supremacy: This is because other bodies or organisations are equally involved in performing legislative functions, Legislative functions could be eroded: Laws made by these bodies may have a negative effect on legislative functions of parliament. It may not be acceptable: Most of the laws and rules enacted, may not be widely accepted because enough consultation was not made before their formulation and implementation. Parliamentary Control: The laws made by some of these bodies and their activities may lack effective parliamentary control.   CONTROL OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION There are various methods in which the exercise of delegated legislation is controlled and these methods are: Parliamentary control: The parliament has the power to control the bills of these various bodies before such bills become laws. It can equally reject laws made by these bodies. Infact there are standing committees in parliament that examine most of the statutory instruments of these bodies laid before the parliament. Judicial Control: The law courts exercise control overrules and regulations made by these organizations. This is to make sure that these rules are made according to the provisions of the constitution. Similarly, the judiciary can declare unconstitutional some of the laws made by these organizations. Ministerial control: Activities of public corporations are under the control of the minister. Most of the bye – laws, rules and regulations made always receive his attention. Also, the minister has the power to dissolve the board of directors of most of these corporations. Auditing or financial control: The finances of most public corporations are audited to enhance efficient financial management. The government may send a team of auditors to perform this function. Public Opinion: The opinions of the public towards most of these organisations could be negative or positive. For example, the opinion of the public towards PHCN is negative. Therefore, with this negative impression of the public, government can respond positively through the restructuring of the entire corporation. Equally, people are encouraged to let their grievances or problems known to the appropriate bodies e.g. OMBUSDMAN (Public complaints commission) or any other body with similar expression. Petitions: This is also a way of controlling delegated legislation, people can write petitions against an organisation on issues affecting them e.g. corruption. Also, people are encouraged to write letters to some government agencies about: events unfolding itself in some of these bodies or organisations. Accountability of ministers: Ministers are in most cases summoned in parliament to account for the rules and regulations, bye-laws made in their various ministries. Finance: Most of these bodies or organizations depend to a large extent on government for allocations to meet their running cost. Government may withhold allocation to any of these organisations, as a way of checking their activities. The Press: The press can act as a control of delegated legislation through their criticisms over rules and regulations governing the activities of these organisations. Some of these rules are antagonistic to the rights of the citizens and the operation of the rule of law. Unnecessary Duplication: It will help to prevent unnecessary duplication or contradiction of laws, rules and regulations. Obnoxious Law: The control of delegated legislation will help to safeguard citizen’s liberties from obnoxious laws. Accountability: It will make officials accountable for their actions. Autocracy: It will help to prevent bodies with powers of delegated legislation from being autocratic. Usurpation of power: Control of delegated legislation will help to prevent undue usurpation of the powers of legislature.

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DECENTRALISATION

Decentralization has to do with the sharing of power between the central government and other constituent units, within a political system. Powers are therefore, distributed to these different units, thereby creating many centres of power. For example, in a decentralized political system, powers are constitutionally shared between the central government and other constituent units, e.g. state and local governments. Details in power sharing are fully discussed under the topic federal system of government. Nigeria, U.S.A ., etc, have decentralized political system.   TYPES OF DECENTRALISATION There are two types of decentralization and they are: Devolution. Deconcentration.   Devolution In this type of system, the central government may decide to set up or create constituent or subordinate levels of government in different parts of the country, with powers to make decisions in specified areas as related to the locality. Britain is a good example.   Decentralization In this system, the central government sets policies for the local areas, appoints some officials with some powers and authority, and delegates them to carry out specific functions thereby regulating government policies at the local government level. France is a good example.   Merits of Decentralization Quick development: Quick development is achieved in a decentralized system because in this system there is opportunity for development. Every unit has the tendency to develop even faster than others. Competition among units in terms of development: In a federal state, there are competition among various units resulting in some states developing much better than others. It brings government nearer to the people: This is a credit to decentralization. Government is brought nearer to the people at the grassroots. Absence of dictatorship: The supremacy of the constitution and the application of the rule of law removes the tendency for a dictatorial government. Fear of domination: The fears of the minority are removed from the domination by the majority. Wider consultation: Decentralization encourages wider consultation. No section of the country is neglected in the decisionmaking process. Political Unity: Political unity is achieved because the system integrate many ethnic groups within the same system. Matters of local interest: With the division of functions made possible, matters of local interest can be allocated to the local areas. It increases efficiency of government. It reduces the work load of central government, thereby increasing its efficiency. It affords the leaders opportunity for leadership training e.g. leaders graduate from regional to central government positions. Greater Participation: Decentralization enhances greater participation of the people in government. Political Stability: The system encourages political stability because the various components are well represented in government.   Demerits of decentralisation Costly to operate: This system is costly to operate, because, many functions are created within the same system. Delay in taking quick-decisions: The need for a wider consultation, in decisionmaking process, equally, makes for a delay, in taking quick decision. Differences in the level of development: The system does not make for even development since some units develop faster and better than others. Weak centre: The centre is weak because of the autonomy of the various units. Duplication of positions in government: Functions in government are duplicated requiring too many hands in the process. Sectionalism: Decentralization can breed sectionalism since the country is composed of different units, interest groups, beliefs, etc.

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CENTRALISATION

Centralisation is defined as the process by which political power is located in a single central decision – making body. The highest degree of centralization is achieved where all powers of government are vested in a central authority. The degree of centralization is highest in a unitary state. Britain, France, etc. are centralised states. In some political systems, they may see the need for some degree of centralization of power.   Reasons for the adoption of centralisation Best practised in a homogenous state: This system is best practised where there are no sharp differences in religion, language, beliefs, etc. Small country: It is easy to practise in a relatively small country where the government has representatives from every ethnic group in the society. Delegation of functions: The central government can delegate powers and functions to other component units. Power concentration: All the powers and authorities of the state are concentrated in the hands of the central government. Flexibility: The constitution of a centralised state is flexible. Power to modify the constitution: The central government may have the power to modify the constitution in the same process used to pass laws. Britain adopts this method. No constitutional division of power: There is no constitutional division of power between the central government and other component units. Strong central government: This is because it has all the powers of the state and the people gives support to it only. No conflict of authority: Since all the powers are in the hands of the central government, conflict in the exercise of these functions will not arise.   Advantages of Centralisation Decision – making powers: Sometimes, there may be the need to withdraw decision – making powers from subordinate units to make for a more coherent and efficient administration. Cost: The cost of running a centralised-administration is relatively lower than the decentralized administration. The reason is that functions are not duplicated. It makes for quick action: Quick action is made in the areas of decision making and implementation. The central government alone makes decision. Flexible constitution: The method of amending the constitution is relatively easy because the constitution is flexible. Makes for a strong government: A centralised state is stronger than a decentralised one, because all the powers are concentrated in the hands of single central authority. No conflict of authority: There can be no conflict of authority or confusion regarding responsibility for work to be done. Coordination of functions: Centralization makes for effective coordination of functions in both human and material resources. Prevention of waste: It prevents waste, inefficiency and a high level of indiscipline in both the civil and public services. Less bureaucratic: Centralization is less bureaucratic and simple to operate. Unity: A centralized government unites different groups of diverse opinions and interests in the society.   Disadvantages of Centralisation Remoteness: It makes for remoteness of decision-making centre from where the decisions are to be implemented. Rigidity and inflexible response: It may lead to rigidity and inflexible response to local needs and problems. Stagnation: Centralized government may also make for stagnation at the local level, because the centre cannot quickly respond to the problems. Dictatorship: Centralization may encourage dictatorship in the system. Small territories: It is only workable in small territories. This system may not work in countries like Nigeria and U.S.A. Homogenous society: Centralization can also work only in a homogenous society, where differences in culture, tribes, etc, are not well pronounced. Interest groups: It is not possible for centralization to accommodate every interest group in the system. Amendment of the constitution: The central government alone can easily amend the constitution for selfish purposes. Political participation and decision making: The people are not politically active and adequately involved in the decision making process of the country. Secession: The concentration of power may favour a particular tribe or group and this may create bad blood in the system. The result of this could be secession or break away of a part.

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