n Africa Insight - Sustainable scholarship in Africa - : editorial

Volume 34, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The paper argues that the practice of federalism in Nigeria is overtly influenced by ethnic factors. This reality is prominent in the revenue allocation system, which is skewed against the minority Niger Delta region that incidentally produces Nigeria's oil wealth. The use of a centralised fiscal regime in Nigeria's federalism, which favours the major ethnic groups in control of state power, can be traced to the emergence of the Niger Delta minority as the bearers of Nigeria's oil wealth. This reality is contrary to the erstwhile derivation principle in vogue when Nigeria depended on primary agricultural products from the major ethnic groups. Therefore, the ethnic factor becomes a crucial factor in the determination of citizens' rights in Nigeria. It is against this background that the recurrent violence in the Niger Delta region poses a threat to Nigeria's new democracy. Thus, only a genuine federal system based on a fair fiscal policy can resolve the Niger Delta dilemma and safeguard Nigeria's democracy.

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