Types of Intergovernmental Relations in Nigeria

Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 08:24 pm

Nigeria is one of the countries in the world that uses the federalist form of government. Federalism is a kind of governmental system that unites several political ideologies into a general political framework. This has the effect of dividing up authority between general and constitutional governments. Federalism, in its most basic definition, is the preservation of subnational structures while achieving national union. But in a broader sense, federalism is more than just a set up of administrative organizations.

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Nigeria is one country where intergovernmental interactions are present under the federalist form of governance. This is how the many governmental levels interact. The sorts of intergovernmental relationships in Nigeria will be highlighted and explained in this article.


Below is a description of the many intergovernmental relationships in Nigeria.


The federal government and state governments’ intergovernmental connection is established under the Nigerian Constitution. Firstly, the federal government’s constitutional principles include one that allows for the establishment of states in Nigeria. The distribution of revenues between the federal and state governments of Nigeria is another instance of intergovernmental interaction. This is so that the federal account, which distributes funds to the nation’s 36 states, can be used. In Nigeria, the national government distributes 24% of its federal appropriation to the 36 state governments.

The federal government works with state governments to provide security, basic services, and a climate that is conducive to business so that investments can prosper.


The partnership between the federal, state, and local governments is a sort of intergovernmental relationship. The 1999 Constitution stipulates that the state governments must normally be consulted before engaging with the federal government. This is necessary if it wishes to communicate with any local administrations. Several community development initiatives are carried out in collaboration between the local administrations and the federal and state governments. Also, the state government is consulted when the federal government wishes to implement reforms and make essential adjustments to the local government system. Additionally, the local governments receive funding from the federal government via their corresponding state governments. Furthermore, through their respective state governments, the federal governments award grants to local governments for particular services.


Local governments and the federal government communicate with one another via the states that they are located in. Because of this, the state governments serve as a bridge between the federal and local government sectors. According to law, the federal government must distribute a share of the federal revenue account to local governments via the state governments. Local governments occasionally receive grants from the federal government as well. In order to understand how the money given to local governments is used, the federal government may also interact with them in a formal capacity. Local government system reforms can be started by the federal government after consulting with the state government. They have the ability to make the adjustments that are required.


There are numerous states in the country that have interstate or intergovernmental relations. The ethnic makeup of the states and political political leanings are two elements that have a significant impact on interstate relations in Nigeria. This type of contact does not require that the states involved be close neighbors. This means that before an association can occur, the states involved must not share a boundary. Furthermore, there is no requirement for laws to control interactions between two or more states. However, Nigeria has very little development in this area of intergovernmental interactions.


There are various levels of interaction between the local governments and the states in Nigeria. Together, the local and state administrations provide a number of services in the fields of primary education, health care, agriculture, and industrial services. But setting rules and overseeing these services generally falls under the purview of the state government. The municipal administrations in the state may be given extra responsibilities by the state government.

According to the constitution’s guidelines, the state government created the local administrations. As a result, the state government in each state has authority over the local governments there. Local governments are subject to state government supervision. Other oversight responsibilities that state governments have over local governments includes examining their financial records, evaluating their operations, and controlling the hiring of particular professions.

State governments are mandated by law to give local governments under their jurisdiction a 10percentage share of their own revenue. This is being done to ensure that service delivery can reach the most basic levels, this is being done. Nevertheless, in reality, not every state government abides with the specified revenue-sharing arrangement. Additionally, state governments work with municipal governments in their state to carry out programs for local development.. Additionally, the state government has the authority to dissolve a local government council. If a probe reveals they have fallen short in their responsibilities, this action will be taken.


Inter-local relations is a sort of intergovernmental relationship is one between two or more local administrations inside a state. This kind of official interaction is unpopular because local administrations rely too heavily on the national and state governments.

The federal, state, and local governments should all have an equitable share of the power in a federal system. This will guarantee that both local and group objectives are met. The political system of Nigeria, however, has an uneven distribution of power. The local government might not have the same level of autonomy as the federal or state governments, as per the 1999 constitution. It is challenging for local governments to make significant progress because of their excessive reliance on both the federal and state governments. In order to increase service delivery to the grassroots, it would indeed be a desirable improvement if the constitution were amended to give the local government layer additional authority.


As was already said, Nigeria is a federalist country. The federal, state, and municipal governments are included in this system’s three levels of government. The various levels of government must cooperate for the various levels of government governments to accomplish their objectives. Intergovernmental relations refers to this interaction between the different governmental tiers. This article covered the many intergovernmental relationships within Nigeria.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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