The Nigerian government structure is made up of three tiers, which are the federal Relationship & Differences between Federal, State, & Local Governments in. PDF | On Jan 1, , John Anyanwu and others published Fiscal Relations Among Fiscal Relations Among The Various Tiers of Government in Nigeria .. assignment of the various taxes to the three main levels of government - federal. The relation between the three tiers of government in Nigeria has been problematic over the years. Several commissions and committees have been set and.
It is a well-known fact that these three tiers of Governments work together to make governance in the country effective. Some of the collaborative roles of these government levels include ensuring the security of lives and properties of the citizens, providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive as well as the provision of basic amenities.
In this post, we will delve deeper into the roles of these levels of Government and how they are related to one another. Relationship between Federal, State, and Local Governments in Nigeria The Federal and State governments are responsible for setting and collecting taxes while the Local Government is primarily involved in collecting license fees. Usually, all of the collected revenue is held in a federal account before being distributed among the three spheres of government. When the federal constitution was adopted inNigeria provided fiscal autonomy to its three regions both over expenditure decisions and over a local revenue base consisting primarily of mining rents, personal income tax, and receipts from licenses.
However, there were centrally collected revenues, primarily from export, import and excise duties which were distributed to the regions according to the derivation principle.
After independence inthe derivation principle was modified in the interest of national unity, and the federal system of government began to be used to accommodate the diverse social and political interests of a multiethnic state.
Sinceunder successive military regimes, revenue administration and collection became increasingly centralized, and regional allocation was engineered at the discretion of the military government. Simultaneously, expenditure responsibilities and government functions also became centralized, with the federal government assuming the role of the engine of social and economic development. Inthe local governments became recognized as the third tier of government, entitled to statutory allocations from both federal and state governments Over the years, analysts have pointed out problems with this model as it is believed that the states and LGAs should do more than just acting as agents of the Federal Government and should be fundamentally involved in the effective delivery of public services.
This led to political leaders at the state level demanding constitutional guarantees of their fiscal autonomy. Also, the Local Government chairmen have also clamored for a greater share of resources and arguing that as grassroots organizations they are most responsive to the people, however, there is deep distrust at higher tiers about both their capacity and their accountability. The constitution elaborates the roles of these various levels of government.
In fact, the current distribution of responsibilities is provided in the Second and Fourth Schedules of the Constitution—Part I of the Second Schedule contains the exclusive legislative list on which only the federal government can act; Part II contains the concurrent legislative list on which both the federal and state governments can act; the Fourth Schedule provides the list of functions of the Local Government Councils.
Hence, strictly speaking, the Constitution does not really provide the list of functions to be executed by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the states as it does for the Local Government Councilsbut only the subjects upon which they can legislate. This indicates that the Federal Government of Nigeria is responsible for matters of national concern such as defense, foreign affairs, regulation, and monetary policy.
On the other hand, the responsibility of service delivery in the areas of education, health, infrastructure, agriculture and industry is concurrently shared with states and Local Government Authorities. Also, the local government authorities are responsible for the delivery of services such as public health; pre-school, primary and adult education; town planning; waste disposal; local transport; and roads. Overall, we can say that the local government relates to the state and the federal government in the following ways: State government creates local governments under a state law.
Each local government is created by an instrument. The federal government can undertake reforms of the local government system and make necessary changes in the system in consultation with state government.
There are certain services, which both local governments and the state government provide jointly. These are primary education, health services and agricultural and industrial services. The state government provides the standards and general control for these services.
Apart from the functions assigned to local governments by the constitution, the state government can assign other functions to local governments from time to time. Also, the federal government determines how the local government share of the federation accounts is shared out to them. Additionally, the federal government can give specific grants to local governments for specific services. The federal government also has the power to know how the money it paid to the local government is spent.
The state and federal government can execute certain functions on community development through or jointly with local governments. The state government can institute an inquiry into the operation of the local government. It can punish offenders, it can dissolve the council and appoint a caretaker council until an election is conducted. The state government approves the estimate, bye-laws and major programmes of the local government before they are implemented.
The state government provides inspectors who visit local governments regularly to inspect their operations. They look into their income and expenditure and other records and offer advice to the local government officials. The state government auditors audit the account of the local government annually. The state government provides rules which guide local government staff. It provides the local government with financial memorandum. The state government also regulates and controls the appointment of certain professionals working with local governments like medical officers, etc.
Often times, the relationship of the three tiers of government is a talking point based on the revenue sharing formula that allocates resources from the Federation Account amongst the three tiers of government—currently More specifically, the guiding research questions are: The paper is mainly documentary and descriptive drawing largely from constitutional provisions on local government in both countries and existing scholarship on federalism, local government autonomy and intergovernmental relations.
Conceptualizing Federalism and the Import for Autonomy of Federating Units The word federation is enlarged to describe various kinds of state organisations. This invariably leads to various kinds of theorisation about the process, structure, and the overall objective of the principle of federalism.
The word derives from Latin foedus meaning pact, alliance, covenant, an arrangement entered into voluntarily and implying a degree of mutual trust and duration Dosenrode, Obianyo notes that even though federalism has attracted a wide variety of meanings and definitions, it has not lost its essential characteristics or content, which in the view of Wheareis the method of dividing powers of government in a state so that general and regional governments are each within a sphere, coordinate and independent.
It is the idea of self-rule and shared rule, which Wheare and Elazar regard as the federal principle. A critical factor in the theory of federalism is how this self rule and shared rule is realised. There is also the issue of whether local governments can actually be a coordinate partner in the federal contract.
The traditional, institutional or classical theorists of federalism and indeed the first model federal constitutions depict a form of government that embodies certain institutional and constitutional features between the federating units and the federal government. This view basically rests on the importance of constitution in the formation of federations. Wheare conceives a number of principles which define a federation. Hence, most scholars of this tradition often refer to two levels of government.
This is why the model is often referred to as the dual model of federalism in which each level of government, national and states provinces, cantons, regions etc. The alternative theoretical bent in explaining federalism is that which stresses the role of the socio-political make- up of a country and the diversities within rather than power sharing.
These theories basically explain federalism as a tool or instrument for managing diversity and ensuring the self-expression or the autonomy of units that are sociologically different from others within a polity.
Among the foremost proponents is Livingstone For him, The essential nature of federalism is to be sought for not in the shading of legal and constitutional terminology but in the forces of economic, social, political and cultural systems that have made the outward forms of federalism necessary A federal government is merely a device by which the federal qualities of society are articulated and protected.
The sociological theory is considered monistic, integrative or functional because of its ability to recognise the dynamism of politics within a state which cannot be rigidly consitutionalised on a more permanent basis. As perceived by Friedrich Any particular design or pattern of competencies or jurisdictions is merely a phase, a short-run view of a continually evolving political reality. If understood as a process For him cooperative federalism is a system that is more organized along functional lines.
Powers are dispersed but they are less sharply separated as in a dual system. Often policy that is established on the central level is executed by the federating entities. The sociological and integrative theorists will rather prefer that constitutionalism in federations should not be such as to hamper cooperative relationship between tiers of government since federalism is a process rather than a structure Elazar, The model apparently recognises the local government as a partner in the federal contract because of the emphasis on cooperation and principle of subsidiarity.
When this recognition is extended to the institutional model to some reasonable degree, it is bound to throw up some flexibility challenges for federations. By constitutionalizing the local government system, dual federalism is further extended to three-tier or four-tier arrangement as the case may be. Today, increasing number of countries pursue this programme in the bid to ensure guaranteed autonomy and local power devolution that goes beyond the wishes or laws of higher level governments.
Chaturvedi defines autonomy as a grant of authority to a political organization within a geographical area to decide and determine its own course of action. Wolman, McManmon, Bell and Brunori nd: They prescribe what they describe as three dimensions of local government autonomy. Local Government Importance is explained in terms of the relative role of local government in the state economy and intergovernmental system. Wolman, McManmon, Bell and Brunori, nd: It is important to point out that these aspects of local government autonomy apply to both unitary and federal states and may not require constitutional provisions.
A local government system could enjoy this without constitutionalisation. The constitutional provision of powers of local governments within a federal state relatively places that power above what can ordinarily be changed by the laws made by higher order governments, and thus elevates local governments in such countries to having a stake in the federal contract in which that power cannot be tampered with unilaterally.
This as well, does not seem to ensure the importance, discretion and capacity of local governments. Autonomy is therefore conceived here as the degree of being self-governing by the local government level granted by the national or federal constitution itself. Following from the above, we then operationalize the concept of local government autonomy here in terms of 1 Assigned powers of local government granted by the federal constitution itself rather than the laws of state, provincial or the second tier level governments 2 fiscal federalism that recognizes the local governments in constitutionally stipulated tax bases and fund sources, and, capacity to enjoy the above two without interference from higher level government.
Evaluating Local Government Autonomy in the Three-tier Federative Structures of Nigeria and Brazil As indicated above, local government autonomy in this paper is evaluated in terms of 1 the constitutional basis of local government powers as provided and protected by the federal constitution and 2 fiscal federalism that recognizes the local governments in constitutionally stipulated tax bases and fund sources.
However, the issue of third tier status of local government is expressly stated in the Brazilian Constitution of Chapter IV is specifically on issues relating particularly to the municipalities. Article 30 specifies the powers of the municipalities to include: The Brazilian Constitution is particularly detailed on the processes for electing the municipal personnel executive and legislature and the nature of supervision to be carried out under the law or by the prerogatives of high level government.
Autonomy cannot be absolute even for a sovereign state. For the Nigerian federation, the constitution, which does not differ significantly from the constitution that introduced the idea of third tier local government provides in various sections the nature, number and names, functions, funding and many other issues that are meant to guarantee constitutional autonomy of local governments.
Section 8 provides a complex procedure for creating states or local government. Section 8 3 particularly provides for a bill for a law of a House of Assembly for purpose of creating a new local government area to be passed by the National Assembly; vi.
The Fourth Schedule provides for the functions of the local government; viii. The Constitution stipulates an arrangement that allows for statutory allocation of public revenue from the federation account to states and local governments Section 7 6 declares: Subject to the provisions of this Constitution — a the National Assembly shall make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to local government councils in the Federation; and b the House of Assembly of a State shall make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to local government councils within the State.
Most of the provisions on local government incorporate some ambivalence.
Relationship & Differences between Federal, State, & Local Governments in Nigeria
For instance, local governments are primarily to be created by state laws. The further directive of the type of local government to be created is not taken seriously by many states leading to various maneuvering to create all kinds of non-democratic local governments.
Also, states go ahead to create local governments without ensuring the fulfillment of the last process of passing the bill by the National Assembly. It was a period in which the local governments were most neglected, abused, politicized and marginalized in the scheme of things in Nigeria Obikeze and Obi, Many states appointed care taker committees instead of the constitutionally provided democratically elected councils; many created local government systems unapproved by the National Assembly as contained in the constitution; virtually all interfered with the finances of local governments.
Also, since the return to democracy in in what is generally regarded as the Fourth Republic, states have not generally respected constitutional provisions on local government. Despite the provisions of the constitution in Section 7 1many states have continued to appoint non-democratically elected councils. Those that hold elections virtually restrict competition. Adeyemo observes that the usurpation of local government functions and revenue sources by state governments seriously erode the autonomy of the local governments.
Many have also created local governments outside the number and names recognised in the constitution. InPresident Olusegun Obasanjo threatened to withhold the federal allocations of some states that created new local governments.
While the threat made other states to quickly covert their newly created local governments to what they termed Development Centres, Lagos state government went ahead to operate her 37 newly created local governments and treated them at par with the existing 20 recognized in the federal constitution. The federal government also made its threat real by stopping the federal allocations to Lagos state local government councils pushing the state government to take the federal government to court on the matter.
In its ruling on the matter in Octoberthe Supreme Court of Nigeria declared that the federal government has no power, either by executive or administrative action, to suspend or withhold for any period what so ever, the statutory allocations due and payable to Lagos state government pursuant to the provisions of section 8 of the constitution.
It also ruled that the action of the Lagos state in creating 37 new local governments through the Lagos state creation of New Local Government Areas Law No 5 of and its Amendment of October is constitutional but that the new local governments now amounting to 57 are inchoate until the National Assembly grants approval as provided in section 8 5. The implication of this inchoate status is not clear since the Supreme Court did not restrain the Lagos state government from maintaining, financing or recognizing the new local government councils.
Indeed, one of the Justices, Uwaifo made it obvious that the National Assembly has no basis to deny any state that has met the provisions of sections 8 3 and 4 its constitutional powers to form new local governments and thus the approval of the National Assembly is really pro-forma, and was a foregone conclusion cited by Aluko, as in Obianyo, This conflictual situation underscores many relationships of the states and the local government system.
For all intents and purposes, it is clear that basic features and powers of local governments in Brazil and Nigeria are de jure provided in their constitutions. While the Brazilian case can more clearly be seen to actually place local government on a third tier status, the Nigerian case is ambivalent and provides legal loopholes that have generated more conflicts in intergovernmental relations.
It has to do with the application of constitutional rules in the process of allocation, distribution, control, management and sharing of state resources; above all it is concerned with fiscal equity and financial independence among the federating units Elekwa, Fiscal federalism should guarantee fiscal autonomy by providing an allocation regime that is fair, just and acceptable Tukur, There could not be any single agreeable formula for determining what is fair, just and acceptable for every country as the index for revenue allocation.
Hence, the issue of revenue allocation formula remains contentious in some federations. However, our concern here is to see the extent of recognition of local governments in the allocation of national resources and assignment of tax bases and the degree to which they are allowed to control these revenue sources.
For Brazil, the Constitution provided substantial fiscal resources and autonomy to sub national governments, including the municipalities. The provisions of article reveal that Brazilian municipalities have two important sources of revenue — federal and state transfers and own internally generated revenue.
A complex system of transfers which recognizes incomes raised from a locality as well as attempts at equalization in a highly unequal geographical regions are adopted by both the federal government and the states in making transfers to the municipalities. The table below shows the structure of local tax allocation after the Constitution.
Service tax is levied on businesses, self-employed professionals or groups of professionals working in the same type of service hospitals, private doctors' clinics, lawyers, estate agents etc. The federal government has provided a list of around types of services which are liable to this form of taxation. Each municipality is free to determine the rate to be charged, varying from 0.
Souza describes the service tax as the most important in absolute terms. The tax on urban property is levied on urban real estate and it is the second most important local tax nation-wide Souza, nd. Usually size of property, location, access to services and infrastructure and other criteria are considered while determining the rate. Frontage tax is premises tax. Municipalities can also charge fees for their services and an improvement fee whenever a local public investment raises the value of a property in a specific area Souza, nd.
States transfer ICMS tax — value added - based on collections from each local government.