Home Govt. Agencies [Detailed] The 6 types of Intergovernmental relations in Nigeria

[Detailed] The 6 types of Intergovernmental relations in Nigeria

by Abbey
types of Intergovernmental relations in Nigeria

Nigeria’s government is run on a federal structure. The Federal, State, and local governments make up the three levels of government in this system. Together, the three levels of government cooperate to further the nation’s progress.

Federalism is the term for a mixed or compound form of governance that combines a central or “federal” administration with smaller regional governments into a single political system. Its defining characteristic is the establishment of parity between the two levels of government, which is represented in the founding example of modern federalism in the United States of America under the Constitution of 1789. Because of this, it can be thought of as a type of government where power is shared between two equal levels.

1. National-State Relations

The constitution that unites the federal and state governments in Nigeria’s first republic determines the INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONSHIP in the state-nation relationship. Each regional government has its own constitution that is distinct from the federal constitution, and all of them have a coordinator and regard themselves as partners in the Nigeria project on an equal footing. In the nation’s state INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONSHIP, there is no relationship of the superior-subordinate variety. It is one of excellence. In areas where the two levels of hierarchy can coexist peacefully, there is a theory of the national interest that states that in the event of a conflict, the center will have the upper hand since in relationships between nations, federal power ultimately prevails.

2. Nation-State-Local Relation

The second INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONSHIP style is frequently described as the nation-state recent relationship in literature. This typically occurs when the federal government decides to interact with local government by means of a state-level regional government. It is uncommon for the federal government to interact with local governments without going via the state government in a form of governance based on the constitution. This kind of connection was established following the 1976 local government reform by the federal constitution, also known as the 1979 constitution, which brought democracy to Nigeria’s Second Republic. The Constitution says that the federal government can give local governments 10% of their income.

3. National-Local relations

Relates to the interaction between the federal and municipal governments. By accident, a direct relationship between the federal and local governments is not provided for in the Nigerian constitution. The 1976 local government reform was the first thing that caught the local government’s attention. After that, it was included in the 1989 constitution, which we never used, and finally the 1999 constitution. Even so, these constitutional provisions forbid the federal government from dealing with local governments directly; instead, it must go through the state government.

4. Interstate Relation

As the name suggests, this connection is one between two or more states that are part of the same federation; the states need not be adjacent, and the relationship need not be governed by legislation. Since Nigeria’s independence, interstate relations have largely been influenced by: 1. The state’s ethnic makeup (composition) 2. Political party membership3. The state’s nationalism and organizational style

5. State-Local Government Relation

Nigeria Federation State-Local Government Relations involves the interaction of superior and subordinate bodies. One reason is that local governments are influenced by state governments. They frequently have an impact from such acts because they were created by a state government act of parliament. It is impossible to build an organization with more authority than its founder. The first is that the state and municipal governments are legally related to one another. The legal arrangement establishes the state government’s superiority over municipal governments. Additionally, it states that the state government has the authority to retaliate violently against municipal authorities.

Therefore, the state government may take such action if the local government violates the law establishing it. Additionally, there is an administrative link that reinforces the local government’s inferior position to the state. For example, the local government’s annual budget must first be approved by the state government before it can be sent to the local government ministry for approval.

6. Inter-Local Government Relations

What is meant by this is the relationship between or among the local governments that make up the total number of local governments in a state. Every state in the federation organizes its local government such that they meet at least once every month or three months to discuss issues like the state local government joint account or how to use certain local resources for a state-wide project.

Such may be paid for road construction that connects one local government with another, garbage collection, or shared services that will benefit all local governments. Because of this joint account, it looks like relationships between local governments in NI are symmetrical, which they often are in Nigeria, and is a sign of harmony and balance.


Based on its integrative ability to approach the heterogeneous political life of multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic communities, federalism has evolved as one of the most desired forms of administration. However, due to the distorted character of federal practice in Nigeria, which has caused severe disputes among the constituent nationalities and led to continual tinkering and efforts at dissolution, the practice of federalism has remained a frightening nightmare.

Nigeria’s challenge has been how to establish an effective central administration that would support maintaining national unity while giving free rein to the diversity of the multi-ethnic and multilingual component divisions. Pressures for fundamental federal reforms have been a constant, intense, and polarizing aspect of modern Nigerian politics, despite the country’s growth from the colonial federal heritage of three political zones to a union of 36 states and 774 local governments.

Today’s Nigeria urgently needs to devolve and de-concentrate power to other constituent parts of the Nigerian federation, as required under the federal principle. The existence of minority groups inside the Nigerian federation also makes it imperative to develop, establish, and guarantee procedures that soothe minorities’ fears of dominance and oppression.

Therefore, to address the issues affecting Nigeria today, a reorganization of the polity that is guaranteed by the constitution and which, among other things, grants ethnic nationalities autonomy, will be sufficient. There is no question that the ethnic nations in Nigeria have a deep mistrust of the Nigerian State, and the only thing that can hold the very fabric of the polity together, in the long run, is a strong political, economic, structural, and functional restructuring.


  • Abbey

    Abbey Johnson has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.

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