At a Glance:
Offical Country Page
Year became a federation: 1955
Joined Forum of Federations: 2005
Current constitution in force since: 1999
Constituent units: 36 states, 1 territory
Head of State: President Umaru Yar’Adua
Head of Government: President Umaru Yar’Adua
Lower House: House of Representatives
Our work in Nigeria
Since 2000 the Forum has worked with local partners in Nigeria to organize programs ranging from the first Governors’ Forum in 2002 to the more recent creation of a network on fiscal federalism.
Federalism in Nigeria
After Nigeria gained independence from Britain in 1963, it became a federal republic operating with a strong central government.Today its population of 150 million makes it the most populous in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major challenge for federalism in Nigeria the sharing of oil revenues between the central government and the states.
The return to civilian rule in 1999 after military dictatorships that began in 1983 provided an enhanced environment for democratic rule and for federalism in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s multi-ethnic character led to the expansion of constituent units from three to 36 starting in 1963.
The 1979 constitution introduced a presidential system of government and recognized the function of local governments as the nation’s third order of government. A new constitution was put in place in 1999 provisions charging the central government with the duty of promoting the country’s federal character and obliging state and local government to conduct their affairs in a manner that recognises the diversity of its people and to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty.
The country is currently led by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan. He is replacing the ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, who was been receiving medical treatment since November 2009. Nigeria is traversing a fragile period. It has recently faced religious riots in the north of the country and in the oil rich Niger Delta.
* Development assistance program countries