Agitation for Restructuring and Resource Control in Nigeria’s Federalism: Issues, Perspectives and the Way Forward

Ali Ibrahim Abbas & Sani Garba Wakili


Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic comprising of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The states are further sub-divided into 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs). This paper examines issues concerning agitation for restructuring and resource control in Nigeria. The study through content analysis of documents examined the factors that led to the agitation for re-structuring, salient issues raised and the constitutional basis for re-structuring. It is discovered that in Nigeria the agitation revolves around resource control, review of revenue sharing formula, devolution of power, return to regional federal system of government based on six geo-political zones, return to parliamentary system of government, removal of immunity clause from the constitution, creation of state police, role of traditional rulers, among others. The finding also shows that Nigerians- individually and in groups, across regions and ethnic divides have been advocating for one or more aspect(s) of restructuring Nigeria’s federal system. The study therefore recommended restructuring in order to enhance national unity, peaceful co-existence, political stability and balanced national development. Beyond restructuring however, the failure of governance at all levels due to poor leadership, mismanagement, and corruption must be addressed.

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