This book uses the political economy approach to examine the relative failure of federalism in Nigeria. It shows the nexus between the political and the economic aspects of the country’s federalism. The central feature of Nigeria’s political economy is the relationship between oil resources and the state. The author argues that the inability of the federal government to distribute the oil wealth fairly amongst the component units contributes to the dysfunctional character of the federal system. This deficiency is rooted in the country’s unbalanced political economy, which promotes over-dependency on oil and consequently an over-centralised federal system. The book concludes that despite its complexities, federalism has become the basis for the country’s stability. Therefore, ethno-regional demands for ‘true federalism’ will remain until the political elite reform the ailing federal system.
Dele Babalola is Senior Lecturer at the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy at Baze University, Nigeria. He formerly taught at the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent, UK. He edited Nigeria, a Country under Siege: Issues of Conflict and its Management (with H. Onapajo, 2018).