Why Change Can Only Start With All Of Us


By Saheed Ademola Raji

Regardless of the many reservations we think we have for the last, this or future governments, things will truly change is when we realize we are the government and the change we always seek. I am sure we all have heard this on several occasions and in different fora. Make no mistakes about this!

I read a friend’s post on Facebook recently. The post notes that the government should have come up with this #ChangeBeginsWithMe immediately after its inauguration. That post reminded me of several ones I did about a year ago. I recall there was one I did on the need for us to be the change we seek.

This #ChangeBeginsWithMe was launched at a time when Nigerians have literally been through different conditions. The reactions so far have been between two extremes: It is coming as means through which the government intends the shift the blame of its failures or that that we have different slogans that turned to mean nothing. One of the prominent example of such initiatives has been: Good People, Great Nation launched by the Yar’Adua administration.

For late Prof. Dora Akunyili, the then minister of information and communication. The Good People, Great Nation initiative is a reorientation effort aimed at fostering positive perception of Nigeria at home and within the international community. Put in another way, Nigerians were expected to act in a manner befitting good people so that Nigeria in the comity of Nations can assume the status of a great nation.

Performing the opening ceremony in Abuja on 17th March, 2009, the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan representing President Yar’Adua urged Nigerians not to see the campaign as another ceremony or exercise in sloganeering. He opined that it should be perceived as a genuine attempt at making every Nigerian have a renewed commitment to the rebuilding of the country. In his words “The campaign signals a new dawn in our collective quest to entrench a culture of moral rearmament and ingrained positive values of resilience, diligence, transparency, accountability, and selfless service”.

It therefore defies logic and beyond explanation that when the man who spoke well of an initiative to re-orientate Nigerians had the opportunity to continue the government he started with late President Yar’Adua, without any other initiative to neither contradict nor nullify the Good People, Great Nation campaign, his actions and/or inactions points to a mockery of and a proper description of sloganeering the campaign.

Dr. Jonathan’s government reduced 98% of Nigeria’s supposed Good People to mere statistics. He watched while 2% of Nigeria’s good people who have access to him to people in the State House and to people who have access to the nation’s treasury display wealth and luxury in its cruel and crude form. He encouraged treasury looters and urged them on. He even declared petty stealing as not being corruption per se. His conclusion on what constitute a great nation put the whole slogan of a campaign in disarray. The President had attended meeting in Kenya where he was followed by who is who in Nigeria business environment. Surprised by the number of private jets that shot Kenya’s airspace all coming from Nigeria, the then President declared Nigeria not poor and thereby asserted our greatness!

What was obvious with Good People, Great Nation campaign is that people who shouted and urged Nigerians not to turn the campaign to a mere slogan did not believe in it in the first place. It was an attempt at window dressing Nigeria’s pressing issues rather than solving them.

Now Change Begins with Me

This government came to power on the back of Change mantra. Many Nigerians will tell you that there was an unusual sense of responsibility at the beginning of this administration. Nigerians felt unusual grip, self-awareness and were ready to comport themselves citing the President’s language. That belief that President Buhari will not condone indiscipline, corruption and other vices that have been the order of the day is fast loosening. The body language vamoosed while the administration tarries in conceptualizing their one big opportunity to register the all-round change in the heart of every Nigerian.

At this point, raising your hands to say President Buhari hasn’t made mistakes in the entire lifespan of this administration so far will not only earn one a widespread vilification. It will call to question one’s sincerity of purpose. The President kept us waiting for almost a year before announcing cabinet members. It is rather a sorry case that we had to wait for about a year to have the chunk of the ministers we have today.

For change to begin with me, the Federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari will have to reassure me by changing the following:

First, the newly confirmed Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has a knack for trying to impress. He unfortunately has history of going about impressing in a wrong way. I recalled he tried to indict his predecessor when it was obvious he has left his homework undone. Another eye service he has embarked upon is clamp down on Bring Back Our Girls campaigners. Nigerians are amused rather than impressed by such act of suppression. This group is not known to be violent in any way.

Citizens agitation for a redress and a solution to a perceived problem shouldn’t in anyway be coerced out of existence. It appeared that the clamp down is a result of BBOG campaigners staging successive peaceful protest to the state house to demand speedy actions on rescuing abducted Chibok girls. While we appreciate the efforts put in place by our government through the Nigerian Army and other government agencies in the North East so far, a campaign like BBOG is there to make you do more and not to cast aspersion on what has been done. It becomes a problem when you or your advisers see the campaigners demand for more as a way of making your government look bad or incapable.

If these campaigners deem it fit to come to Villa everyday to demand for more, the best for a change government is to tell them what has been done, what we intend to do and then seek their way forward. Using the police to stop citizens’ peaceful protest is no departure from our immediate past where every citizens agitation is seen to have been sponsored by opposition to discredit the government.

Second, the corruption cases your government has so far beamed a search light on by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have been code named using ‘gates’ as a suffix to the name of the leader of such case. We have DasukiGate, Sarakigate and other gates. But one big gate that has been opened in your administration has received less enthusiasm to say the least. That gate is NASSGATE. Nigerians would not have been bothered if you didn’t promise to deal with everyone involved in padding of 2016 budget.

For once, we have a willing whistleblower in Honourable AbdulMumin Jibrin. He has said enough to warrant Mr. President’s rage and interest. One begins to ask if there have been concessions. What role did the harmonization committee headed by the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuf played in getting the President to sign the budget. In treating this case with kid glove, two things came to the fore. Your willingness to prosecute last administration’s corruption cases while overlooking yours and a possibility that you might have conceded a part of 2016 budget however small to NASS in a corrupt way just to get the budget signed.

Third, one of the few gift you can give Nigerians on our next Independence day is announcing a cabinet reshuffle. It is not an overstatement that 80% of your Ministers either don’t have what it takes to be minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria at this period of our existence with our many challenges or are hindered by things you only can explain to us. In any case, the lack of direction, vision and mission from these set of Ministers have not gone unnoticed. I expect that you have a process of fishing energetic, focused and detribalized Nigerians home and abroad to replace those whose only leverage on you is the role they play in your emergence. Different category of Nigerians played equal role, the only difference is that they are not visible to you because politics is not their business.

The cabinet can be likened to a boat. The way it is, this boat is struggling to rise above water level. The best option is to drop unnecessary loads and recruit drivers.

Fourth, the issue of the over bloated presidential fleet cannot be over emphasized. I read recently a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu, on a committee that has been set up to determine the fate of the presidency’s about ten jets inherited from past administrations. It is at best laughable that about fifteen months have been spent by this administration to deliberate on irrelevant toys that are consuming unforgivable part of Nigeria’s budget through servicing and all. At this pace, the purported committee will take another fifteen months to come up with a resolution.

The Presidency holding to these toys in the face of recession best describes Nigerians overbearing reaction to apples release of iPhone7 and iPhone7 plus. One wonders why we cry of hard economic situation when we are not ready to let costly and irrelevant materials go.

If I may advice Mr. President, these four issues need your urgent attention. Your political will at this time will determine whether or not Nigerians will receive his recent message where he said: “In other words, before you ask ‘Where is the change they promised us?’, you must first ask, ‘How far have I changed my ways?” with anger or funfair.

Raji is a public affairs analyst based in Ibadan. He can be reached on Twitter via @RajiDraj


Open Letter to the Financial Times: On Black Students Protesting Against Racism

Open Letter to the Financial Times: On Black Students Protesting Against Racism
We See Things Differently
by Ahmed Olayinka Sule  Follow @Alatenumo
Dear Edward, I write regarding your article, “The rise of liberal intolerance in America”, published in the Financial Times on 30 November 2015. The central theme of your paper was that the sensitivity of the liberal left in general and black agitators in particular is stifling free speech. To support your thesis you focus mainly on the protests taking place in US campuses by black students. After reading your piece, I have been left with no choice but to write my third – ‘We See Things Differently’ letter to a Financial Times columnist (the first two letters were penned to your colleague Christopher Caldwell in response to two articles about racism in the NBA and Trayvon Martin.)
I agree with you that the point of higher education is to inculcate a spirit of inquiry. I agree with you that large swaths of the American public have lost faith in their leaders’ integrity however, I don’t agree with your central thesis and the supporting premises. Sir, the problem with your social analysis is that it is written from a privileged White Anglo-Saxon perspective. Since you have failed to factor the viewpoint of the other side of the colour line in your analysis, my rejoinder will address the black perspective. It is my belief that people are more informed when they synthesis both the privileged and the unprivileged narrative.
You appear to lay the blame of what you call ‘America’s liberal intolerance’ mainly at the worn out feet of black youths marching the streets of the various US campuses. You make reference to the black protesting students (directly and indirectly) in five out of your eight-paragraph article. The fact that it is mainly black students protesting about racial injustice in US campuses is not a sufficient and necessary condition to conclude that the left movement is intolerant or suppressing free speech.
In analysing the Princeton students’ protest against Woodrow Wilson’s racist legacy, you note that despite Wilson’s reintroduction of segregation into the federal workforce, “The case in his favour is that he is an important historic figure. He was also author of the Treaty of Versailles.” The flaw with this line of thinking is that it uses a man’s lesser good deeds to downplay his greater evil deeds. Sir, isn’t it like saying that despite Hitler’s role in the Holocaust, the case in his favour is that he helped in the technological development of Germany, he set up Volkswagen, which employs hundreds of thousands of people around the world, and he ended the Weimar Republic civil war?
Another flaw in your analysis is that in order to justify your opposition to the students protest against Wilson’s racist legacy, you put forward a false dilemma suggesting that the elimination of Wilson’s name from Princeton demands erasing Washington, Jefferson and Churchill from history due to their racist past. The former can happen without the latter occurring.
You article appears to be dismissive of the sufferings of people in my community. Whenever you talk about the sufferings of black folks you end it with a conditional “but” or “yet.” For instance, you write:
Wilson might have introduced segregation, BUT “he is an important historic figure”
“Look at the frequency of trigger-happy police responses to unarmed black suspects. BUT quashing free speech is no answer”
“The goal is to eliminate prejudice from the mind. YET it can have the perverse effect of heightening awareness of race.”
Someone once said, “Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally,” while Martin Luther King said, “Few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race”. I guess when one reads about how his ancestors were chained like animals and sold like merchandise; when one learns that her father and mother were segregated because of the colour of their skin; when one sees his brothers and sisters gunned down by police because they had the wrong skin tone, then one will appreciate why the sufferings of black folks cannot be trivialised to simplistic “BUT” and “YET” sound bites.
In Margarita Aragon’s essay – No Alibis – Educating Children About Racism (don’t worry it’s applicable for adults too) she says ‘When it comes to memorializing black resistance, even resistance against conditions now universally repudiated, the suffering of the oppressed remains infinitely more palatable for mass consumption than their anger.’ You might take note.
You fail to appreciate that the agitation of the black students in US campuses is part of a global movement where black students living in the bastions of racism in South Africa, Britain and the USA are straightening up their backs and saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. In South Africa, black students are fighting against institutional racism prevalent in South African Universities. Perhaps you may want to watch the documentary “Luister” which shows students of Stellenbosch University narrating their racial experiences. Students from University of Cape Town succeeded in removing the statue of Cecil Rhodes from the school. You might be inclined to disapprove of the removal of the statue because Cecil Rhodes was a man of historic importance , a businessman and a mining magnate; however people in my community see him in a different light. We see him as a bigoted racist who once said, “I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence.” We have not and we will not forget how Rhodes stole the riches of Africa; neither can my people forget his “Every Master Wallop His Nigger Bill” which granted white farmers the right to flog their black workers. In the UK, black students of your alma mater, Oxford University are also calling for Cecil Rhodes statue to be removed from Oriel College. You might want to rebut, “There is no thing as an uncomplicated historic figure,” but would you arrive at this conclusion if the statue were that of Hitler? In the USA, the lynching of black bodies by an institutionally racist police force has triggered the black students’ impatience with institutional racism.
One of the reasons why I mentioned earlier that your social analysis was based on a privileged White Anglo-Saxon perspective is because the references used to support your argument are all Anglo-Saxon influences – whether it is Woodrow Wilson, James Madison, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Williams Shakespeare, F Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, Upton Sinclair and Donald Trump. Perhaps if you had taken time to study the history, philosophy and writings of people of colour you would appreciate the black students’ agitation. You could start here if you wished and follow the links. However as you seem to place a lot of emphasis on Woodrow Wilson, you might also want to learn about W.E.B Du Bois, a black sociologist, historian and civil rights activist who lived during the same era. You could begin by reading Du Bois open letter, which he wrote to Wilson in March 1913. The letter gives an insight into the conditions of black folks at the time and here is an excerpt from the letter: “It is not the offices at your disposal, President Woodrow Wilson, that is the burden of our great cry to you. We want to be treated as men. We want to vote. We want our children educated. We want lynching stopped. We want no longer to be herded as cattle on street cars and railroads. We want the right to earn a living, to own our own property and to spend our income unhindered and uncursed.”
I would also like to address your claim that the left in general and the black left in particular are trying to shut down free speech. I will also address your implicit assertion that black students are trying to hinder the universities ability to inculcate a spirit of inquiry. Sir, black students agitating for racial justice cannot be pigeonholed into left or right. To paraphrase Kwame Nkrumah, black students face neither left or right; they face forward. Furthermore, free speech and clamouring for racial justice are not mutually exclusive concepts. The black students protesting are not shutting down free speech, they are only utilising nonviolent direct action to make their case heard. If you had taken time to study black history, you would appreciate that black folks who have been silenced for way too long often result to unconventional forms of protests such as sit-ins, freedom rides and economic boycott to pressurise their oppressors to negotiate. Martin Luther King explained that the purpose of this nonviolent direct action is to, “Create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.” So Sir, black students who pull down statues of historic racist figures and demand the renaming of buildings are engaging in creative tension methods to bring their oppressors to the negotiating table.
Black students are also aggrieved because they are sick and tired of hearing the white supremacy narrative that if they work hard and turn a blind eye to injustice, they will scale the social ladder and live a well-adjusted life. They have also set their sights on universities because for too long, these institutions of learning rather than providing an enabling environment that inculcates a spirit of inquiry have become breeding grounds for racist sciences, racist history and racist philosophies, which are passed down from one generation of students to another. So it should not be of any surprise that some students are asking for the introduction of mandatory courses on marginalised peoples to counteract the prevailing narrative in Anglo-Saxon history classes, which suggest that people of colour have always been ‘slaves and savages’. You note, “Different voices should be heard and debated” – However the relevant question should be, which voices are currently being heard? For too long we have heard and debated the voices of the white Anglo-Saxon world; isn’t it time for us to hear and debate the voices of the coloured world?
I find it very disturbing that you heap the blame of racial prejudice on the victims of racial prejudice. You argue, “The goal is to eliminate prejudice from the mind. Yet it can have the perverse effect of heightening awareness of race,” then you downplay the role of diversity officers in universities by saying that some officers find racism where it does not exist. You then conclude, “Next time you wonder why a demagogue like Donald Trump is doing so well, ask why there is such high return to his plain spokenness. Could it be because it is being rooted out of public life?” Sir, isn’t this like blaming a woman who has had her wallet stolen because she was carrying an expensive handbag? If you critically examine the popularity of the likes of Donald Trump and France’s Le Pen, you will understand that a lot of it has to do with the increased intolerance for black folks, immigrants and Muslims in America and France.
The future leader of France… pic.twitter.com/vx1mmZs4ao
— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) December 2, 2015
Finally, people in my community see things quite differently from way you seem to view things. We don’t see black student shutting down the right to free speech, instead, we see them exercising their right to protest; we don’t see George Washington, Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson as important historic figures, instead we see Martin Luther King, Ida Wells and Steve Biko as historic figures; We don’t see the rise of the Black Lives Movement as the rise of liberal intolerance in America, instead, we see it as a movement restoring the soul of America.


1991 – Two trains crash in Japan.

1948 – State of Israel proclaimed.

1904 – First American Olympiad.

1973 – Skylab launched.

1796 –  Jenner test small pox vaccines.

1998 –  Frank Sinatra died.

1842 – Alfred, Lord Tennyson, publishes his popular poems.

1999 – President Bill Clinton apologized to China for embassy bombing.

1969 –  President Nixon respond to National Liberation Front Proposal.

1970 –  South Vietnamese sustained second largest casualties of war.

1943 – United States and Britain plan operation pointblank.

1864 – Battle of Resaca, Georgia begins.

2007 – Daimler Chrysler sold Chrysler for $7.4bn.

0649 –  Theodore I ends his reign as Catholic Pope.

1004 –  Henry II the Saint crowned as king of Italy.

1027 –  Robert II, the Vrome, names son Henry I, king of France.

1264 –  Baron’s War fought in England.

1264 –  Battle at Lewes: Simon van Leicester beats English king Henry III.

1576 –  Dutch Council of State replaced by Council of Beroerten.

1607 –  1st permanent English settlement in New World, Jamestown VA

1638 –  Admiral Adam Westerwolt conquerors Batticaloa, Ceylon.

1643 –  Louis XIV (4) becomes king of France.

1702 –  England & Netherlands declares war on France & Spain.

1702 –  Swedish troops under King Charles XII occupy Warsaw.

1767 –  British government disbands Americans import duty on tea.

1787 –  Delegates gather in Philadelphia to draw up US constitution.

1796 1st smallpox inoculation administered, by Edward Jenner.

1804 Lewis & Clark set out from St Louis for the Pacific Coast.

1811 –  Paraguay gains independence from Spain (National Day).

1835 –  Charles Darwin reaches Coquimbo in Northern Chile.

1845 –  Utrecht-Arnhem Railway opens.

1874 –  Harvard beats University of McGill (Montréal) in football, 3-0.

1878 –  Vaseline is 1st sold (registered trademark for petroleum jelly).

1884 –  Anti-Monopoly party forms in the US.

1897 –  Great-Britain signs treaty with emperor Menelik II of Abyssinia.

1903 –  President Theodore Roosevelt visits San Fransisco.

1921 –  Florence Allen is 1st woman judge to sentence a man to death.

1921 –  Mussolini’s fascists obtains 29 parliament seats.

1938 –  English soccer team beats Nazi-Germany, 6-3.

1940 –  Lord Beaverbrook appointed British minister of aircraft production.

1940 –  Nazi bombs Rotterdam (600-900 dead), Netherlands surrender to Germany.

1941 –  3,600 Parisian Jews arrested.

1944 –  91 German bombers harass Bristol.

1948 –  US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak.

1954 Belgium shortens military conscription from 20 to 18 months.

1955 US performs nuclear test in Pacific Ocean.

1955 Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland & Romania.

1961 –  Bus with 1st group of Freedom Riders bombed & burned in Alabama.

1962 –  US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island.

1963 –  Kuwait is 111th member of the United Nations.

1970 Cops kill 2 students in racial disturbance (Jackson State University, Mississippi)

1973 –  US Supreme court approves equal rights to females in military.

1974  – Symbionese Liberation Army destroyed in shoot-out, 6 killed.

1975 –  US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site performances.

1982 –  Guinea adopts constitution.

1989 –  Demonstration for democratic reforms in Beijing’s Tiananmen square.

1991 –  Winnie Mandela sentenced to 6 years for complicity in kidnapping and beating of four youths, one of whom died, She is freed pending appeal.


While enjoying this campaign season, i think we can still look through the various jabs, abuses and tirade meted out to ourselves from amongst us. The campaign from both sides so far is exhausting as well as tiring. It is not that this is unexpected, it is just that the postponement turned it to a double journey for everyone involved. It is on the notion of this double journey that we are enjoined to slow down on our tirades and bad marketing. At the nick of elections like this, blackmails, bad belle and outright lies wouldn’t mean much to politicians and their followers. It is just one of those things. Isn’t it? After elections elections have been won and lost, no serious candidate will go to court for abuses suffered during electioneering process.

Can Nigeria’s first lady Mrs Patience Jonathan challenge the opposition party to court for the various names she has been called by Lai Muhammad when her ‘Buhari is brain dead’ outburst hangs on her neck? It is also on record that she so much hate the word ‘change’, the opposition’s slogan, that she proclaimed anyone that mentioned ‘change’ be stoned.

Ekiti state governor Ayo Fayose couldn’t be seen to have any complains when the cyberspace was littered with his mother’s diaper wearing jabs. His attempted disparaging of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari on the ground of his age led him to indirectly staging his mother into politics.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, the term outgoing governor of Lagos state. A respected senior advocate of Nigeria is not to be outdone in this game. He opined that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party is too old to govern Lagos at 60 years even when the presidential candidate of his own party is over 70 years. As if that wasn’t a bad logic, an armed robbery case has to be blamed on something. Fashola found president Jonathan’s presence in Lagos for more than two weeks the reason for such organized crime.

In all these, we must all strive to protect the beautiful bride. The bird that must not be allowed to fly. If we destroy the nest, the bird flies. The nest is the electoral process and that bird is democracy. That this election got more attention is a result of virile opposition. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling party has not been pushed this far before since 1999. This, for our democracy is a critical situation. To now graduate from throwing insults and banters to the opponents to trying to destroy the electoral process by reasons of our overt and covert actions will spell doom for this democracy considering the plurality of our country in term of ethnicity.

Winning or losing an election is not the problem itself, accepting the result in good faith is.


According to American political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: (i) A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections. (ii) The active participation of the people as citizens in politics and civic life. (iii) Protection of the human rights of all citizens. (iv) A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.

Also Karl Papper defined democracy in contrast to dictatorship or tyranny, thus focusing on opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for a revolution. No consensus exists on how to define democracy, but legal equality, political freedom and rule of law have been identified as important characteristics. These principles are reflected in all eligible citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes. The freedom of eligible citizens is secured by legitimatizing rights and liberties which are protected by a constitution.

The political history of Nigeria shows that British colonialism started in 1861. Nigeria got her independence in 1960. Between 1960 and now, the military ruled for about 30years. As a result, save for 1963 constitution, the other constitutions are either products of colonial rule or that of the military. The 1960 constitution for instance was doctored by Nigeria’s colonial master. The first constitution as a sovereign state was enacted by a United Kingdom British order in council and came into force immediately upon independence on 1st october, 1960. Under this constitution, Nigeria retained Queen ElizabethII as titular head of state.

Nigeria welcomed her fourth republic as a democratic nation with a decree that was hurriedly passed as a constitution. The 1999 constitution was passed into law as a decree by Gen. Abdussalami Abubakar’s military regime. This constitution was passed as approved by the Armed Forces Ruling Council. The Justice Niki Tobi led committee termed Constitution Debate Coordinating Committee had been given the mandate to consult Nigerians for just two months and then present its findings in a draft to the military for approval. The Nigeria’s present constitution can be conveniently said to be an imposition of the military regime that ushered us into this fourth republic. At the heart of many anomalies embedded in this constitution is its nature of federalism and the resource control ambiguity.

Like most federal systems, Nigeria has a revenue distribution system in which the national government shares revenue with state and local governments. Since early 1970’s, the substantial share of the revenue has been collected by the national government. The bulk of this revenue has been derived from petroleum products, royalties, taxes and mining. Under revenue allocation system (RAS), some proportion of the revenue is sent to the states and local governments. The allocations has been driven largely by political considerations and some formular factors. Such factors are state equality and population under the jurisdiction of a state. The formular takes not into account factors associated with economic development.

Currently, the revenue sharing formular is; Federal government 47.19%, State government 31.10%, and Local government 15.21%. There is a joint management fund 6.5%(This is to be distributed as follows; ecology 1.5%, mineral development 1.75%, agricultural development 1.75% and 1.5% for reserve fund). There is also derivation fund of 13% share based on horizontal formular arrangement for states. In Nigeria’s federalism, the states have no control over their resources. As stated earlier, the main of this country is its application of federalism. Federalism if truly practiced is a situation whereby the centre and the units (states) are economically autonomous and administratively responsible for most of their activities. The devolution of constitutional responsibilities of power between federal and state is one key characteristic of a true federalism.

According to Prof. I.E. Sagay, SAN in his paper ‘Federalism, the constitution and resources control’, “Federalism is an arrangement whereby powers within a multinational country are shared between a federal or central authority, and a number of regionalised goverments in such a way that each unit including this central authority exists as a government separately and independently from others, operating directly on persons and property within its territorial area, with a will of its own and its own apparatus for the conduct of affairs and with an authority in some matters exclusive of all others. In a federalism, each government enjoys autonomy, a separate existence and independence of the control of any other government. Each government exists, not as an appendage of another government (e.g the federal or central government) but as an autonomous entity in the sense of being able to exercise its own will on the conduct of its affairs free from direction by any government. Thus,the central government on the one hand and state governments on the other hand are autonomous in their respective spheres”.

As it is, the Nigeria’s type of federalism placed the federal government at an advantage. The federal government as a result of its vantage position controls the economy. Fiscal laws in Nigeria give more powers to the federal government when compared to states and local governments. States and local governments are not giving the opportunity of tapping the natural resources in their territories. They are expected to crawl to the federal government cap in hand every month to get unproportionable monthly allocation. A proceed from the resources lifted from their territory. As a result, there are conflicts, agitations and dissatisfactions by states and local governments. This resulted from their weak financial status and base. It is obvious that for any federation to be sustained, there must be fiscal decentralization and some level of financial autonomy.

Kenneth Wheare, 1963, has this to say about a true federal state “If states authorities find that the services alloted them are too expensive to them to perform and if they call upon the federal authority for grants and subsidies to ssist them, they are no longer coordinate with the federal government but subordinate to it. Financial subordination makes an end of federalism. In fact, no matter how carefully the legal forms may be preserved. It follows therefore that both state and federal authorities in a federation must be given the power in the constitution each to have access to and to control its own sufficient financial resources. Each must have power to tax and to borrow for the financing of its own service by itself.

Since fiscal federalism is the application of federal principle in resources mobilization and allocation within and among the constituent units in a federation, then decentralization which is a reflective of the amount of fiscal autonomy and responsibility given to states must be embedded in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.