Political Map Of The 36 States Of The Federation
Federalism is a political system which holds a group of states or provinces together,by binding them to a central governing authority.Under this arrangement,the power to govern,sovereignty,is shared between the central governing authority or the national government, and the constituent states or provinces,as prescribed by a formal constitution.In a successful federalism,states have territorial divisions,maintain their own political identities and are self-sustaining.In Nigeria today,states are largely dependent on the central government for their upkeep,an arrangement that is more reminiscent of the unitary rather than the federal system of government.This is wrong.
My attachment to the idea of federalism is functional,not sentimental.A trust-fund state,like Nigeria,can only share wealth and jobs,not create them.And there is not enough of either to go round.The only way for Nigeria to create enough wealth and jobs for it’s people,is to encourage the states to pull their weights.By stopping these hand-outs from the federal government,the states would have the necessary motivation to look inwards and develop their local economies.They would build their economies and thus create good jobs and opportunities for their citizens on a much greater scale than is the case today.
In a multi-tribal society,where ethnic feeling can run high,competition between states or tribes has so far been adversarial,whereby one tribe gains at the expense of another.One of the consequences of this rivalrous competition is the craze for certificates as some states or tribes look to give their indigenes an advantage in the scramble for the few available good jobs.In this climate of credentialism,it is no wonder that the quality of education has seriously deteriorated:teaching is poor,grades are inflated and certificates are procured.Certificates are obtained squarely for ends that are consumptive rather than productive.
Education was intended to equip people with the necessary skills to create value for the betterment and upliftment of society.By forcing the states to innovate,healthy creative competition would ensue between them as they struggle to out-grow one another,forcing them to appreciate the value of quality education.They would then focus on providing their people with the necessary education,to make them not only highly productive,but also,civilized, enlightened,liberal and more tolerant of otherness.Until the states are forced to be responsible for the needs of their people,we will continue to have these ethnic problems associated with “sharing” of the proverbial “national cake”.