Model and determinants of state-local governments’ relations in Nigeria

Abstract Nigeria struggles to establish and sustain cooperative, interdependent state-local intergovernmental relations (IGR) by providing for the powers and rights of local governments in the federal constitution. Despite the provisions, the practice of state-local IGR has remained inclusive, hierarchical, dependent and competitive. This paper investigates the extent to which constitutional provisions determine state-local relations as against the macrostructure of intergovernmental relations between the federal government and states. The authors argue that it is difficult to expect a cooperative, interdependent, state-local IGR through constitutional provisions of the powers and rights of local governments, if the federal-state relations, which should be the determining framework of IGR is inclusive, hierarchical and dependent. The paper suggests that the lower forms of IGR in a federation (e.g. the state-local IGR), largely depend on the super-structure, which is that between the federal government and the lower tiers. The implication is that the level of autonomy enjoyed by local governments largely depends on the level of autonomy the states themselves enjoy.