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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Through cycles of civilian and military government, Nigeria’s political leadership has prioritized gaining access to revenue in order to distribute resources via patronage systems. As a result, the desire of elites to access the primary mode of revenue generation motivates political choices to centralize power in the national government or disperse authority through the federal system. This chapter provides an overview of how political and fiscal federalism have evolved in postcolonial Nigeria. Up until the Fourth Republic, the central government has dominated revenue extraction and policymaking, all at the cost of subnational autonomy and institutional capability. More contemporarily, as we see subnational governments strengthening their capacity to mobilize non-oil income (via taxation), state and local governments could potentially reassert their autonomy in Nigeria’s political system.

Keywords: federalism, fiscal, state creation, subnational, neopatrimonialism

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