Kazeem O. Olaniyan, Esq

Lecturer, Department of Public and International Law,

Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan Nigeria



Nigeria is a federation of 36 States, operating a presidential system of government with three levels of government namely, federal, state and local government. In terms of the Nigerian Constitution these tiers of government are to be independent within the framework of the Constitution itself. Contrary to this constitutional arrangement, however, almost all the States of the Federation now exhibit the tendency of usurping the powers, functions and roles of the local government by treating local governments as their appendages of the government at the state level. In most States, local government administrators are merely handpicked, appointed or selected by the state Governors. This amounts to a breach of the Constitution the governors sworn to uphold. Compared to the position under the current 1999 Nigerian Constitution, the arrangement under the defunct 1989 Nigerian Constitution is found more pragmatic and a progressive in terms of local government autonomy. This paper, therefore, advocates for constitutional amendment by incorporating the arrangement under the defunct 1989 Nigerian Constitution.