Amount: ₦5,000.00 |

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Nigeria adopted the principle of federal character and doctrine of separation of powers due to inherent problems of disunity and possible altercations arising from the relationship among arms of government. After some decades those bifurcations that necessitated their (principle of federal character and doctrine of separation of powers) inclusion have not abated. Worst are the notable implications of the principle and doctrine in the output performance of public sectors. This study is set to bring out the implication of applying the principle and doctrine in the public sector. Significance of this work lies in the understanding of why in spite adopting the principle and doctrine, public sectors has not improved.








Title page

Approval page




Table of content



1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of problem

1.3        Objective of the study

1.4        Research Hypotheses

1.5        Significance of the study

1.6        Scope and limitation of the study

1.7       Definition of terms

1.8       Organization of the study




3.0        Research methodology

3.1        sources of data collection

3.3        Population of the study

3.4        Sampling and sampling distribution

3.5        Validation of research instrument

3.6        Method of data analysis



4.1    Introductions

4.2    Data analysis


5.1    Introduction

5.2    Summary

5.3    Conclusion

5.4    Recommendation
















  • Background of the study

Nigeria’s economy is government driven where public sector is at the epicenter. For years, service delivery by this sector is seemingly truncated by many factors due to some notable centripetal issues that fundamentally impede output performance in the public sector. Some of the issues are natural while others are artificial. The natural issues are related to ethnic diversity and religious differences (Kukah, 2003, Obiora, 2008), cultural, languages and personal issues (Pilkington, 1956: 219), whereas the artificial issues include, colonial experiences, many years of military intervention (George, Amujo & Cornelius, 2012), corruption (Ibraheem, Umar & Ajoke 2013), neglect to the rule of law and human right violation, disrespect to the core principles of democracy, institutional failure and so on. Various regimes of government (military and civilians alike) have made several attempts through constitutional provisions, policy initiation, and reforms to improve the services of public sector. Specifically, the 1999 constitution assigned some responsibilities to the federal government under the principles of federal character and, separation of powers which were believed to be very instructive in improving the services of public institutions by instilling confidence, fairness, equity and probity in the conduct of government businesses. There are also notable reforms in the public sector some of which include public service reform 1972-1974, Onasode reform 1984, Philips 1988, Ayida panel 1995 (Abba 2008 and Obikezie & Anthony 2004), others are Obasanjo reform 1999-2007 and Ya Adua/Goodluck Jonathan reforms 2007-2014 (Okorie 2014) Indeed the principle and doctrine as enshrined in the constitution are very fundamental in achieving effective public sector because it would provide the source of strength to public sector policies as well as open windows of equal opportunities in the event of competition. However, attainment of the desired aspiration requires political commitment and will which can translate constitutional provisions in general and the principles in particular into positive action. Institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies are therefore, established and assigned the responsibility of initiating the needed policies as well as give it the legal blending that will help it achieve the set goals. In order to achieve the desired unity, various regimes of government, military and civilian alike at different times diversified the core principles (Freedom, Equality and Justice) and introduced certain policy thrusts aimed at addressing the observed bifurcations inherent in the Nigerian nation. This paper is therefore, anchored on identifying problems in the application of federal character and separation of powers in the public sector.

Federalism as a political system in Nigeria is a product of colonialism (Osifeso 2011 and Arowolo 2011). There is no gainsaying anymore that what is known as Nigeria today existed as many independent heterogeneous societies or nations before the amalgamation of 1914 by Sir Frederick Lugard (Asaju et al 2014). Amalgamation need to be well understood beyond the peripheral joining together of the northern and southern protectorates to become one country named Nigeria. In Nigerian context, amalgamation is a fusion of people of different ethnic/tribal origin, geographical, religious and cultural background to bear one name under a foreign/alien colonial government. This so called union has been described by a very prominent Nigerian Political Scientist as a forced brotherhood and sisterhood (Ayoade in Okolo, 2014). As a result, the country has since been faced with the challenges of ‚Äúaccommodating diversities, fostering inclusiveness and promoting national unity amongst its diverse ethnic groups that makes up the Nigeria‚Äôs nation ‚Äď state‚ÄĚ (Okolo, 2014). This shows that the union was against the wishes of the forerunners of the various independent societies we referred to as nationalists. This, they demonstrated through the loyalty and solidarity to their primordial ethnic origins than the newlyborn nation-state called Nigeria. No wonder, one of the prominent nationalist in Nigeria, the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo described Nigeria as ‚Äúa mere geographical expression‚ÄĚ (Chukwuma, 2014) However, for easy administration, as some writers argued, the colonial administrators began a journey to federalism as a political mechanism to manage the system, and this culminated with the Lytton Constitution of 1954 that gave rise to true structure of federalism in Nigeria (, 2015, Okolo, 2014:122). Osifeso (2011) argues that the British by 1914 merged the geographic north and south together but failed to unite its people. Hence the British policies of indirect rule cum divide-and-rule further polarize the people along not only tribal lines but also spilled into social life with Christianity and western educationally disposed south, while the north was ‚Äúquarantined against possible contamination by the south‚ÄĚ (Osifeso, 2011). A historical excursion into the distant past reveals that at the terminal period of colonialism, Nigeria saw a relative self-government in the three administrative provinces – Northern, Eastern and Western provinces and the colony of Lagos. The Lyttleton Constitution of 1954 stipulated the sharing of powers between the central and provincial (regional) government and at independence; these provinces became regions and formed the basic federal administrative structure of the country, because the Independent Constitution of 1960 inherited the federal structure of the Lyttleton Constitution of 1954 ( 2014). History shows that the federating units continued to increase after independent. In fact, in 1963 when Nigeria became a Federal Republic one additional region was created increasing the regions to four. The federating units increased to 12 states in 1967; 19 states in 1976; 21 states in 1987; 30 states in 1991 and 36 in 1996 (Elaigwu, 2002; Edingin, 2010;, 2015). Presently 18 more states were recommended in the last national conference due to unending agitation for state to balance the lopsided and unequal geopolitical zones. Since independence, in 1960 federalism has remained Nigerian‚Äôs form of government except for a brief period (between May-September 1966) under the first military regime that attempted a unitary state; with some minor modifications. However, federalism in Nigeria was a conflict regulating mechanism. Osaghae (2002:79) supporting this view, asserts that ‚Äúthe management of Nigeria‚Äôs ethnic, language and religious diversity, which necessitated the adoption of federal system of government has been rendered less effective by intense politicization of these Review of Public Administration and Management, July 2015 34 cleavages‚ÄĚ hence, the rise of ‚Äúaffirmative action policies to consolidate elite domination by ethnically-based fractions of the country‚Äôs political class. Jinadu (1985) submits that this ineffectiveness is due partly to the character of competition to control the Nigeria state taking advantage of some inherent cleavages of inequalities, hence the introduction of the federal character principle.


Nigeria is a federal society comprising 36 states structure with a population of more than 150 million people and has more than 250 ethnic groups, which necessitate an arrangement that could accommodate people from the different segments of the country in the public bureaucracy (Gberevbie, 2012:187-210). The notion of federal character presupposes the existence of a federal society. However, as a federal state, Nigeria was faced with the challenge of how to imbibe the principle of federalism in practice. As a result, the quota system was introduced into the Nigerian public service in 1958 by the government ‚Äúto ensure equitable representation of the various groups in the country‚ÄĚ (Tonwe and Oghator, 2009:235). To further consolidate on the gains of the quota system, the Federal Military Government of Generals Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun Obasanjo in the drafting and approval of the 1979 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the transition to civilian rule (1976-79) introduced into the Nigerian political and administrative landscapes the principle of federal character (Ekeh, 1989:19). Federal character principle sought to give ‚Äúopportunities in education and employment, usually at the point of entry, to disadvantaged groups and areas to enable them compete and catch up with more advanced areas and sectors of the nation‚ÄĚ (Ekeh, 1989:38). In comparing the practice of quota system with that of the federal character principle, Ekeh (1989:38) posits that the latter ‚Äúdemands far more‚ÄĚ than the former in the sense that ‚Äúit switches emphasis from opportunities to privileges and benefits.‚ÄĚ He argues that federal character principle is a legal weapon put in place to regulate appointments, promotions, security of tenure and severance in every government department. It is in view of the above that the researcher intend to examine the impact of federal character principles on national unity and development in Nigeria.


The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of federal character principles on national unity and development; but to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objectives;

  1. To examine the impact of federal character principles on national unity
  2. To evaluate the relationship between federal character principle and national development
  • To ascertain the effect of federal character principles on national development
  1. To ascertain the role of federal character principles on national integration in attainment of nation hood

The following research questions was formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;

  1. Does federal character principles has any impact on national unity?
  2. Is there any significant relationship between federal character principle and national development?
  • Is there any effect of federal character principles on national development?
  1. Does federal character principles play any role on national integration and attainment of nation hood?

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings of this study will be beneficial to heard of federal government parastatals and other public sectors and government business enterprise in ensuring that federal character principles is applied in the appointment and employment of citizens in public service as this will foster unity and national integration. The study will also be useful to presidents, governors and local government chairmen as the study seek to remind them of the enormous benefit of federal character principles and how it aid national integration and sense of belonging in governance. The study will also be useful to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a reference point to further studies. Finally, the study will also be of great importance to teachers, students, academia’s lecturers and the general public as the study will contribute to the pool of existing literature on the subject matter and also contribute to the knowledge bank on the subject matter.


The scope of the study covers an assessment of the impact of federal character principles on national unity and development, but in the cause of the study, there are some factors that limited the scope of the study;


  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
  3. c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


Federal character commission

The Federal Character Commission (FCC) is a Federal Executive body established by Act No 34 of 1996 to implement and enforce the Federal Character Principle of fairness and equity in the distribution of public posts and socio-economic infrastructures among the various federating units of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Federal character principles

The ‚Äúfederal character‚Ä̬†principle, which has been enshrined in Nigeria’s Constitution since 1979, seeks to ensure that appointments to public service institutions fairly reflect the linguistic, ethnic, religious, and geographic diversity of the country

National unity

A national unity government, government of national unity, or national union government is a broad coalition government consisting of all parties (or all major parties) in the legislature, usually formed during a time of war or other national emergency.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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