- Background to the study
As a result of the complicated nature in the population, ethno-religious and large geographical nature of land mass in Nigeria and some other countries, it is necessary for such country to operate a federal system. Federalism is the one in which there is a central authority that represent the whole and act on behalf of the whole in external affairs and in such internal affair as held to become of interest; and in which there are provincial or state authorities with power of legislation and administration within the sphere allocated to them by the constitution. Federalism is also used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units such as states or provinces.
Crystal clear that Nigeria is operating on a three tiers of government (Federal, State and Local Government), there is need for intergovernmental relations to promote peace, unity and harmony among the levels of government. This is to accelerate the achievement of self-reliant economy, cut out duplications and wastage and to ensure greater efficiency in the delivery of services and also enhance efficient and effective human and material resources among the tiers of government. In this case, intergovernmental relations will help to minimize inter-jurisdictional conflicts among the various levels of government (Nwofor, 2009).
The achievement of the intergovernmental relations is dependent on some social factors within the Nigerian social system. The social factors include the political setting and state of economy in the nation. In the political setting, the intergovernmental relation is based on the three (3) levels of government that is, federal, state and local government. Here, there is supremacy in the autonomy of the levels of government, the Federal and the State is said to have more autonomy than the Local Government because it is the last level (tier). That is the reason why Local Government is not given full autonomy on the activities of its own despite been backed by the constitution. The weaknesses of the autonomy of the local government become glaring in the State-Local Government intergovernmental relations in their political, judicial, administrative and financial aspect of their governance.