An enquiry into the economies of such federations as the United States, Canada and Germany suggests that federalism is compatible with economic success. Such a proposition is, however, unsustainable considering the fact that India, Mexico and Nigeria, which are also federal states, have continuously performed poorly, reinforcing the view that a major explanation for the poor economic performance of the countries in the latter category lies in the manner in which their respective federal systems are operated. This paper therefore brings to the fore the nexus between Nigeria’s fiscal federalism and a lack of economic development in the oil-rich country. Our central argument is that Nigeria’s fiscal federalism has not spurred the desired development as envisaged by the architects of the system. The country’s over-dependence on oil, as well as the concentration of economic resources at the federal centre are at the heart of the country’s lack of economic success. Therefore, if Nigeria’s fiscal system is to achieve its economic objectives, the inherent contradiction manifesting in the over-centralisation of the federal system has to be addressed

Keywords: Economic Development, Fiscal federalism, Nigeria, Political Economy

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 53-69 (Download PDF)

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