What is Nigerian Restructuring?

In Brief

Nigerian restructuring has no widely accepted definition. The most common view is that restructuring refers to the transfer of powers from the Federal Government to state governments and local governments i.e. sub nationals. This transfer of powers could result in new geopolitical regions, more powers for state governors and state houses of assembly or the total elimination of local governments. There is no clear agreement on what a restructured Nigeria would look like. 


Dig Deeper

Conflicting statements from politicians and media have made it difficult to understand restructuring. Some people support economic restructuring, which would give sub-nationals more control over their resources and finances. Others emphasise political restructuring which could lead to creation or merging of states to accommodate smaller tribes.

Currently, the FG, State government and LGs share power according to the exclusive, concurrent and residual lists in the Nigerian constitution. This arrangement has been criticised for placing too much power at the centre of government, making it more difficult for sub nationals to implement local reforms. 



At Independence, Nigeria was divided into three self-governing regions: Western, Eastern and Northern. After the first coup in 1966, the military replaced these regions with a stronger central government that made Nigeria easier to govern for them. Despite the return to democracy, power has not yet been fully transferred powers back to sub-nationals, leading to calls for 'restructuring'.


Find out more about Nigerian restructuring by reading the following articles. 

Vanguard: Nigeria, what is restructuring? 
Stears Business: Fiscal Federalism, the Centre
Stears Business: Fiscal Federalism, the States


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