Journal article Open Access

Application of the Principle of Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) to the management of Nigeria's Educational System

Johnson O. Olaniyi

Inter-Governmental Relations (IGR) is a principle which depicts a political arrangement whereby, different levels of government and different categories of public officials inter-relate in different ways, for example, in the area of education. In Nigeria, education falls under concurrent legislative list which allows both the State and Federal Government to legislate on it.  But apart from this arrangement, Local Government Councils also have responsibility to discharge in the area of education.  The foregoing shows that since the three levels of government in Nigeria are involved in issues relating to educational policies, they are bound to inter-relate.  This study therefore focuses on the application of the principle of IGR to Nigeria’s educational system.  The main objective of the study is to examine how the three levels of government in Nigeria, interrelates in the area of education.  Its specific objectives include: (i) examine the extent to which the educational system in Nigeria complies with the principle of IGR; and (ii) to examine the challenges of the application of the principle of IGR to Nigeria’s educational system.  Some of the findings of the study include; (i) the application of the principle of IGR to Nigeria’s educational system had fared differently in Nigeria under various regimes, depending largely on the form of  government in place; (ii) the application of the principle of IGR is a strategy of fostering national integration; and (iii) most of the challenges especially frictions between different levels of government of the application of the principle of IGR to Nigeria’s educational system are traceable to the Constitution /educational system of the country on one hand, and political actors on the other hand.  Based on these findings, the study recommends that; (i) there should be strong constitutional provisions to help enforce and maintain the inter-relationships of the different levels of government in the area of education; and where they exist, they should be made more functional; (ii) governments should continue to adopt education as a mechanism for fostering national integration; and (iii) Nigerian political actors should endeavour to promote ‘public interest’ as opposed to ‘private interest’.

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