Federalism and the Covid-19 pandemic: A perspective from Nigeria

Book chapter


Babalola, D. 2021. Federalism and the Covid-19 pandemic: A perspective from Nigeria. in: Federalism Year Book 2021: Federalism, Subsidiarity and Regions in Europe European Center for Research on Federalism Tübingen (EZFF), Baden-Baden: Nomos European Center for Research on Federalism Tübingen (EZFF). pp. 139-148
AuthorsBabalola, D.
Abstract

Nigeria, a three-tier federation with 36 states, 774 local government areas (LGA), and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, offers an interesting case of how the instruments of federalism were deployed to manage the pandemic. The pandemic re-ignited the debate about the utility of federalism in Nigeria, a country of about 200 million people. In Nigeria, public health matters fall under the concurrent competences of the federal and state governments. Thus, both levels of government are constitutionally competent to make laws on these matters. This constitutional provision, notwithstanding, the country adopted a top-down approach in its management of the pandemic. At the federal level, the government's actions were aimed at containing the spread of the disease, ensuring public awareness, providing care for those infected, and putting in place social welfare programs to support low-income earners. At the state level, governors, relying on the relative autonomy enjoyed by the states and the cooperation of the Federal Government also deployed state resources to curb the spread of the virus within their respective jurisdictions. States adopted different strategies based on available resources. The states did not act uniformly but they cooperated with the federal government to put in place different degrees of confinement measures. The local governments were, however, less visible during the crisis.

KeywordsCOVID-19; Coronavirus; Nigeria; Federalism
Page range139-148
Year2021
Book titleFederalism Year Book 2021: Federalism, Subsidiarity and Regions in Europe
PublisherEuropean Center for Research on Federalism Tübingen (EZFF)
Output statusPublished
Place of publicationEuropean Center for Research on Federalism Tübingen (EZFF), Baden-Baden: Nomos
ISBN9783848783885
ISSN9783748927785
Publication dates
Print2021
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Jun 2021
Deposited01 Sep 2022
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