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Federal Presence in Nigeria. The 'Sung' and 'Unsung' Basis for Ethnic Grievance

Federal Presence in Nigeria. The 'Sung' and 'Unsung' Basis for Ethnic Grievance

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Minorities of the oil-producing states are seriously disturbed by the inequity that is apparent from the existing principles of revenue allocation in Nigeria. In taking issues with them and other southern advocates of new revenue allocation criteria, the dominant north's organic intellectuals have always relied on the obvious concentration of economic and commercial activities in southern Nigeria to refute the argument that the north is the greater beneficiary of Nigeria's wealth. Scholarly contribution to the ethno-regional debate on the equity of resource allocation has been anchored to the same popular platform, namely, the criteria for inter-governmental revenue allocation. It is as if they absolutely embody the revelation about equity or inequity of resource allocation in Nigeria where the federal government has retained between 48.5 per cent and 56 per cent of the federation account, let alone revenues unpaid into this account. This study marks a departure from the orthodox focus on Nigeria's ethnic problems, including the contentious demand of the southern minorities for an increase in the weight assigned the principle of derivation, by examining federal expenditures to determine the distribution of federal presence, and thus winners and losers, bearing in mind that the entire country is federal government's coverage.