Decentralization, jurisdictional spaces and regional development in Nigeria

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Key words: , , , , ,
Issue: Volume 14, Issue 2, 2020


With the cliché of bringing development closer to the people, the Nigerian government, like many African countries, institutionalized the process of creating Local Government Areas (LGAs) and used it as a policy instrument for more than four decades. This study adopted a survey research design using data on 24 local development indicators, aimed at appraising the efficacy of this policy as a development tool. Quantitative analysis using Principal Component Analysis and its statistical outputs of initial eigenvalues and orthogonal scores shows that 36% of the LGAs ranked lowest on the dimensions of development before the creation of additional jurisdictions in 1996, while 20% and 44% ranked intermediate and highest respectively. Post-partitioning, the proportions were 24.4%, 39.4% and 36.4% respectively, thus providing evidence of the positive development impact of decentralization. The findings, however, throw up issues of distributional inequality in public investments which could be addressed by conscious planning efforts.

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Authors Affiliations

Yemi Adewoyin* (1,2), Lekan M. Sanni (3), Aina T. Adeboyejo (4)
1) University of Nigeria, Nigeria
2) University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
3) Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria
4) Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria
* Correspondence address:


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Title: Human Geographies - Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography
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Prof. dr. Liliana Dumitrache
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Daniela Dumbrăveanu
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Mariana Nae
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Gabriel Simion
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

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