Nigeria Briefing Paper

Nigeria briefing paper copyright 2005 by college

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Unformatted text preview: olence, endemic corruption, and provision of basic social services to many Nigerians yet to see the benefits of independence achieved over four decades earlier. Nigeria Briefing Paper Copyright © 2005 by College Board. All rights reserved. Available at apcentral.collegeboard.com. 18 Political Institutions Branches of Government Since independence, the executive branch of government has been the most powerful political force in the country. Whether led by a military dictator or democratically elected leader, this branch has consistently guided and controlled political life throughout Nigeria. Both the legislative and judicial branches of government have often served at the will of the leader, with more power and authority during the four republics. While the judicial branch has functioned (to varying degrees) since independence, during periods of military rule legislatures were either disbanded or rendered ineffectual in favor of military bodies that assumed virtually all of the functions of government. The First Republic’s parliamentary system was short-lived, giving way to the establishment of a Second Republic modeled after the American presidential system. The presidential model was revived during the current Fourth Republic, but it remains to be seen if this Western import will survive the next political crisis, given the military’s propensity to intervene in the political affairs of the country. The current constitution of the Fourth Republic provides for a federal arrangement with authority exercised at the federal, state, and local levels. At the federal level, there are executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The Executive Branch: The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the popularly elected head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Presidential terms are four years, with a maximum of two terms of service permitted by the constitution. The president’s primary tasks include performing the ceremonial duties of leadership, overseeing the day-to-day administration of government, and coordinating and overseeing the country’s Nigeria Briefing Paper Copyright © 2005 by College Board. All rights reserved. Available at apcentral.collegeboard.com. 19 armed forces. The president also appoints government ministers (after confirmation by the Senate), but he must assure that they come from all of the 36 states. To assure for proper coordination between federal and state governments, the president and his ministers comprise a Federal Executive Committee, which assures that enacted laws are properly implemented throughout the country. The president and ministers are not allowed to serve in the National Assembly simultaneously. The vice president assists the president in the tasks enumerated above; he is nominated by the presidential candidate as his running mate for election to the office of the president. The Legislature: The National Assembly is a bicameral lawmaking body that has a Senate and...
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