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Functions Of The Nigerian Federal Government

The Nigerian federal government is assigned with quite a number of functions, and these functions are shared by three main branches of government.
These are the legislature, and the judicial, as well as, the executive. These branches of government performed some basic roles and functions as defined by the Nigerian constitution.
However, the Nigerian legislature is divided into two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate, usually called and known as the National Assembly.
Functions Of The Nigerian Federal Government
The Nigerian Federal Government – Photo Source: https://theeagleonline.com.ng
The president of the federal republic of Nigeria is  elected as the chief executive officer. The President is charged with power to faithfully execute laws made by the legislature.
The Nigerian Supreme Court plus all other federal courts in the country are vested with judicial authority by the country’s Constitution and subsequent legislation.
Nevertheless, Nigerian government has introduced a system of checks and balances with a view to prevent excess power in one branch of government or power being more concentrated in any one of the branches of government. Moreso, between states and federal government power is divided on a territorial basis.

Functions Of The Three Branches Of Nigerian Government

The Nigerian federal government  is represented by the three equal  branches as I said earlier, but these branches of government, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary are independent of each other.

The Executive Branch

The executive branch of Nigerian government is under the President of the federal republic. The executive functions is to enforce the laws made or enacted by the legislature.
The executive branch of Nigerian government carries out administrative functions of government. Some of these functions include, overseeing of the national defense, and regulateing of commerce and industry, as well as, carrying out responsibilities in relation to foreign policy among others.

The Legislature

The legislative branch of Nigerian federal government as I said earlier is divided into two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Senate, as far as, it represents the states as a whole, it also represent the people, likewise the House of Representatives. Legislations are made from the both Chambers.
In other words, the legislature makes laws. They may originate from the Senate or the House of Representatives. Nevertheless, both the Senate and the House of Representatives  must agree when legislations go to the President with a view to sign the legislations into law.
The Senate is headed by the President of the Senate, while the House of Representatives is by the Speaker of the House

The Judiciary

The Federal judiciary arm of Nigerian government is independent of the executive branch of government and legislative branch of government.
Apart from interpreting laws made by the legislature as part of its functions, it continues in its normal function of trying cases plus hearing appeals, judiciary also rule on constitutional issues.
The different between the executive and the legislature branches of government and the judiciary is that, head of the executive is elected and legislature are elected representatives, while the judiciary is by appointment, and the appointment is made by the President once it is confirmed by the Senate. the head of the judiciary is Justice of the supreme court of Nigeria.
Having explained the functions of the three branches of Nigerian federal government, it is important to note that, Nigeria is a federation, and has federating units, also known as states. Be that as it may, the functions of the Nigerian federal government permeates into its federating units.
Therefore, the functions of the federal government of Nigeria can actually depends on the country’s level of decentralization.
Hence there are some functions of the federal government that are exclusively main for the federal government of Nigeria, such that the state governments do not constitutionally have the right to carry out such functions.
Besides such constitutional empowerment, there are yet some functions of the Federal government that can also concurrently be undertaken by states  government, even the local government.

Some Exclusive Functions Of The Federal Government

We can also look at some of the exclusive functions that are main for the federal government, that is, functions that can only be carried out by the Nigerian federal government.
These exclusive functions include, foreign affairs and and foreign missions, plus matters that relates to Immigration and Customs and Copyrights and patents and Standards and weights and mensuration and Defence and Fiscal transfers and equalisation and Intelligence as well as, internal security.
Nigeria, of course, like I mentioned earlier is a centralised nation with states. And a good numner of such exclusive functions that the federal government is constitutionally empowered to carry out can also be listed as followed: mines and natural resources, and environmental protection, and telecommunications, and policing, and waterways plus water resources, etc.

Concurrent Functions

Concurrent functions are those functions that the federal government can concurrently be carried out with the states government.
Such functions that the federal government and the state government are empowered constitutionally to undertake include, education, and transport, and healthcare, and elections.
Apart from these concurrent functions, other tiers of government can also carried out almost all other functions expected of government to carry out, plus other necessary duties of government to the people.

Other Functions Of Nigerian Federal Government

It is the function of the federal government to make sure that the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria is followed.
The federal government of Nigeria also saddled with the responsibility of making sure that, none of the states in the country becomes a renegade from the constitutional law.
Every of the Nigerian law must be obeyed by all the States in the country, therefore, it is the duty of the federal government to enforce that.
It is expected of Nigerian federal government to discourage a situation, where people will carry their sense of freedom quite too far.
The Nigerian federal government is expected to make sure that, every right of every Nigerian citizen is protected, since every Nigerian citizen is a part of a whole, that is why the whole must take precedence over everyone.
The federating units or states rights as well as, individual rights should not be getting out of hand. The Nigerian federal government is to protect these rights.


Nigerian citizens ought to be proud for the fact that we all are bona fide citizens of Nigeria. We are not a world unto ourselves as Nigerians.
Therefore, If the rights of the states go too far, or if they push against Nigerian federal government law, then it therefore, means that, we will fail as nation.

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Joseph Athanasius

Joseph Athanasius is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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