This is another type of constitution in which powers are constitutionally shared between two levels of government i.e. the central (federal) and the component units. Each level is independent but coordinates with the others in the exercise of its powers and functions. Examples of countries using this type of constitution are Nigeria and the United States of America.
Advantages of Federal System of Government
1. The constitution provides for grass root political participation.
2. It protects minority interests.
3. The division of governmental powers helps to prevent the monopoly of powers to the centre.
4. It fosters rapid socio-economic development.
5. It guarantees the autonomy of each unit in the three tiers of government.
6. It helps to unite people of different ethnic, cultural, geographical and social backgrounds.
7. The rigid nature of the constitution helps to prevent any government from tempering it.
8. It ensures constitution supremacy and upholds the principle of separation of power
9. The division of governmental powers helps to reduce the workload of the central government.
10. It fosters adequate distribution of powers on a territorial basis.
Disadvantages of the Federal Constitution
- It is exorbitant to run due to the duplication of offices.
- It leads to unnecessary delays in the implementation of government policies
- It brings about the unfair rivalry between the states and the central government.
- It sometimes leads to delays in decision-making.
- The rigidity of the constitution makes it difficult to amend.
- Despite the division of powers between the central authority and the constituent units, some ethnic groups still feel that they are marginalized.
- There is a lack of uniformity in administration, as each federating unit tends to do what is convenient for it.