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complex and interdependent relations among various spheres of government in
legal, financial and administrative matters and policy coordination. There are
various types of political arrangements or structural political organizations with
varying degrees of relevance and utility.1 An effective structure in a political
organization is conceived as the bedrock on which the state is erected.2 It is also
described as an indispensable determinant of administrative efficiency in any
state. One of such structural political organizations which have weathered the
test of time is federalism.3 The idea of federalism presupposes the existence of
tiers of government with defined competence and dominion of jurisdiction on
the same land.4 Powers and functions of each government are outlined as part of
the division of power and their sovereignty is also maintained. However, it does
not necessarily mean that the division of powers and functions between the
central government and constituent units remains fixed on permanent basis. It
rather involves a continuous process of political bargaining between the centre
and the federation units.5 To this end, the synergy among the different levels of
government needs to be backed by well-designed and institutionalized
intergovernmental relations.6 IGR is a vital norm and continues as a widely
shared and one of the most common characteristic of any federation.7 It
regulates and enhances communication between the institutions of the two levels
of government that have defined jurisdictions and are supreme within their
IGR focuses on how different orders of government in federal political
systems communicate and collaborate with each other. It encompasses the entire
complex and interdependent relations among various spheres of government
with respect to co-ordination of public policies.8 IGR as a concept is commonly
1 S.T. Akindele & O. R. Opaopa (2003). ‘The Theory and Practice of Federalism as a
Structural Mechanism of Governance: How Ad equate for Gender Struggle and
Representation in Nigeria?’, Kamla-Raj, Anthropologist Journal, Volume 5, No. 3: 169-
178, p 170.
4 Solomon Negussie (2008). Fiscal Federalism in the Ethiopian Ethnic-based Federal
System, Revised Edition, Wolf Legal Publishers, Oisterwijk, p.32.
5 Berhanu Gutema (2007). Restructuring State and Society: Ethnic Federalism in Ethiopia,
SPIRIT PhD Series, Thesis no. 8 published by SPIRIT & Department of Culture and
Global Studies p.29.
6 Mitullah Winnie V. (2012). ‘Intergovernmental Relations Act 2012: Reflection and
Proposals on Principles, Opportunities and Gaps’, FES Kenya Occasional Paper, No. 6, p.
7 Meekison J. Peter (2000). Introduction, in the Meekison J. Peter, ed., on
“Intergovernmental relations in Federal countries: A series of Essays on the practice of
Federal Governance”, p1.
8 Mitullah Winnie V., supra note 6, p 5.