Public commissions and public policy: the case of the Committee on the Location of the Federal Capital of Nigeria

The status of Lagos has always been a politically sensitive issue in Nigeria. In the fifties, the argument centred on the North and the East wanting a neutral Lagos, a wish that was counter to the demand of the West. In the seventies the argument was on the suitability of Lagos as Federal capital. To resolve this issue the Federal Military Government under Murfala Mohammed set up an eight-man panel on 9 August, 1975, to advise on the location of the Federal capital of Nigeria. The Commitee recommended that the Federal Government move the capital from Lagos to Abuja, a choice justified largely on the basis of the area’s centrality, in the sense of easily accessible to and from every part of the Federation. The authors argue that the choice of Abuja was already implied in the Committee’s terms of reference and that its setting up was mere window dressing: the ‘involvement’ of the mass of the people in the making of this public policy was a facade. Bibliogr., notes, ref.

Title: Public commissions and public policy: the case of the Committee on the Location of the Federal Capital of Nigeria
Authors: Oyediran, Oyeleye
Okunade, Bayo
Year: 1985
Periodical: The Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies
Volume: 27
Issue: 2
Pages: 179-200
Language: English
Geographic term: Nigeria
Subject: capitals
Abstract: The status of Lagos has always been a politically sensitive issue in Nigeria. In the fifties, the argument centred on the North and the East wanting a neutral Lagos, a wish that was counter to the demand of the West. In the seventies the argument was on the suitability of Lagos as Federal capital. To resolve this issue the Federal Military Government under Murfala Mohammed set up an eight-man panel on 9 August, 1975, to advise on the location of the Federal capital of Nigeria. The Commitee recommended that the Federal Government move the capital from Lagos to Abuja, a choice justified largely on the basis of the area’s centrality, in the sense of easily accessible to and from every part of the Federation. The authors argue that the choice of Abuja was already implied in the Committee’s terms of reference and that its setting up was mere window dressing: the ‘involvement’ of the mass of the people in the making of this public policy was a facade. Bibliogr., notes, ref.