STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT

Government is divided into different segments which function differently. These are the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary.

LEGISTLATURE
This is an arm of government that makes laws. Laws are made by debating and passage of bills. A bill is a draft of proposed legislation or law.

FUNCTIONS OF LEGISLATURE
1) Law making
2) Removal of President
3) Constitutional amendment
4) They represent the people
5) Check the executive
6) It is an avenue to express public opinion
7) Approval of appointments from the executive

TYPES OF LEGISLATURE
These are Unicameral and Bicameral legislature.

UNICAMERAL LEGISLATURE: Here a state has only one legislative house or body that makes laws.

ADVANTAGES OF UNICAMERAL LEGISLATURE
1) It is cheaper to maintain
2) It is ideal for unitary states
3) It hastens the process of law making
4) It is free of squabbles in bicameralism

DISADVANTAGES OF UNICAMERAL LEGISLATURE
1) It is an unpopular type of legislature
2) Bills and laws are hastily made without much debate
3) In a large country like Nigeria, adequate representation cannot be achieved
4) The executive can easily pocket a unicameral house

BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE: Here a state has two legislative bodies or houses involved in law making.

ADVANTAGES OF BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE
1) The second chamber checks and prevents hasty passage of bills
2) The interests of minority groups are well protected
3) It allows equal and adequate representation of the people
4) It is difficult for the executive to dominate both houses
5) Bills are properly debated

DISADVANTAGES OF BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE
1) It is expensive to maintain
2) The second chamber may be used as dumping ground for political rejects
3) There is delay in passing bills
4) It causes unnecessary rivalry between both chambers
5) It leads to duplication of functions by both chambers.

THE EXECUTIVE
This is an arm of government responsible for implementing, executing and enforcement of laws made by the legislature.

FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE
1) Maintaining law and order
2) Making budget
3) Initiating bills for the legislature
4) Execution of laws
5) Giving assent to bills from the legislature
6) Dissolution of appointments
7) Appointing judicial officials

THE JUDICIARY
This is an arm of government responsible for interpretation and application of laws.

FUNCTIONS OF THE JUDICIARY
1) Gives advice to the President
2) Interpretation of laws
3) Determination of election petitions
4) Dispute resolution
5) Protection of citizens’ rights

PROBLEMS OF THE JUDICIARY
1) Poor funding from the executive
2) Insufficient number of courts
3) Appointment of the judicial head by the executive
4) Corruption
5) Court congestion which causes delay in justice.

REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
This is a system where the people through election chose those that will represent and govern the state of their behalf.

FEATURES OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
1) Free and fair elections
2) Majority rule
3) Periodic elections
4) An independent electoral body
5) Existence of opposition party or parties
6) Respect for minority groups

REQUIREMENTS FOR REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
1) Rule of law
2) Organized party system
3) A written constitution
4) An independent Judiciary
5) Establishment of an electoral system
6) Recognition of the opposition

MERITS OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
1) It ensures the elections are democratic
2) It prevents tyranny and oppression
3) Rule of law is observed
4) It provides the people opportunity to participate in government
5) It gives people sense of identity and belonging to the government

DEMERITS OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
1) It breeds corruption
2) It is expensive to run
3) Election rigging
4) Dirty politics scares away honest people
5) Representatives are imposed on the electorate by political parties.

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