The Lyttleton Constitution was enacted in 1954 and it established the federal principle and paved the way for Nigeria's independence in 1960.
FEATURES OF LYTTLETON CONSTITUTION OF 1954
- A Federal Legislature consisting of 184 members, which were elected directly and independently of regional assemblies.
- A Council of Ministers with the governor-general as the President, with three official members, three ministers from each region and one minister from Southern Cameroon.
- It retained the bi-cameral Legislature for both North and West, and uni-cameral for the East.
- The leader of the majority party in the regional assembly was expected to be appointed the regional premier.
MERITS OF THE 1954 CONSTITUTION
- It provided a Federal System of government in Nigeria
- Ministers were given portfolios
- The posts of permanent secretaries and the parliamentary secretaries were created.
- It granted real law making powers to the regional legislatures.
- It recognised the need for gradual integration of the various groups in Nigeria by passing power to the regions. Regional governments were given greater responsibility.
- It rescued the Nigerian State from gradual collapse by rejecting the customs union proposed by the North.
- It paved way for regional self-government.
- Separate elections were allowed into the regional and central legislative houses, unlike before which one was an electoral college of the other.
- Ministers were given greater responsibility.
- It recognised the need to appoint Premiers in the regions.
- It properly decided not to recognise the right of a region to secede as requested by the Action Group.
DEMERITS OF LYTTLETON CONSTITUTION 1954
- It made no provision for a second chamber at the centre
- The post of Prime Minister was not provided for
- It did not provide for a unified electoral system throughout the country
- The governor-general still retained his veto powers.
- It introduced a revenue allocation formula which over emphasised derivation as against need and national interest.
If you found this site and its content useful and relevant to you, support and help us keep the site running so we can continue to give you solid educational updates. Click here to donate now thanks.