Meaning, Forms, Merits and Demerits of Decentralization of Power
Decentralization of Power is the administrative system or model in which political powers are shared in such a way that the component units (states, Regions, Local Units) are not directly subordinate to the central government. The component units derive their political powers from the A constitution is a set of fundamental rules that determine how a country or state is run. More which clearly specifies such powers e.g Federal system of government.
Countries, where political power is decentralized, include Nigeria, the USA, India, Canada, etc.
Forms of Decentralization of Power:
The two forms of decentralization include:
(a) Devolution: It is the process where units are created and allotted governmental powers and functions. These units are granted specific functions and powers by the constitution rather than the central government. These units are to a great extent to control their units e.g. Federal system of government. The constitution clearly spells out the procedure for amendment of the constitution in case there is a need for withdrawing or adjustment of such devolved powers.
(b) Decentralization: In decentralization of power, power is delegated to local units, and supervisory and controlled administrative powers are delegated to the local units & field units e.g. Government, Ministries, Agencies, and Departments.
Demerits of Decentralization of Power:
(i) Decentralization of power is expensive. It requires a lot of resources and personnel due to duplication of offices and functions.
(ii) It encourages slow decision making due to the wide scope of consultation.
(iii) The rights of minority groups may not be guaranteed. There is always the fear of domination.
(iv) Decentralization of power promotes uneven development.
(v) There may be frictions and disagreements over areas of jurisdictions among the different tiers of government.
(vi) This may promote political instability.
(vii) It may also endanger political unity
(viii) Amendment of the constitution is rigid, difficult and time-consuming.