Meaning, Merits and Demerits of Centralization of Power
What is Centralization of Power?
Centralization of power refers to an administrative system whereby political power is concentrated in a single central authority. The constitution concentrates political power on a single central decision-making body.
The highest form of concentration is found in the unitary system of government. The creation, reduction, or abolition of other levels of government is at the discretion of the central government. Countries that operate unitary systems include Ghana, Britain, Sierra Leone, Liberia, France, etc.
Merits of Centralization of Power:
(i) It promotes political unity.
(ii) It creates a strong central government.
(iv) It is cost-effective. It is not an expensive form of administration in terms of cost and personnel as there is no duplication of offices and functions.
(v) Under centralization of power, the constitution is single and relatively easy to amend.
(vi) There is no conflict or confusion over areas of jurisdiction.
(vii) It enhances the effective coordination of functions of both human and material resources.
(viii) Decision making and implementation are quick.
(ix) It promotes uniform development as development is centrally planned.
(x) There is cohesion and unity of purpose.
Demerits of Centralization of Power
(i) Centralization of power is not effective for countries with large geographical territories.
(ii) The central government may become autocratic or dictatorial because of the enormous power under its control.
(iii) There is no government at the grassroots. Government is very far away from the people.
(iv) The minority groups may be marginalized.
(v) The workload on the central government may be much.
(vi) Local initiative man in policy making and administration may be discouraged.
(vii) The level of development may be poor and slow.