Constituency Representation in Nigeria: An Assessment of Taraba State Federal Legislators (2013 – 2019)

Nwanegbo, C. Jaja ; Alebiosu, Emmanuel ; Wununyatu, Daniel (2021)


This paper interrogates the representation of Federal legislators in Nigeria using Taraba Federal Legislative Constituencies as the area of study. The objective was to establish coherence between the actions and functions of the federal legislators in Nigeria and their constituents. Guided by the Principal-Agent Theory, the paper assessed the identified indicators of representation: law-making process and opinion of the constituents, presence in the constituency, and accessibility to the constituents, etc and finds out that, the members of the House of Representatives from Taraba state are not effectively representing their constituents in the performance of their duties as legislators. Again, that hiding under the cover of the identified encumbrances in communication with the people, the Taraba State Federal House of Representative legislators as agents of their constituents have congenially built on the two agency problems of moral hazard (hidden action), which has always made it possible through the electoral ills for many of them to have the chance of re-emerging and retaining their seats in the House despite the obvious poor representations. Second is the adverse selection (hidden knowledge) which is usually an advantage to many agents. Through this advantage, they have and will always continue doing their wishes in the affairs that ordinarily should be a public matter. The paper recommends a constitutional insertion that would compel legislators (as a matter of process) to consult with their constituents in matters of formulating new policies that would affect the people’s life.