Assessment Of Local Government Administration As A Strategy For Rural Transformation In Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State

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Assessment Of Local Government Administration As A Strategy For Rural Transformation In Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The local government constitutes the most critical level of government in the move for a sustainable national development. Over the years, national development has been canvassed to take off from the grassroots as the local government is widely known as a vital instrument for rural transformation and machinery for effective delivery of socio-economic services to the people (Adeline, 2014; Otoghile and Edigin, 2011). More than 70% of Nigerians reside in the rural areas where there is acute shortage of social infrastructure and economic needs. In the light of this in 1976, the local government nationwide reform was initiated where the local governments were saddled with more functions, responsibilities and finances to correct the anomaly of rural areas challenges. As a tier of government, the local government retains its position as the closest level of government to the people to cater for the development of the local areas (Fajonyomi and Olu-Owolabi, 2013). Also, the local government has the responsibility to provide the local population with basic social and economic amenities as well as form a training ground for democracy and participation. Therefore, the development of rural areas or local governments will automatically transform into the development of the country.

However, the local government is faced with several challenges which have undermined the essence of a level of government which derived its mandate from the constitution in the pursuance of its developmental objective (Eze and Muanya, 2013; Odigbo, 2013; Odigbo and Osuagwu, 1998). These challenges root from what increasingly looks like deliberate efforts to stem the advancement of development from the local government level in the country. It has therefore inhibited the local governments in the performance of their constitutionally assigned roles of shaping development from the grassroots (Idike, 2014). Therefore, the focus of this study will be an assessment of Local Government Administration as a strategy for rural transformation by using Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State, as a case study.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The major idea for the creation of local government in Nigeria was predicated on the need to use local government as growth centres for rural and urban development since the larger chunk of the Nigerian population reside in the rural areas. On the contrary, these noble objectives have not been achieved owing to the fact that the rural populace are still grappling with the problem of starvation, ignorance, diseases, deprivation, unemployment, teenage pregnancy, environmental degradation, oppression and lack of access to basic amenities despites the series of reforms carried out by successive governments in an attempt to enhance the financial independence of local government. This made most of the rural dwellers to move to the urban centres in search of greener pastures (rural-urban drift) in the form of higher education, white collar job, access to adequate social amenities such as good roads, pipe borne water, electricity and so on. Therefore, the major thrust of this study is the an assessment of Local Government Administration as a strategy for rural transformation by using Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State, as a case study.


1.3 Research Questions

This research will be carried out to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the contributions of Kaltungo Local Government Area to rural transformation and development?
  2. What are the problems facing Kaltungo Local Government Area towards rural transformation and development?
  3. What are the possible solutions to the problems facing Kaltungo Local Government Area towards rural transformation and development?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this research is to assess Local Government Administration as a strategy for rural transformation by using Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State, as a case study.

However, the specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To examine the contributions of Kaltungo Local Government Area to rural transformation and development
  2. To identify the problems facing Kaltungo Local Government Area towards rural transformation and development
  3. To proffer the possible solutions to the problems facing Kaltungo Local Government Area towards rural transformation and development

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study provides a theoretical framework for the understanding of the role of local government in rural development in Nigeria. Therefore considering the pivotal role of local government in development in general, such information will be of immense help for policy formulation on the development of grassroots. The result of the study will equally be of help to other researchers who may want to research on such topic or related topics on development in the academia in the future. On the practical significance, the study will draw attention of, and enlighten both the stakeholders and those who implement policies on rural development in Nigeria who may not really understand the central role of rural development on the crucial and inescapable role of local government system. As a result, the rural dwellers will endeavour to participate fully in grassroots democratization and development, while those who implement policy on development in Nigeria will become dedicated to policy formulation, recommendations and implementation.


1.6 Scope of the Study

For the purpose of reliability and validity, the study will be carried out in Kaltungo Local Government Area Gombe State since that is the case study for this work.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Rural Development:

The term grassroots development as used in this study refers to the act or process of developing and empowering the well-being of the vast majority of the rural dwellers through the provision of basic social and economic infrastructures. Hence, it is a development from below. According to Todaro (1985) grassroots development is an advancement that makes life more meaningful in its entire entirety whether political, economic, socio-cultural and infrastructural.

Rural Dwellers:

The people living in the remote areas of a country and lack basic infrastructure like good road network, pipe borne water, electricity, good health facility etc. The term refers to the ordinary people who are far from political decision making process at the centre. These groups includes small scale farmers, tenants, etc who seek livelihood in the rural areas.

Democracy / Local Government:

The term democracy “literally signifies” the rule of the people: the term democracy as it is used in the study synchronizes with Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy. Gauba (1981) quoting Lincoln and it reads: Democracy is the government of the people by the people and for the people. It implies that ultimate authority of government is vested in the common people so that the public policy is made to conform to the will of the people and to serve the interests of the people. From the foregoing, one can rightly say that democracy is all about “peoples” participation in government–and local government. Therefore, Democracy and local government are inseparable and are synonymous.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

 5.1 Summary

This study focused on the assessment of local government administration as a strategy in Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State. The study was set to address two objectives which include;

  1. To examine the contributions of Kaltungo Local Government Area to rural transformation and development
  2. To identify the problems facing Kaltungo Local government area towards rural transformation and development
  3. To profer the possible solution to the problems facing Kaltungo local government area towards rural transformation and development

Based on the above stated objectives and the study carried out, the following findings were made:

  1. That the contributions of Kaltungo local government area towards rural transformation and development include but not limited to building of infrastructure in the area; creation of jobs in the area; building of schools and payment of teachers; maintenance of peace and security in the area
  2. that what constitutes the problem facing Kalturngo local government administration towards the transformation of the rural areas and development include but not limited to poor funding; lack of professionalism; neglect by the state government; political interference and huge employment burden.

5.2 Conclusion

The main purpose of this study is the assessment of  local government administration as a strategy in Kaltungo LGA, Gombe State. Three research questions guided the study with one research hypothesis.

In this study, a survey research design was adopted, the population comprises all Kaltungo local government workers in Gombe state, a simple random sampling technique was used to select 50 local government workers for the study and a questionnaire was the instrument for data collection. Relevant literatures were reviewed which guided the objectives and methodology of this study. As result of the field study and analysis of results, the following findings were made:

  1. That the contributions of Kaltungo local government area towards rural transformation and development include but not limited to building of infrastructure in the area; creation of jobs in the area; building of schools and payment of teachers; maintenance of peace and security in the area
  2. that what constitutes the problem facing Kalturngo local government administration towards the transformation of the rural areas and development include but not limited to poor funding; lack of professionalism; neglect by the state government; political interference and huge employment burden

5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. That there should be improvement in the allocation to the local government to meet up with their responsibilities.
  2. Government should ensure that professionals are allowed to manage the affairs of local governments.
  3. There should be an improvement in improved security of local government officials.
  4. The local government administrators should focus on their basic duties of provision of infrastructure at the rural areas.

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