The Bureaucratic And Environmental Influence On Local Government In Nigeria
Local government administration in Nigeria is one of the most important forms of governance in the country. It is the contention of this project research that local government administration should like any other system have an environment which it operates and which influences the system overtly. This research work is restricted to the basic factor that influence local government in Nigeria which manifest themselves in form of environmental and bureaucratic influence on local government system in Nigeria using the Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State as a case study. The primary source of data collected was mainly the use of a structured questionnaire which was designed to elicit information on the Bureaucratic and Environmental Influence on Local Government System in Nigeria. Data collected will be analyzed using frequency table, percentage and mean score analysis while the nonparametric statistical test (Chi-square) was used to test the formulated hypothesis using SPSS statistical software according to the research question and hypothesis. The results of this study show that there is a need for the mental attitudes and beliefs of the civil servants to be reoriented, so that they can cope with the policies of the new governments.
1.1. Background of the Study
The evolution of local Government in Nigeria predates colonialism. The system passed several phases VIZ pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial. During the period of pre-colonial, the government of what is known as Nigeria was local tradition rather than central and was mannered by traditional authorities such as Emirs, Sultan, Obar, Onis, Alafms, Obas Warrant chiefs and Ezes. There was therefore locally centralized machinery of government. The north had power concentrated in the hands of the “Emir”. In the East, there was a republic form. Government was highly decentralized and based on family heads or clan or “Umunna” or council of elders (Ndi Ichie) while in the West there was a kind of constitutional monarchy with the “obas” as the hem of affairs. In every park of Nigeria there exists machinery than run the affairs of Nigerians in their own district localities.
However the period of colonial was the British indirect rule system when the British got mandate to administer the dasin of River Nigeria. Sir Frederick Lugard took the title of high commissioner of the title of Northern Nigeria in 1906 where indirect rule was first introduced. The indirect rule system was not applied throughout Nigeria until 1916 when the native authority ordinance No14 was passed this era was described as golden age of British colonial Admmistration and traditional rulers between 1917 and 1949.
Post-colonial was when the second world war ended, there was a tremendous surge of nationalist interest who were educated and anxious to participate in the running of their own after and to put into practice modern democratic ideas they acquired while studying abroad. In the forefront was Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and others.
In 1947, a secretary of state for colonies (Arthur Jones) issues a famous dispatch of all African territories calling for rapid development and efficient democratic system of local government. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo who was the premier became the master of local government in their areas. Between 1950 and 1955, local government became a three tier system.
However, 1976 there was local government reforms after coup detat in January 1966. There was a big change in transformation/introduction of modern local government system. The reform was aimed at finding solutions to the short comings of previous reform effects, the main is to entrust political responsibilities to where it is most crucial and beneficial to the people. Having traced the origin of local government in Nigeria , it is the contention of this project research the local government administration should like any other system have an environment which it operates and which influence the system overtly. Like living organizes, the local government administration and indeed other bureaucracies and conditioned by their environments and the conditioning is naturally mutual as Heady states. “Bureaucracies institution as well other political and administrative institutions can be better understood if the surrounding condition influences and forces that shape and modified them are identified and ranked to the exert possible in order of relative importance and if the reciprocal impact of these institutions on their environment also explored” The environmental and bureaucratic influences that impinge upon the exert influence on local government administration in Nigeria and historical, political, social economic and bureaucratic environments such as government regulations, edicts, laws, decrees and other attendant protocol that characterized public bureaucracy.
It is based on the above bureaucratic variables that this work is developed to the exposition of the critical influence of these environment in Nigeria Local Government system and to find out how far reaching these variables have helped or otherwise the growth, development and stability of over growing third tier of government in Nigeria.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Since the inception of and consequent upon the introduction of modern government reform of modern government reform of 1976, the system has witnessed series of reform. The environment and bureaucratic infrastructures such as road, networks, electricity and water supply, laws and decrees etc, which associated with public administration. These environmental infrastructures which in most cases are lacking in most of our local government area in no small measures are the retardation of local government administration in Nigeria.
Also some bureaucratic influence such as delays or the religious way which the local government administrative system are subjected impact negatively on the quick dispensation of services required of local government administrative in Nigeria.
This study, therefore, should address such environmental and bureaucratic influences aforementioned using the Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State as a case study.
1.3. Objectives of the Study
- To know if the environmental and bureaucratic influence is beneficial or detrimental to local government in Nigeria.
- To make appropriate services development activities of the people at the grassroots.
- To promote a safe and healthy environment and
- councilors and bureaucracy but also the community as well.
- To provide a two-way of communication between local communities and government (both state and federal) organization chart for Nkanu West Local Government Council.
- To facilitate the exercise of democratic self governance close to the local level of our society and to encourage initiative and leadership potentials.
1.4. Research Questions
- Is there any Bureaucratic and environmental influence on local government administration in Nigeria?
- To what extent do the bureaucratic and environmental factors affect the local government administration?
1.5. Significance of the Study
This work is of immense benefit to local government.
Administrators and local government generally and Nkanu West Local Government in particular. It will also benefit other practitioners in the field of administration especially in their relationship with their immediate environment.
1.6. Scope of the Study
This Research work is restricted to the basic factor that influence local government administration in Nigeria which manifest themselves in form of environmental and bureaucratic influence on local government system in Nigeria using Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State as a case study.
1.8. Definition of Major Terms
Self reliance the condition of self government especially of a state or group within a country.
A system of Government by the departments which are managed by state officials not by elected representatives.
Making something come under the control of one central authority or power rested on a particular institution.
Policy of acquiring colonies and keeping then dependent.
Transfer of power from the central government to other small government i.e. state and local.
Process of gradual change and development.
British method of administration using chiefs and traditional institutions.
An official change in the way something is done or organized
Conclusion and Recommendation
Available evidence shows that the Performance of the public service in virtually all tiers of government and in extra-ministerial departments in Nigeria has remained very abysmal, hence the present state of underdevelopment (Obasi, 1987, Jike, 2003, Adebayo, 2001 and Okafor 2005). The abysmal performance of parastatals and agencies of government, like the former National Electric Power Authority and the Nigerian Telecommunication is very obvious in this regard. Nigerians are demanding more and better improved services and their demands are not being met, by all indications on the basis the score cards of the civil service and the Parastatals (The Guardian, May 1, 2005). In effect, this has slowed down the process of socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.
If the civil service is to attain the desired results of good governance in Nigeria, far-reaching reforms are needed. First, recruitment, and promotion of civil servants should be based on merit system as opposed to spoils system. This is because the enthronement of federal character principle of recruitment and other spoils system techniques have sacrificed efficiency and effectiveness in the Nigerian public service. Second, while rules and regulations are sine qua non for systematic and orderly government, they should be flexible and pragmatic. To ensure this, there is a need for the rules and regulations, which were designed to serve colonial policies, and interests are revised (updated or repeated) to meet the demands of the 21st century.
Again, there is a need for the mental attitudes and beliefs of the civil servants to be reoriented, so that they can cope with the policies of the new governments. Furthermore, there is a need for strong political elites, who are able to articulate political goals and to establish and maintain a framework of both political and legal institutions. They must also maintain communications with the major social and political group in order to sharpen governmental objectives/programmes. Nigeria equally needs a bureaucracy that is characterized by a high degree of deconcentration and decentralization of the decision- making process, a bureaucracy in which there is effective communication and coordination in which appreciate the thoughts and feelings of the people when formulating and implementing policies.
Finally, corrupt officials should be sacked, the behaviour of civil service personnel must change, they must be trained and retrained to embrace the spirit of achievement, and prudent use of material and human resources instead waste that have characterized public bureaucracies over the years.
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