The Challenges Of The Smooth Administration Of Local Government In Nigeria

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The Challenges Of The Smooth Administration Of Local Government In Nigeria


Abstract


This study assessed the Challenges Of the Smooth Administration Of Local Government In Nigeria. The study made use of both the primary and secondary sources of data collections through the use of field questionnaire, interview, focus group discussions, participant observations and review of relevant literature on the subject matter. The structural functionalist theory as espoused by Gabriel Almond was used as the theoretical framework of the study; the point of departure of this theory is that, it is a form of systematic analysis which looks at political systems as a coherent whole that performs certain functions. Therefore, local government was seen as one of the structure of the state established to perform specific social, economic and political function and operate according to democratic tenets.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The topic of this study is specially designed to enable us examine the challenge of local government administration in Nigeria and also to pin-point those barriers hindering the effective administration of local governments

These have been much emphasis on effective local government administration in Nigeria. This is due to the awareness of the critical role local government can play in stimulation cruel development. It is also behave that since the government is now brought close to the people , their development process can be made easy and as such development will be facilitated at this level by the local government.

In all the attempt at rural transformation in Nigeria, there has been emphasis on working through existing local authorities the 1979 and 1989 constitutions of the federal republic of Nigeria empowered local government to provide certain basic services.

Despite the changes in all those reforms and local authorities there has not been any meaningful solutions to these problems but rather the problems more compounded.

Local government is grassroots government by authors and bodies. Maddick (1963) defines local government as a sub-unit of government controlled by a local council which is authorized by the central government to pass ordinance having a local application levy taxes or exact labour and within limit specified by the central government, vary centrally decided policy in applying it locally

The Nigeria local government reform document of 1976 defines local government as government at local level exercised by representative council, established by law to exercise specific power within defined areas.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Local government is an indispensable element in the governing of the country and also a provider and administration of basic services.

However on the recent years there has been a general consensus by the people that local government administration in Nigeria is faced with various problems such as lack of funds, corruption, multiplicity of functions, misappropriate of funds, political instability politics etc, all these drawn my attention to this research topic.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The major objective of this study is to explore the challenges of local government administration in Nigeria. Other objectives are :

  1. To find out if the multiplicity of functions assigned to local government hinder the effectiveness of local governments.
  2. To examine whether lack of funds is responsible for the inefficiency in the administration of local governments in Nigeria.
  3. To investigate whether the interference from higher government is responsible for the inefficiency in the administration of local government.
  4. To suggest a possible solution to the above problems mentioned

1.4 Research Questions

The research questions to this study are:

  1. Are the multiplicity of functions assigned to Obowo Local Government the challenges the local government is facing?
  2. Do you mean that lack of funds responsible for the inefficiency of the local Government?
  3. Do the higher government (federal government) interference hinder the smooth administration of local government?
  4. Would you say that corrupt practices negatively affect the administrations of local government/

1.5 Statement of Hypothesis

Hypothesis I
  • Ho: The interference of federal government does not affect the smooth administration of local government
  • Hi: The interference of federal government affect the smooth administration of local government in Nigeria.
Hypothesis II
  • Ho: Lack of funds is not responsible for the inefficiency in the administration of Obowo Local Government Area.
  • Hi: Lack of funds is responsible for the inefficiency in the administration of Obowo Local Government Area.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the challenges of the smooth administration of local government in Nigeria. The case study is narrowed to Obowo Local government council, Imo state. The study also covers areas, such as the historical development of local government in Nigeria, theoretical basis of local government and local government council procedure


1.7 Significance of the Study

The major significant of this study is that it will enable the public to know the challenges facing the administration of local government in Nigeria.

Another significant is that study will serve as source of reference to any researcher who may have and in-depth interest in the research topic


1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the case of this study , some challenges were encountered, some of these challenges are the challenges of combining the research work with other academic work, such as reading for test and examination, preparing not and writing of assignments.


1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Administration:

Administration reject to a process that requires planning. Organizing, coordinating and controlling of both human and material resources in order to achieve a specific goal in any organization.

Government:

Government is a body of person of machinery through which a state is government or controlled.

Local government:

Local government is defined as a government of the local level which enable the local people to participate in the governance of themselves in a certain specific periphery.

Law:

Local government law, 2000( as amended in 2002) and other statuses.

Majority leader:

Leader of the party with majority seats on the floor of the council.

Procedure:

Codified methods of deliberation, the conduct of a meeting in accordance with a set of rules or order.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

Introduction

This chapter is a summary of the major highlights of the thesis, from which conclusions were drawn and recommendation made.


5.1 Summary

This study assessed the Challenges Of the Smooth Administration Of Local Government In Nigeria. The study assessed the nature and performance of local government services to its inhabitant since the return to civil rule in 1999. The study therefore ascertained whether the local government had been able to effectively and efficiently established and maintained services and utilities that significantly improved the basics of live of the people and development.

The study made use of both the primary and secondary sources of data collections through the use of field questionnaire, interview, focus group discussions, participant observations and review of relevant literature on the subject matter. The structural functionalist theory as espoused by Gabriel Almond was used as the theoretical framework of the study; the point of departure of this theory is that, it is a form of systematic analysis which looks at political systems as a coherent whole that performs certain functions. Therefore, local government was seen as one of the structure of the state established to perform specific social, economic and political function and operate according to democratic tenets. The joint account system and other instrument of financial control impeded the performance of the delivery of services.

Local government as a concept has a meaning in its practical sense, when the people of the local government levels benefit optimally. The whole essence of decentralization and the creation of local government as a sub-unit are to quickly and easily feel the impact of government especially in a democratic setting and federal framework.


5.2 Conclusion

The local government in the period under review performed below expectation. There is no doubt that as a third tier of government it has a central role towards her area of jurisdiction, in terms of development. This is an important reason that led to its establishment. It therefore, means thatlocal government has meaning only when it contributes to the upliftment of the people‟s lives and state of living.

Nonetheless, it could be observed that the low level of performance by local government can be attributed to problems encountered in her developmental drives such as financial emasculation in the name of joint account, poor leadership/mismanagement, etc.


5.3 Recommendations

The study offers some measures aimed at improving the performance of the local government system.

  1. The local government system in Nigeria needs to be reorganized and restrategized in its policies and programmes to meet the specific needs of the people, in order to make it more functional in the rendering of services such as quality feeder roads, quality and affordable health care services, and improved access to quality educational services etc.
  2. Enhancement of democratic practices should be encouraged at the local government level to make the system truly emanates from the people. In so doing, it will enhance transparency, accountability and rule of law. By extension, it will also promotes democracy at the local government level, enhances participation and the delivery of services.
  3. The non-involvement of the people in decision making process is counterproductive. The people should be made as part and parcel of development initiative and process. The over-reliance on elite as the only important stakeholder for consultation is not healthy for the system. A holistic approach, concerted efforts and mechanism should be put in place so that local initiatives can be stimulated to enhance the people‟s conditions.
  4. Security of tenure of elected chairman and councilors should be guaranteed in our constitution. The excessive abuse faced by elected representatives of the local government level and lack of adequate protection of their offices calls for concern. They are left at the mercy of the whims and caprices of the State government that can remove an elected representative of the local council at will, and appoint a sole administrator or caretaker chairman without recourse to the people‟s mandate is antithetical to their autonomy and development. This trend should be stopped. A fixed term of office for specific period as enjoyed by their counterpart at the state and federal level will go a long way to protect local government finances and enhances development.
  5. Direct allocation of finances to local government is important for their development. The issue of state/local government joint account is a strangulation of the system, as often state governments makes substantial deduction from the local government funds and uses other financial

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