The Effect Of Local Government Administration In Economic And Social Development (A Case Study Of Idemili Local Government In Anambra State)
This project gives a description of the practical knowledge and working experience acquired by us, during our staying in this school and some research made so far. In that case we started the project with a brief description of the introduction/ back ground statement of problems objective of the study its significance and etc. Furthermore, our special achievements is that we gained some practical experience that can and forwards work in any local government/ company the project covered for the 2 years duration of our course in ordinary national diploma (OND) in public administration and management dealt more on the effect of local government administration in economic and social development which comprises four chapters.
1.1 Background of the Study
This study is a modest attempt at a lucid explication of the role of local government in Nigeria.
Nigerian local government system has witnessed tremendous transformation since the introductions of the 1988 civil service reforms and its application at the local government administration one of the changes introduced to strengthen the local government is the direct payment of their statutory allocations which was increased from 15% to 20%. In addition local government auditor was established in each state government to ensure proper utilization of financial resources at the local level to check any misappropriation of public funds. Also all local government now has a common structure which distinguish them from service department.
Local government at any level has some stand and roles such as the maintenance of law and order, the promotion of economic and social development. They are left with considerable freedom to act as they see fit for the interest of the local community.
From the point of view the government as agents of development are will place to help the rural areas to develop. These can be done by investing in social and economic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, electrification and telecommunication. The other essential duties inherited from the Native Authorities include rural and the urban water supplies markets and libraries. We generally regard the convenience list as including those extra amenities which make for a better life in the community, other than those life in the community, other than those which are concerned with fighting discuss e.g. bus and lorry parks. The regulation of handcarts on the streets, community and recreation centers, parks and open spaces, grazing areas and fuel plantations, the naming of streets and the numbering of buildings. These are recognized as automatically the responsibility of the local government. They also help in the service of park control and supply of water, electricity and gas, the provision of road and water transport, and any other trading undertaking that the state government specifically authorizes.
The local government also take care for a specifically health orientation and supplying of drugs, a midwifery service, to arrange for health visiting and home nursing to provide facilities for vaccination and immunization.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Local government is expected to become more meaningful in facilitating social and economic development at the grassroots level. Central to the achievement of these objectives is the financial viability of this tier of government. This point has been subtly underscored by “Dasuki panel” on local government administration, when it observed inter alia that a good number of local government roles could not be performed at all, due to a variety of reasons principal among which are:
- Inadequate financial capacity
- Lack of necessary technical manpower, and erosion of functions particularly in the revenue yielding areas by state government – thus reducing the revenue base of the local government.
This demonstrates that success or failure of local government depends among other things, on their revenue base, the fiscal resources available and the way these resources are utilized. However, central to the above is the ability of the local government to generate substantial financial resources which is one of the tripartite goals of every local government in Nigeria more importantly, one is inclined to think that this is the point that can give an impact in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty of Ika south local government. The researcher wants to identify the reasons for the vicarious cycle, and proffer a solution to the above problems.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study seeks to look at the contribution of local government development of rural areas in Nigeria using Ika south local government area of Delta state.
This research also aimed at identifying different factors militating the effectiveness of local government and solutions to those problems identified and it will be offered at the completion of the research work.
Finally, the study makes a modest attempt to fulfill this purpose in the social and economic development of the effective delivery of service to the respective local populations scattered all over the country. It also make a recommendations on making local government an effective third level of government, the development and management of the human resources of local governments and the development of the financial resources of local government. The overall thrust of the recommendation is on how to ensure faithful implementation of local government.
1.4 Scope of the Study
This research area and dimension of coverage is based on only the roles of local government administration in economic and social development of rural area in Nigeria and to the staffs, teaches, businessmen, farmers in Ika south local government of Delta state.
1.5 Research Questions
The research questions for work will be based on the following:
- Do local government have any role to play in the economic development of rural area?
- To what extent has local government administration played its roles in rural area?
- Does low morale among the staffs of local government militate development of rural areas?
- Is there any constraints that militate against the success of development process of local government?
- Does weak financial base hinder the goals of meeting up rural development?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The need and importance of the research is obvious. At a time when local government has come to assume an overwhelming influence on the process of political and economic development.
It becomes more relevant to examine much more closely, the characters and dynamics of this three tier of government and to clarify the major contradictions that have landed to impede its capacity to promote development at local level.
However, a scientific study of this kind becomes necessary especially at this time when the past and present civilian administrations are particularly concern about rural development.
Finally, this study will generally add to the growing numbers of literature on local government affairs, more particularly on the roles of local government administration in economic ad social development of rural area in Nigeria and pragmatic solutions offered towards making them more efficient and responsive to the needs of rural Nigerians, it also to policy makers and researchers alike.
1.7 Definitions of Terms
The following terms have been defined for the purpose of this study:
(i) Local government:
This is government at a local level exercised through representative councils established by laws toe exercise specific functions with in a defined area.
Development is a multi – dimensional process involving a re-organizational and reorientation of the entire economic and social system, in addition to improve income and outcome. Its typically involves radical changes in institutional, social as well popular attitude and sometimes even customs and belief.
This refers to the organ that constitute representation of people either elected or nominated.
(iv) Social Economic Development:
This is a combination of social and economic development. It embraces improvement in not only standard of living and per-capital income, but also high level of employment, reducing inflation, adequate food, high infrastructures, stressing values rather than achievement.
These are end results to which an organization or government activity directed objective are hierarchical in nature are determined or formulated by top management of an organization after economic, social and political forces affecting the organization have been apprised.
This consists of essentially integrated series of development projects that spans over a length of time.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
Local government because of its proximity to a large majority of the rural people is no doubt a center of development. Local Government is closer and as such should be felt by the people in the rural areas. Issues relating to economic and social development touch more on people in the rural area. economic and social development is not only about agricultural, infrastructural development or provision of social amenities, it is also about articulating the strength, skill, and aspirations of the rural people. It is about inspiring the people to help them to achieve and reach the peak of their expectations in life. The local government, because of its nearness to the rural people is respected to play this important role.
This study is has been an attempt to examine and assess the role of role of local government administration in economic and social development with special focus on Ika South local government area of Niger state.
In chapter one, an in-depth analysis of the background of study was undertaken by identifying the various stage of local government administration in Nigeria from pre-colonial to conical and post -colonial Nigeria. Various problems were identified which formed the problem of the study. Based on thee problems the objective of the study was stated which was identify the reasons behind the problems highlighted and solutions proferred. In linewith this, hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The chapter, also contain the methodology adopted to gather and analyze data. Finally, operational definitions of important terms were included in the chapter.
Chapter two was devoted to the review of related literature and theoretical framework of the study. Literature review on the definition and concept of economic and social development, past economic and social development efforts of the government and ways in which local government could perform the role of economic and social development was carried out. Also in the chapter, the foundation of the study was built by adopting the modernization theory of economic and social development.
In chapter three, a historical perspective of Ika South Local Government was undertaken. Thus from historical perspective Ika South Local Government was created in 1991 by the military government of Ibrahim Babangida. The chapter further identified the functions of the Local Government, its sources of revenue as well as the operational and structural organization.
Chapter four was devoted to presentation and analysis of data using tables, percentages and frequencies. The data was gotten form questionnaire drawn for staff and beneficiaries and interview granted by the heads of department/ sections in the local government. Information from other secondary sources also formed part of the data presented.
After the analysis of data, findings revealed that due to ineffective and inefficient manpower, financial and social amenities have been constraints t the development of he Ika South Local Government Area. It was also gathered that excessive political interference and control from other tiers of government has hindered the performance of the Local Government Area.
From the study we can conclude that the Local Government has not been able to perform its role as a vehicle for economic and social development due to inefficient manpower, financial and material resources. The study further shows that excessive political interference and control by other tier of government ahs affected the performance of the Local Government.
The findings reveal that majority of the staff necessary qualification and experience for work. This study shows that despite this inadequacy, the Local Government has not undertaken any training of the staff to improve their efficiency at work.
Inadequate financial and material resources is another problem of Ika South Local Government Area. The study shows that the total fund accrued to the Local Government is too small. Also the internally generated revenue is too low and this leads to over dependence on statutory allocation. This low revenue base in every respect has hindered the local government from achieving its objective of rural transformation through provision of social amenities and infrastructural facilities.
The study also shows that excessive control and political interference has greatly affected it effectiveness. There are so many reasons added for this. One, the local government’s over dependence on statutory allocation discussed extensively in previous chapters; two, the powers given to the state house of assembly over the local governments are excessive. According to Ugwu (200:62)
The Local Government system extent in 1979 and 1999, and for which the constitutions provided guarantee was widely regarded as conforming to the democratic model of local representative government. It was the product of the reforms of 1976 which the reformers thought would stimulate “democratic self government” a the local level and ensure autonomous participation of local people in the development of their communities.
But the state government by the same provision of section 7 of the constitution exercise authority over the local government. This section gave the state government the power to ensure the existence of democratically elected local government councils under a law which provides for their establishment, structure composition, fiancé and functions. This power has been grossly abused. Niger state government dissolved all the local councils and appointed a transition committee headed by a chairman. Another implication of the exercise of section 7 is that local government council cannot exercise its constitutional function unless empowered to do so by the State house of Assembly.
Nwabueze (1983: 129) argued that the constitutional power to established local governments, to define its structure; composition and functions belong to the state government. He went further to advance that if the state government exercise such enormous powers over the local government, then the latter is mere agency or creation of the stage government. It is therefore enormous to see it as an independent third tier of government.
In furtherance of the excessive control of local affairs in Niger State is the flagrant abuse of the operation of state/local government authorities. The state government used this to short charge and divert local government fund. The local government in spite of its enormous responsibilities has not been given enough fund. The findings show that only fund to settle recurrent expenditures were released to the local government for over two years.
In such situation, the local government has been rendered ineffective in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities.
The study so far has shown the inability of Ika South Local Government Area to play its role as a vehicle for economic and social development. This is as a result of certain identified constraints, which include inadequate skilled manpower, financial and material resources and excessive control and political interference by other tiers of government, especially the state government.
In view of this, the researcher would recommend the following:
- The local government service should try to motivate qualified and highly skilled personnel/ profession as to join its service.
- The workforce on the ground should be trained to improve their proficiency for greater performance.
- The higher level governments should set up a board where farmers could purchase fertilizer, improved seedling, other agro chemicals as subsidize rate all year round.
- The federal government should help the local government prove equipments like graders, tippers etc to enhance road construction in rural areas.
- The federal government should make it compulsory for each local government to engaged in a least one water and one road project every year. T is assumed that within a ten- year period almost every rural area would be linked and enjoys portable water.
- In terms of revenue generation, the local government should endeavour to improve on the internally generated revenue. Areas like property tax tenement rates which has been neglected could yield much revenue. This will reduce over dependence on statutory allocation form federal government. Furthermore, the state government should be made to always release the 10% internally generated in the state meant for local governments.
- Dishonest or corrupt revenue collectors should be adequately disciplined to deter others. Their activities of revenue officials should be closely monitored supervised and evaluated. They should be given a target, which they’re expected to meet. They should equally be motivated.
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