Financial Management And Accountability In Nigeria Local Government (A Case Study Of Oguta Local Government Area Of Imo State)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


Abstract


Due to the tagged stereotype that what belongs to the government belong to nobody, there has been the unfortunate general feelings among Nigeria that it is no crime to misappropriate to personal use, government resources or funds with careless abandon, against this back drop, there is a problem of financial management and accountability in Oguta Local Government Council.

The object of this research work is to make some incursions into the operational procedures of local government with emphasis on finance and to ascertain the extent to which financial management and accountability could grandly bring about the transformation of rural and marginal communities as message in the 1976, 1988 and other resent reforms guidelines for local government, financial regulations, memoranda and instruction, and to suggest ways and means for improvement.

The method of data collection adopted for this research work is primary data and primary data were used as interviews, observation. During the investigation of this research work, the researcher noted some findings and they include. The poor finding of local government which is revealed in the disparity the estimated revenue and the actual revenue and the actual realized during the period investigated.

The internal generating revenue is very poor and this explains inability of the revenue collectors to explore all avenues of revenues of the local government. And conclusion, in spite of all the provision of financial regulation and instructions and checks and balances instituted into the local government system which is enshrined in the financial memorandum and hand book on local government administration, there are cases of abuse of office, fraud and fraudulent behaviours by the local government operators.

To make development get to all nooks and cranny of Oguta local government council, 1, therefore recommend that the federal and state government should pay attention to the Oguta local government system on how to safeguard and utilize their financial, human and material resources so as to ensure effective and efficient financial management and accountability.


Tables Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents
  • Chapters
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Literature review
  • Chapter 3: Research design and methodology
  • Chapter 4: Presentation and analysis of data
  • Chapter 5: Summary, conclusion and recommendation

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Concept of local government
  • 2.3 Brief historical development of accounting
  • 2.4 Importance of accounting information
  • 2.5 Users of accounting information
  • 2.6 The finance functions
  • 2.7 Meaning of accountability
  • 2.8 Effective and problems of financial management and accountability

Chapter Three

3.0 Research design and methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Sources/method of data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Sample technique
  • 3.6 Validity and reliability of measure instrument
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and analysis of data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data
  • 4.3 Analysis of data
  • 4.4 Interpretation of result

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, conclusion and recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

This research work, the financial management and accountability in Nigeria local government is an attempt to discover whether Nigeria local government make judicious use of the revenue or finance viable to them in facilitating social and economic development at the grass root level, using Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State as a case study. The local government council is the third tier of government in the hierarchy of administrative ladder of the country. It is thus the government of the grass root as it touches the hearth of the rural populace.

The acceptability of any government depended largely on the quality of leadership offered at the grassroots since 889 of the country’s population are still living in the areas.
The local government system in Nigeria embraces accountability, in that, it brings those responsible for decision close to their electors.

This work shows the uniformity of local government and how it came to existence tracing it from 1976 local government reform policy promulgated by the late General Murtala Mohamed/General Olusegun Obasanjo’s military regime.

It therefore, the aim of this study to make local government with emphasis on finance and to ascertain the extent to which management and accountability could greatly bring about the transformation of rural and marginal communities as envisaged in the 1976 guidelines for local government reforms and to suggest ways and means for improvements.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

It is an indisputable fact that local government in Nigeria was established for political administrative and service provision purpose.

The rate of involvement of officers dealing with public funds in acts ranging from misappropriation to fraud and embezzlement of public funds has put to question this integrity and reliability of those entrusted with the management of public fund. The problems can be summed up as follows:

  1. Ineffective financial control and management of resources available to them.
  2. The inability to proceed with essential capital development project become of limited revenue resources and availability of internal and external loans grants

1.3 Objectives Of Study

The objective of the study is to examine the various made in local government reforms guidelines in 1976, 1988 and other recent reforms, local government edict of 1976 to 1992 of Imo State, financial regulation, memoranda and instruction. In addition, the study intends to investigate the various resources available to the local government and to explore ways of effective generation and improvement of revenue collection channels both internal and external in other to make fund available to finance capital development with a view of creating wealther and better life for our rural dwellers.

The study also aims at appraising the facilities available to ensure the local government rules and regulation. It is therefore, the aim of this study to make some incursion s into the operational procedures of local government with emphasis on finance and ascertain the extent which management and accountability could greatly bring about the transformation of rural and marginal communities as envisaged in the 1976 guidelines for local government reforms and to suggest ways and means for improvements.


1.4 Research Questions

The researcher, in a bid to analyze his finding made use of oral interviews and distributed questionnaires.
Below are the research questions that are being used for this project work:

  1. What are educational qualification member of staff?
  2. What is your position in the service?
  3. For how long hare you been in the services of Oguta local government?
  4. When Oguta local government came into existence, how many constituencies was it made of its population and the kilometer it covers?
  5. Does the level of skill and expertise of an officer accounts for the level of his/her proficiency in the discharge of his/her duties?
  6. Where does Oguta local government get their allocation from?
  7. Is it the level of human and material resources available to Oguta local government area that affects the management of finance and accountability.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The significance of the study is to stress the need for adequate financial management and accountability of Nigerian local government for improved performance and maximum efficiency of the head of affairs. The study would lead to a better understanding of the origin, causes and problems in the local government. The understanding of all these would enable the people in the local government to make objective judgment with regards to the activities of the heading the seats in the local government.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

As the topic suggests, this is the study of what are obtainable in Oguta local government of Imo state. However, does not mean that there cannot be similarities between what are obtainable in other local government of the federation.


1.7 Limitation Of The Study

The topic of this researcher work “the financial management and accountability in Nigerian local government” is limited to just local government are of Imo state, which is the case study of the said topic.
During the research process, the researcher had some constraints, some of these constraints are:

Time:

The researcher had limited time to gather the information needed for the project even from other local governments.

Financial Constraint:

The researcher has little constraints in finance, example of which is transport money to and for to getting information from different people and from different places.

Refusal To Give Information:

The researcher manage to convince some persons to getting information’s from them. Most of them refuse giving the information needed for of losing their jobs. They give excuses that the information are official.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Financial Management:

This is the management activity that is concerned with the planning and the controlling of the firms financial resource. Ojiuko, A.A.

Accountability:

According to Akpan Asuquo this can be defined as a art of process of presenting financial information or records (revenue and expenditure of an organization either by oral means or by written) to the users of information.

According To B.N Okezie (2002) Accounting:

This may de defined as an art of recording, classifying and summarizing in systematic manner and in terms of money, transaction and events which are in part at least, of financial character and interpreting the results there bull (1984) defines accounting as being concerned with the qualification of economic events in moneys terms, in order to collect, record evaluate and communicate the result of past events and to aid in decision.

Finance:

This is the process where by funds are raised to meet the firms investment needs, government system. It is thus the government of the grassroots as it touches the heart of the rural populace its obligation is to render certain services to the communities, example, collection of taxes, maintenance of markets etc. source: Amayach, A.f. (1998)


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter deals with the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendation based on the study of the financial management and accountability in Nigeria local government area of Imo state. Here, the researcher focused on the parameters that give credence to financial management and accountability in Nigeria local government system. The study has systematically led the researcher to unearth some resounding truths about this phenomenon. It also reveals that effective and efficient financial management and accountability is important in the Oguta local government area.


5.2 Summary Of Findings

The researcher noted many findings during the investigation of this research work and the findings are summarized below.

  1. The poor function of local government which is revealed in the disparity between the estimated revenue and the actual revenue and actual realized during the period investigated.
  2. The internal generating revenue is very poor and this explains the inability of the revenue is very poor and this explains the inability of the revenue collectors to explore all avenues of revenues of the local government which is because they are unskilled and ignorant of the available sources for revenue corruption and short comings, printing of take receipt contributed to the poor internal revenue generation which has made the financial management and accountability difficult. Poor generation of internal revenue can also be as a result of inadequate material resources and caliber of human resources in the local government.
  3. Another problem that weakens the independence of internal control check is the spirit of comradeship, this is because since he/she is a staff of the local government, he would not like his fellow staff of the local government to be dismissed and this creates for poor financial management and accountability in the Oguta local government.
  4. Further more, internal auditors are responsible to the chairman and the accounting officer and also to the auditor general. This excessive reporting system weakens the independence of the internals auditor because they bound to be conflicting interest. Among the three supervisor of the internal auditor, for fear of victimization and transfer finds it difficult to raise audit queries if a supervision is involved.
  5. The poor remuneration coupled with poor incentives makes accountability difficult. This is because it leads workers to indulge in corrupt practices or to explore avenues of defrauding the local government despite all the control measures provided. As more control measures are adopted, so do circumventing them as a result of the hyper inflation experienced in Nigeria. According to Obasi (2000:49) the problem of corruption in the local government is a system that is, disease whose therapy requires financial management and accountability to be achieved.

5.3 Conclusion

From the research work, it could be seen that all staff are indispensable in the local government financial management and accountability central to the development of avert local government, is a system of prudent financial management.

However, in spite of all the provision of financial regulation and instruction and checks and balances instituted into the local government system which is inshrined in the financial memorandum and handbook on local government administration. There are case of abuse of office, fraud and fraudulent behaviours by the local government operators.

To make development get to all nooks and cranny of Oguta local government, attention should be paid to local government system on how to safeguard and utilize their financial human and material resources. In order to ensure effective and efficient financial management and accountability in the Oguta local government area, the finance should carefully be looked into by both federal state government to see that the problems hindering financial management and accountability are reduced to the barest minimum.


5.4 Recommendations

In the above work, numerous problem militating against the effective financial management and accountability in Oguta local government system has been examined. A strong and virile local government system is very crucial and necessary to the growth and success of democracy, a necessary and almost sufficient condition for success economic social development, the strength and vitality of local government are nourished and boostered by prudent financial management (Amujiri 2000:196)

To this effective, the following recommendations are put forward by the researcher.

  1. It is therefore, recommended that full autonomy should be granted to internal auditors. They should work independently of any one and report matters as they are. It is only when they are independent, qualified and competent that their information could be reliable.
  2. Poor salary contributes immensely to fraud and embezzlement, public workers salaries in the Nigeria local government system are nothing to write home about.
  3. Employment and recruitment should be based on meritocracy instead of son of the soil syndrome, and qualifications of the applicants should be well screened to make sure that the unqualified are not employed.
  4. There should be adequate sanctions and punishment for any office involved in the act of forgery, embezzlement, manipulation of figures, defalcation, etc. if adequate punishment are prescribed and given to any officer found quality or mismanagement of local government financial resources, it will serve as a deterrent to others.
  5. The most elements of financial control have been the conduct of supervisory control checks. The approach entails revenue collectors, cashiers, account officer or any other relevant revenue officials. Through supervisory control checks, such fraud like printing of fake receipts, not using carbon sheet etc. can be detected.
  6. It has been our contention that the low status of revenue collectors, internal auditors and other local government functionaries impact negatively on the financial management and accountability. It is therefore, recommend that the local government should endeavour to train all calibers of workers so that they can be more competent to handle accounting books and thereby minimizing problems of accountability and financial management.
  7. Finally, poor orientation of local government has been identifies as a problem of financial management and accountability in Oguta local government.

Since there is a belief that government property belongs to no one, hence its misappropriation does not attract much vehement condemnation from the populace. Therefore, there is need for re-orientation of the Nigeria civil servants towards more noble idea about life.

I, therefore call on the various religions bodies, educational institutions, and the National orientation Agency (NOA) to set necessary machinery in motion to carry out this much needed nation wide re-orientation.


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