Grass Root Authorities And Socio-Economic Development In Nigeria

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


In this research work, the researcher intended to have a general discussion with local government as my background. But lack of space may not allow me for detailed discussion and analysis. However, all essential part of the role of Grassroot administration in economic and social development of rural areas in Nigeria are discussed.

In chapter one, I discussed the background the problem of the study, the scope, some research questions and research hypothesis, significant and some definition of terms.

In chapter two, contains review of related literature, local government, social and economic development process, characteristics of rural area and the history of local government. Furthermore, chapter three contains research design, area of the population and sample size. Instrument for data collection validation of instrument reliability of instrument and method of data collection and method of data analysis.

Chapter four focused on result of the analysis and discussion of findings

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

In the past two decades, the potential importance of local government’s institutions has increased throughout Nigeria, as the demand for local development and improved services has grown. One of the reasons for this has been the confirmed growths and greater congestions of towns which in its turn, have accentuated such urban problems and crowded roads, inadequate water supplies and absolute sanitary facilities, in both rural and urban areas, the rising expectations and demands on the part of people for more better local public services.

However, local government is a system of administration under which communities and towns are organized to maintain law and order, provide some limited range of social services and public amenities and encourage the cooperation and participation of inhabitants in joint endeavours towards the improvement of their condition of living. It provides the communities with a formal organizational framework which enables them to conduct their affairs effectively and regulate the actions of their members for the general public good. The brief statement on the nature, of local government is relevant only at a stage in the evolution of developing societies Local government all over the world have been described as government at the local (grassroots) exercised through the decentralization of state, central government through representative councils which are established by law to perform specific duties within restricted geographical areas Ademolokun 1979).

According to the 1976 local government reforms, local government has been defined as:

“Government at local level exercised through representative councils, established by law to exercise specific powers within defined areas, these powers should give the council substantial control over local affairs as well as institutional and financial powers to initiate and direct the, provision of services and determine the type of projects to be executed, so as to complement the activities of the states and federal government in the areas and ensure through active participation of their people and their traditional institutions that local initiative are response to local needs and conditions are maximized (Ademolokun 1979).

On the other hand, local government cannot provide adequate essential services to its rural people without their participation in developing their areas: one of the important contributions of people in developing the areas is by means of constituting community development project.

Community development is essentially the deliberate attempt for communities to work together to guide the future of their communities development, of a corresponding set up techniques for assisting community people in such process” as we all know, community development activities are undertaken voluntarily with or without financial support from the government or other agencies Ademolokun (1979).

The facts that the government has placed high premium on cooperative efforts of rural development, like execution of community development, self-help projects, encourage communities to undertake such viable projects in order to supplement government effort”.

In addition, in its effort to develop rural areas the federal government of Nigeria established some agencies to complement communities’ effort in rural development such agencies are: National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and community Banks, Family Economic. Advancement programmed, National Community Development Board, IFAD, FADAMA III Programme e.t.c.

However, emphasis given to rural development is manifested when introduced community” development board that would help the local government in the areas of community development.

According to Aliyu (1971), the main objectives behind local governments “is to facilitate even development of services at the grassroots level, making available necessary services and development activities response to local wishes and initiate bodies as well as mobilizing both human and material resources through the involvement of members of the public into local affairs so as to bring the government closer to them” Aliyu (1975).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Grassroots authorities is concern with initiation and execution of programmed geared towards endangering social and economic development of their area. This can be achieved through involvement in the implementation of socio-economic programmes that attempt to reconstruct the infrastructures necessary to improve way of life. For instance, the provision of good drinking water, rural electrification, and public recreation centers etc. Grassroots authorities also led to encourage the citizen to involve and participate in rural development which are organized and coordinated by grassroots authorities. This research is an attempt to answer the following research questions:

  1. Has the creation of grassroots authorities solve some of the basic and immediate problems of people in the areas.
  2. Has creation of grassroots authorities solved the problem of community development?
  3. What is the role of grassroots authorities in national development?

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

This study seeks to look at the contributions of local government in the economic and social development of rural areas in Nigeria using udi local government of enugu state as a case study.

This research is also indirectly aimed at identifying different factors militating against the effectiveness of Grassroot Authority and solutions to those problems identified. It will also make a recommend action on making local government an effective third tier of government and also making it a great manager of human and financial resources. The overall thrust of recommendation is how to ensure faithful administration of local government

1.4 Research Questions

The research question will be based on the following;

  1. Do local governments have any role to play in economic and social development in rural areas?
  2. What are the examples of such roles?
  3. To what extent has Grassroot Authority played it’s roles in rural areas?
  4. What are the effects of staff moral in the attainment of development objectives in local governments?
  5. Are there any constraints that militate against the success of development process of local governments.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The need and important of the research is obvious. At a time when local government has come to assume on over whelming influence on the process of political and economic development, it becomes more relevant to examine much more closely the characters and dynamics of this third tier of government and to clarify the major contradiction that have tended to impede it’s capacity to promote development at the local level. However a scientific study of this kind become necessary especially at this time when the past and present civilian administration are particularly concerned about rural development.

Finally, this study will generally aid to the growing number of literatures on local government affairs more particularly on the roles of Grassroot Authority in economic and social development of rural areas in Nigeria and pragmatic solutions offered towards making them more efficient and responsive to the needs of rural dweller and also to policy makes and researchers alike

1.6 Scope of the Study

This research area and dimension of coverage is based only on the roles of grassroot administration in economic and social development of rural areas in Nigeria and to the staff, teachers farmers, businessmen/ women and artisans in udi local government area of Enugu state.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The researchers were affected by the usual constraints and problems common with similar researches in Nigeria.
Summarized below are some of the constraints,

i. Finance:

In carrying out this research there was inadequate fund to carryout proper investigation in some areas that the researchers would have loved to.

ii. Time:

The time available for the research was limited coupled with the fact that there were other assignment to do and exam to prepare for.

iii. Dearth of statistical data and information:

As a result of lack of documental data and information there search finding appears to be written for easy understanding.

1.8 Definition of Terms

This following terms have been defined for the purpose of this study

i. Local Government:

This refers to a government at the local level Exercised through representative councils established by law to Exercised specific functions within a defined geographical area

ii. Development:

This is a multidimensional process involving re-organization and re-orientation of the entire economic and social system in addition to improving income and quality of life of the inhabitants of an areas it typically involve radical
changes in institutional social as well as popular attitude and sometimes even customs and beliefs.

iii Council:

This refers to that organ which constitute representation of people either elected or nominated.

iv. Socio – Economic Development:

This embraces improvement in not only the standard of living and capital per inccome but also in high level of employment reducing inflation, advocate provision of food, high infrastructures, stressing value rather than achievement.

v. Objectives:

This refers to those things that the researcher intends to achieves at the end of the research.

iv. Programmers

This consists of essential integrated series of developmental projects that spans over a length of time or period.

Chapter Five

Summary of Finding, Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Summary of Finding

In this study, efforts have been made to look at the roles of Grassroot Authority in social and economic development of rural areas in Nigeria.

Generally, scholars with different views have identified different problems responsible for the low performance of local governments. These problems include; lack of fund, inefficient intergovernmental relations, unhealthy politics, corruptions and embezzlement of public fund.

From the case study (i.e Udi L.G.A), it was discovered that Grassroot Authority has performed its roles in the rural area. In contrast. Local governments in developed countries are more effective efficient and development oriented.

This is because these countries are economically developed. As a result, their local governments are financially buoyant to carry out developmental functions. Beside this, the nature of intergovernmental relations in these countries are very strong. The analysis of the role of local government in the socio-economic of liftment of its people points to the fact that it has succeeded.

Finally, from the findings on the case studies, Grassroot Authority has performed their roles to an extent but might do better if adequate fund and proper trained personnel are employed by provided them.

5.2 Recommendation

After taking note of the problems and roles of local government in social and economic development, the researcher recommended that proper administrative personnel should be provided the rural dwellers.

More so, the high level of rural-urban migration should be controlled or checked. These could be done by providing those amenities (social or economic) that attracts people to urban areas. Such as; electricity, water supply, good road, improved agricultural tools etc.

However, the federal government should provide fund for the local government to enhance socio-economic development which will consequently improve the income per capital and the standard of living of the rural dwellers.

Finally, the rural dwellers should support the local government by helping to carry out development project and paying their tax (licensing etc).

5.3 Conclusion

This study leads to the conclusion that the local government institution, if managed well is an effective and efficient tool of development.

By management here, we mean that the local government should make proper use of it’s available human, material and financial resources.

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