The Impact Of 1976 Local Government Reform On Rural Development (A Case Of Aba North Local Government, Abia State)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


This research work was purposed at recognizing the impact of 1976 local government reforms on rural development in Nigeria Aba North local government area of Abia state was used as a case study because of its nearness and proximity to the researcher.

Local government as a lowest unit of administration has many responsibility, roles and functions, Aba North local government council and her policies have efficiently contributed to bring about rural development. Data used in this research were collected through questionnaires, direct interview and filed observation of various projects executed by the council area of a space time.

More data was collected through the consultation of related literature on the local government itself. Therefore the research study revealed that local government cannot be over emphasized in the aspect of rural development. It also examine that some of the problems affecting the performance of local government are inadequate finance, corruption, mother Excellency, bad management, lack of quality staff, lack of mutual co-existence and cooperation with rural dwellers etc.

Finally, this study draws the attention of the policy makers within the local government council to admit honesty, intelligent and to make trustworthiness their watchword. The administrators and the management of the local government affairs should try to avoid mismanagement, corruption, embezzlement, and misappropriation of fund. Therefore, that is to admit that local government will be an effective and efficient tool for rural development due to these various reforms.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

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 the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definitions of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Problems Of Local Government
  • 2.3 Remedies To The Problems
  • 2.4 Historical Background Of The Local Government Reform and Rural Development In Nigeria

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Sources / Methods of data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Sample techniques
  • 3.6 validity and reliability of measuring instruments
  • 3.7 Method of Data analysis techniques

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data
  • 4.3 Analysis of data
  • 4.2 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

Local government, which is the third tier of government in Nigeria have undergone various reform towards making the system more efficient and effective in rural development autonomy. Introduced by Mohammed/Obasanjo regime.

The 1976 local government reform was a local government in Nigeria. According to Okoli (2005) the idea behind the entire exercise was to make local government an effective stratum of government rather than leaving them more appendages to their various states government.

This was to ensure that political development economic responsibilities of local government was performed with full autonomy and entrusted to where it is most critically and beneficially needed for the purpose of developing the rural communities.

According to Preman and Guin (1972) rural development is a process design to create condition of social and economic progress of the whole community with active participation and the fullness possible reliance on the community initiative.

The reform of local government aimed at appropriate development of the economy and the social well being of the entire Nigeria citizenry. It is also aimed at the building of Nigeria harmony and makes the government of the country more effective and efficient.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The problem that has warranted this study is to find out how effective the impact of 1976 local government reform have been on rural development in Nigeria. The 1976 local government reform failed to achieve some of its goal as a result not attending to the rural development. The system was prone to frequent disappointment. Therefore, it is important to look into such problems ad ascertaining.

  1. To what extent, the 1976 local government reform helped to prevent the problem of inadequate finance on rural development and how it affected the lives of people in rural area.
  2. To what extent the 1976 reform system are strictly adhered for reduction of corruption in the local government council in Nigeria and its impact on co-operation of rural dwellers in rural development.
  3. To what extent the 1976 local government reform system helped in preventing the undue interference/ mother government councils.
  4. To know the effectiveness of the 1976 local government reform as a tool of transforming rural areas.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The objectives of this research work were;

  1. To examine the problems that had hindered the effectiveness of the 1976 reform in relation to rural development.
  2. To examine the extent to which the rural dwellers participate in the local government in Nigeria.
  3. To examine some of the government programmes under the 1976 reform that was detrimental to rural development.
  4. To suggest possible remedies to observed problems to help in future reforms.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. To what extent has the local government affected the rural development in Nigeria.
  2. To what extents have local government contributed to rural development.
  3. What is the rate of connection between local government and rural development?
  4. How has local government reduce the rate of population in the rural communities?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study is significant in many ways it focused on the impact of 1976 local government reform on rural development in Nigeria. Its finding will be of benefit to the entire society in the sense that the society should participate in the reformation of the local government, which is geared towards rural development not leaving it for the sate an federal government.

For the same season, the academic communities will also benefit from the study because it will be an appropriate channel for secondary research to both student and teachers in finding facts about the local government reform on rural development in Nigeria and for those who are for the first time engaging on a research work of this type.

The administration in various government ministers and parastatals will equally see the need to provide the basic infrastructure facilities to the rural communities and embark on community project that leaders to the transformation of the loves people in rural and local communities.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The research focused on the impact of 1976 local government reform on rural development in Nigeria. The scope is limited to Aba North local government area. Therefore, the findings of the study cannot be generalized to other local government areas in Nigeria.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

Also time and finance were major constraints, which affected the study. There were difficulties in the distribution and retrieval of the questionnaires due to the attribute of some workers who were afraid of speaking with government agents, while some were afraid of releasing official information.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Local Government:

Ugwu (2002) defined local government as third tier level of government created for the purpose efficient and effective administration of the localities while the 1976 local government reform conceived local government as government at the local level exercise through representatives council established by the law to exercise specific power within defined areas.


According Oxford Advanced Learners dictionary which defines impact to be a strong impression or effect of an action.


It simply means to make or become better by removing or putting what is bad pr wrong to right. Therefore, reform takes place when something is bad and wrong, or better put, when a problem is identified, the step to change it is reform.

Rural Development:

According to Umalele (1975) rural development is the process of improving the living standard of the masses of low-income population residing in rural area and making the process of their development self-sustaining.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter discusses as well summarized the findings been made which are the major hindrances facing Aba North local government area. It equally recommends the way forward to examine and know the impact of 1976 local government reform in Nigeria on rural development and also proffer conclusion of the content.

5.2 Summary Of Findings

From this study, the following findings have been made

  1. That the people are inhabitant of Aba North local government areas are satisfied with the performance of Aba North local council.
  2. That between the problems of finance, corruption, monocracy or mother Excellency, lack of qualified manpower, bad management and lack of cooperation with rural dwellers funding constitute the most hindrance of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Aba North local government area and however followed by the problem of monocracy/mother excellency undue interference, then transparency and accountability, manpower training, improved management performance and lastly, lack of cooperation with rural people.
  3. That generally, local government council contributes immensely to the effectiveness, efficiency and mobilization in Aba-North local government area. Other subsidiary findings within the council area made sure that efforts of Aba North local government council revenue that masses of Aba North local government area are involved in formulation of policies and programmes of the council to detect the “Fact” need of the council while the reform aimed at improving the mutual co-existence and co-operation of both the council and their inhabitants thereof.

5.3 Conclusion

So far, we have observed in detail that local government reform of 1976 in Nigeria have significant impact on the rural development which permit us to say that local government council can however perform the function of bringing the policies and dividend of the nation down to the masses as the government of the grassroots only of it places more emphasis on the management of efficiency service model of development.

Therefore, this tends to play down on the involvement of the people in the local government process and limits them from being dint tax and rate payer.

Through, the people in the rural areas took on themselves as the tax payers, the reason for local government reform without total commitment of the rural dwellers and their development is dust became they now regard the government as solely responsible for bringing or creating condition for rural development. And when they do not see this development coming, they have to take upon the government as an exploiter.

And the above have to do with the lack of linkage between the local populace and the local government is became even though the local government may became even the local government may be physically present among this people, there is still gap that separates them. Through one of those objectives of 1976 local government reform is enhancing mass mobility and participation towards the development of the local government councils.

5.4 Recommendation

As we have seen that attempts have been made to examine the impact of 1976 local government reform in Nigeria on rural development. This is an assumption that local government can serve as the government at the grassroots and as a merit able instrument of rural transformation and the nation at large. Consequently, I am making these recommendation with the believe that it will bring rural transformation in Aba North local government area, not withstanding that the revenue allocated to the local government from the federal account is relatively small to be compared with the extent of development required in Nigeria rural area. But in a situation where the management is honest, intelligent and trustworthy, the little “money” fund allocated to them will be prudently managed rather than been mismanaged, misappropriated and misallocated to the detriment of development within the council.
I hereby make those recommendations that will help local government solve its problem such as;

  1. There area of revenue allocation formula needs to be addressed. It is quite surprising that local government are closer to the people, they know their peculiar problems and felt need, however, they lack fund “money” meet their demands. It is no this premise that this study recommends a new allocation formula to the tree (3) tiers system of government as follows;
    • Federal government 28%
    • State government 34%
    • Local government 38%
      The rationale for the above recommendation of a new revenue allocation is very obvious because the local government is nearer to the grassroots and in thus faced with more tasks since 80% of the Nigeria population resides in the rural area.
  2. Another area is that, the local government can mobilize the rural people effectively through organizing public lecture for the from the rural people informing them about mobilization and then place the role in it.
    There is also need for organizing various types of village meetings which will help the local government to understand the needs of the local people and appropriate areas, funds for mobilization will channeled.
  3. The operation of the local government council should be improve continually for them to maintain its effective role and impact that the local and the impacts the local government reform of 1976 has brought to the council.
  4. For they are to be an effective mobilization and transformation of the rural people by the local government factor militating such mobility effort should be eliminated.

The following ways could be adopted to at least reduce dissemination of information. This will make the rural people aware of their gifted natural resources because ignorance on the part of the rural people and even on the local government council should involve the masses or the people of the rural/local government area while initiating, formulating and implementation those policies plan and programme because this is the basic for the government 1976 reform on rural development. Thus, one of the objectives of 1976 local government reform is enhancing mass mobilization and participating in the development of the local government council.

Basically, when the masses or people new of the local government are taking into consideration, the policies plan, programme will be well articulated or reflect ob “felt” need of the communities within the rural area and local government council.

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