The Impact Of Intergovernmental Relations In The Development Of Local Government Areas In Imo State (A Case Study Of Ideato North And Ideato South L.G.A Imo State.)

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The Impact Of Intergovernmental Relations In The Development Of Local Government Areas In Imo State (A Case Study Of Ideato North And Ideato South L.G.A Imo State.)


The relation between the three tiers of government in Nigeria has been problematic over the years. Several commissions and committees have been set and recommendations proffered, but up till today there is still fiscal conflict among the tiers of government. The local government being the third tier of government is the worst hit and this has resulted to inability of the local government to carry out its statutory functions effectively. It is in view of this that this study examined the impact of intergovernmental relations in the development of local government areas in Imo state (a case study of Ideato North and Ideato South LGA Imo state). The study adopted survey design, specifically descriptive research was adopted. Data was collected using questionnaire, focus group discussion. Secondary data was generated from government records and Central Bank of Nigeria. The findings revealed among others things that inter- governmental relation has to an extent helped to reduce tension among the three tiers of government in Nigeria. Also, the imperfection of 1999 constitution has hampered fiscal relation in the three tiers of government in Nigeria. The study recommended among other things that effort should be made to ensure that all tiers of government should adhere to fiscal transparency, accountability and constitutional provisions on fiscal relations.


Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background To The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives Of The Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Significant Of Study
  • 1.7 Scope Of Study
  • 1.8 Limitation Of The Study
  • 1.9 Definition Of Terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.2 Problems Of Intergovernmental Relations In Nigeria
  • 2.3 Local Government And Intergovernmental Relations
  • 2.4 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.4.1 System Theory
  • 2.4.2 Power Theory
  • 2.5 Constitutional Provision Of The Powers Of Levels Of Government In Nigeria
  • 2.6 Relationship Between Local Government And Other Levels Of Government
  • 2.7 Local Government And Intergovernmental Relations In Nigeria: Cooperation Or Conflict?

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Area Of The Study
  • 3.3 Sample And Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrument For Data Collection
  • 3.5 Method Of Data Collection
  • 3.6 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results And Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

The 1999 Nigeria constitution stipulates the functions and powers of the levels of government in such a way that no one level of government can singlehandedly perform the functions of service delivery to the people. Therefore, cooperation has become an important prerequisite for governance (Fatile and Adejuwon, 2009:10). Nigerian federalism, like other federal systems of government, is characterized with diverse ethnic groups, languages, culture, political affiliation as well as struggle for political power. The need to cater for these diverse elements and ensure service delivery at the grassroot level necessitated the creation of local government (Fadeyi, 2009).

Local government was therefore made to be the third tier of administration with its autonomy. This autonomous nature of local government still allows for interaction with the central and state governments. The characteristics of the federal government are inter alia the separateness and independence of each level of government, mutual non-interference in the distribution of power, the existence of a supreme court and a court of law to act as an arbiter in intergovernmental dispute (Fatile and Adejuwon, 2009).

Intergovernmental relations (IGR) provide a platform for series of legal, political and administrative relationships between levels of government with varying degrees of autonomy. It is generally referred to as the transaction between levels of government of either national or regional or among federal, state and local governments (Ajulor and Okewale, 2011). Commenting on the tension and conflict among the three levels of government, Jinadu (1998:8) pointed out that:

The dynamics of federal-state relations within the federalist constitutional framework is one of a see-saw between interdependence and cooperation on one hand and conflict on the other hand, between the centre and the units and between the units themselves.

The fourth republic witnessed unhealthy relationships between the states and local governments. During this period, about ten local government Chairmen were either removed and suspended from office. It was this that infuriated the Local Government Chairmen which made them to sue the thirty six governors and their state assemblies (Fadeyi, 2001). Also, the stoppage of the monthly revenue allocations to the states that conducted elections into newly created local governments made the federal and state governments to be at loggerhead.
Under the distribution of powers in the 1999 constitution, Nigeria is a centralized federation with strong unitary elements. Currently, there are complaints about the overconcentration of power in the federal government (the product of long period of military rule), This school of thought has argued that, if Nigeria wants to practice ―true federalism,‖ then it should go back to its 1963 constitution. Yet there are centrists who continue to support a very strong federal government in order to counter Nigeria‘s history of political instability (Adamolekun, 1983, Olopade, 1984).

This unhealthy rivalry and cold war between local government and other levels of government arises as a result of undue interference of the state government, unconstitutional removal of the local government Chairmen by some state governments, for instant, in 2014 Ekiti State governor Fayose dissolved the elected local government council and replaced them with his own appointees (Osakede and Ijimakinwa, 2014), shortening the Local Government Chairmen‘s tenure of office, joint state-local government account and what the states perceived to be an attempt by the federal government to relate directly to local governments. These need to be addressed if we are to sustain federalism that has been put in place. This paper therefore seeks to address the nature of intergovernmental relations between local government and other tiers of government and how improvement can be made to allow for true federalism in the country.

Federation implies the existence of more than one level of government in one country each with different expenditure responsibilities and taxing powers. Nigeria is a federation consisting of states and federal capital territory, federal government, 36 states and 774 local governments. Among the different levels of government, fiscal arrangement ought to be worked out properly to ensure fiscal balance in the context of macro-economic development and stability. The fiscal arrangement among the different tiers of government in a federal structure contends (Osisioma and Chukwuemeka, 2007) is often referred to as fiscal federalism; in other types of political structure it is known as inter-tier or intergovernmental fiscal relations.

The capacity of the federal, provincial and territorial governments to assume their responsibilities hinges on the balance between decentralization of revenues and decentralization of government spending. This decentralization refers to the portion of total revenue collected and expenditures allocated to both state and local governments. The degree of decentralization argues

Okoro (2006) is the extent of independent decision making by the various arms of the government in the provision of social and economic services. It connotes the degree of autonomy of state and local governments in carrying out various economic tasks.

Vincent (2002) enumerated the existence of the following fiscal arrangements before the military took over power in 1966.

  1. The regions were assigned the proceeds from export and excise taxes while the Federal Government received the share attributable to Lagos area.
  2. Marketing boards were regionalized and their respective regions retained their operational surpluses.
  3. Regions were empowered to fix produce prices and also impose tax on the produce of the marketing boards
  4. Regions were assigned the full retention of mining rents and royalties with a federal tax of 30% payable to the distributable pool account (DPA) and were later adjusted to 35% in 1957.
  5. Regions were allowed to administer and retain income tax on incomes not above $700 per annum.
  6. The federal government collected import duties and corporate income taxes.
  7. The regional governments determined the relationship between the regions and the provinces.

The implications of these measures were an increase in regional revenue from 17.7% in 1945/49 to 41.6% in 1966/67 while the share of the federal government declined from 82.3% to 58.4% in the same period (Obasi, 2006). The military intervention in 1966 brought new changes as the federal constitution of 1963 was suspended. The Federal Government took over state and local government functions. Consequently, new tax measures were introduced as follows:

  1. The transfer of legislation and administration of mining rent and royalties to the Federal Government.
  2. Centralization of the marketing boards while all taxes, surpluses and fixing of produce prices were administered by the Federal Government.
  3. Right to revenue emanating from company income tax, import, export, petroleum profits tax (PPT), excise tax and mining royalties and rents were vested in the center.
  4. Introduction of uniform rates in personal income and sales taxes while the state were to administer the taxes.
  5. Replacement of sales tax with value added tax (VAT) in 1994 and subsequently transferred to Federal Government for the purposes of regulation and administration while the proceeds are paid into the VAT account for distribution among the tiers of government. Subsequently, the revenue potentials of the states were eroded, and internally generated revenue between 1993 and 1999 stood at 74% of total revenue while that of the local councils between 1996 and 1999 averaged 67% of tatal expenditure (Ezeabasili, 2006).

1.2 Statement Of Problem

Local Government is not mutually exclusive of other levels of government. For example, the functions set aside for local government in the fourth schedule have to be conferred upon by a law of the State House of Assembly and does not derive from a direct constitutional grant Section 7(6) (Kaplan, 1964). Therefore, there is bound to be an interaction between the Local Government and other levels of government. Unfortunately, this relationship has not been cordial.

In Federal-State-Local Government relations, there has been what amounts to cold war. Local Governments complain about undue interference from state governments. For example, the Sokoto State government was taken to court by fifteen Local Government Councils, and the court prohibited the deduction of 3% of Council‘s statutory allocation to fund the Sokoto Emirate Council, as passed by the State House of Assembly (Ugwu, 1998).

Intergovernmental relations among the levels of government in the Fourth Republic have been in disarray due to the unhealthy rivalry that takes place. The problem is not unconnected with the dissatisfaction in the distribution of functions among the levels of government and lack of adequate tax powers allocated to the states and local governments in relation to their functions, undue removal of Local Government Chairmen by the state governors through their audit powers, joint state- local government account, shortening of the tenure of local Government Chairmen etc. There is an urgent need to address these problems so that the dividend of democracy can be enjoyed by all and sundry. This paper therefore, seeks to address the nature of intergovernmental relations between the local government and other levels of government and how these relationships can be improved for the attainment of true federalism in the country.

The issue of having an acceptable formula for sharing resources among the three levels of government in Nigeria has remained problematic. A cursory look at the issue shows that the issue has resulted to tension and fight among different federating units. Different Commissions and Committees had come out with different formula but that has not solved the problem. Conflict has become very common among federating units in the course of fighting for fund.

For instance, the conflict is usually whether the principle of derivation, need, natural interest or landmass should be used as a basis for the purpose. There is the problem of tax jurisdiction, which refers to the problem of which aspect of government should collect what revenue over a particular area. These have been serious problems between the Federal, State and Local Governments. Their share of tax revenue seriously affects local governments. They are the lowest level of government. Likewise they collect the least amount of tax revenue, which makes them still stagnant.

Also there has been an occasional drop in amount and delays in remittances of federal allocations which left some strains in the financial capacity of the local government to prosecute some policies and vital programmes. The practice of federalism without recourse to true fiscal federalism amounts to sheer hypocrisy. The fact that the basic issues in Nigeria’s fiscal federalism are still hazy has equally encumbered her progressive move towards a true nation state. During the pre-independence period, a number of commissions were set up to look into the problems of Nigeria’s fiscal federalism. These include: Philipson Comission (1946), Hicks-Philipson Commission (1950), Lenis-chick Commission (1954), Raisman – Tress Commission (1958).

However, notwithstanding the fact that each tried to resolve the controversy surrounding true fiscal federalism in Nigeria, the issue persisted. This culminated in the series of other post- independence commissions that were equally set up to provide the needed panacea on fiscal federalism arrangement for the country. These included: Bins Commission (1964), Interim Revenue Allocation Review Committee (1969), Obigh Commission (1979), Danjuma Commission (1988) etc. Given the scenario, when the country reverted to the democratic rule in 1999, the 1989 constitution was made operational with several attempts to address the plethora of problems associated with the country’s fiscal federalism. However, during this period, there existed quite a lot of controversies surrounding the nation’s fiscal practice that led to some states taking the Federal Government to court

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of intergovernmental relations on the development of Local Government areas in Imo state. The other objectives are:

  1. To examine the relationships between local government and other levels of government in Local Government areas in Imo state.
  2. To examine the constitutional provision in relation to the powers and functions of the levels of government
  3. To examine the consequences of the relationship between local government areas and other levels of government
  4. To suggest ways of improving the relationship between local government areas and other levels of government

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the relationship between local government and other levels of government in Local Government areas in Imo state
  2. What is the constitutional provision in relation to the powers and functions of the levels of government?
  3. What are the consequences of the relationship between local government areas and other levels of government?
  4. What are the ways of improving the relationship between local government areas and other levels of government?

1.5 Hypotheses

  1. There is a relationship between the problem of revenue allocation in Nigeria and the Performance of the local government councils in Imo state
  2. Imperfection in the constitution of Nigeria has hampered good intergovernmental relations in local government areas in Imo state

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The definition and sharing of the State as well as the resources to accomplish such goals is the primary thing in such democratic system, inter-governmental resource sharing is normally done in the basis of perceived importance, coverage and capability of each level of government and especially in Federal democratic systems, it is enshrined in the country’s constitution. This study will provide results that evaluate the contributions of the relationships between these different levels of government based on the constitutional arrangements and frameworks.

Secondly, another objective of the inter-governmental relations is bilateral or a multitude of pursuits of conflicting self-interest in the areas of first business undertakings, personnel and information exchanges, grants of extra-territorial rights in service delivery and the pooling and co-ordinations of resources and efforts, aimed at attaining greater economy and effectiveness in operations. The findings of this study will be useful to policy makers and community stakeholders for policy formulation, strengthening frameworks and developing strategies to foster development at local government levels.

1.7 Scope Of The Study

This study was carried out in two local government areas of Imo state namely; Ideato South and Ideato North local government areas. The study was focused on examining the impact of intergovernmental relations on the development of local government areas in the state.

1.8 Limitation Of The Study

The research encountered problems in collecting data and relevant records. Getting the respondents to agree to interview may be difficult as quite a number may be afraid to reveal the organizational structure and facts. Similarly, inadequate financial provisions for the study may hinder the rate of progress for this research. Yet another likely constraint is the short period of time within which to complete this project. These shortcomings notwithstanding, sufficient data will be collected and used for generalization.

1.9 Definition Of Terms


This refers to the significant influence that relations between the different government levels have on the development and advancement of the local government areas in Imo state.

Intergovernmental Relations:

Are defined as an interacting network of institutions at national, state and local levels, created and refined to enable the various parts of government to cohere in a manner more or less appropriate to the institutional arrangements.


Refers to increase in social welfare and economic livelihood of residents in the communities as a result of positive intergovernmental relations and activities.

Local Government Area:

Is an administrative division of a country that a local government is responsible for. The size of an LGA varies by country but it is generally a subdivision of a state, province, division, or territory.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

For a Country to attain efficient inter-governmental relations especially as it pertains to fiscal issue is difficult. Efforts being made is just to correct the existing fiscal imbalance. Thus, more decentralized governance especially in terms of increase in local government and increased transfer of revenues to lower tiers of government would stimulate economic activities and growth. Local government has therefore become an appendage of federal and state governments due to lack of financial autonomy. This has also strained the relationship between the local government and other levels of government. The unhealthy rivalry and competition among the levels of government have made service delivery at all levels of government to be difficult. Cordiality will reign among the levels of government when the constitution gives the boundaries, by which all levels are bound.

5.2 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made:

  1. Effort should be made to ensure that all tiers of government adhere to fiscal transparency, accountability and constitutional provisions on fiscal relations.
  2. Federal government should ensure that all the stakeholders are represented in fiscal federalism that would be permanent.
  3. Efforts should be made to ensure a radical review of the functions of the local government in the constitution. Such review should take cognizance of the responsibilities of the local government and ensure that the funds meant for the local government are released to them on time.
  4. Local government should be given some degree of financial autonomy through the restructuring of the taxation powers.
  5. It is very necessary that National Fiscal Commission is established to enhance inter-governmental understanding and cooperation in ways conducive to dialogue between federal, state and local government actors.

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