The Impact Of Local Government On Rural Development In Nigeria

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The Impact Of Local Government On Rural Development In Nigeria


Abstract


This research work attempts to assess the impact of Local Government on rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government areas, Kaduna State. Local Governments were primarily designed to meet the basic needs and aspirations of the rural communities. Fundamentally, government needs to place rural development at the top of the agenda of National Development in realization of the fact that enhanced rural development is a prerequisite for meaningful and sustainable overall national development policies and programmes through the local government. However, rural communities in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local government are still facing numerous difficulties in terms of infrastructural deficiency, poor human development, which has made rural development imperative. This imbalance has subjected the rural areas to more disadvantaged economic position. With this, the study tries to examine the level of capital funding and community mobilization and participation in effort of rural development. The research work covered the period of 2006 and 2011. Data for the study were collected from both primary and secondary sources.

The primary source comprises the used of questionnaire, interview and observation, while the secondary source consists of text books, journals, thesis, manuals and other unpublished papers. Descriptive and inferential statistical tools were used for data presentation and analysis. The Spear man rank coefficient correlation of non parametric tool was used for the analysis of data that leads to the testing of the two hypotheses. It was discovered that inadequate funding has been the bane of rural development in study areas. This is attributable to a lot of draw – backs arising from untold interruptions and control by the higher tiers of governments. It was recommended that, to bring about a more realistic rural development in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local governments, the local government should minimize their total dependence on the federal allocation, and increase their effort towards generating more revenue through the diversification of their internal revenue sources.


Table Of Content


Preliminary Page(s)

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

Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Hypotheses of the Study
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
  • 1.7 Methodology of the Study
  • 1.8 Definitions of Basic Terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Literature Review
  • 2.2.1 Concept of Local Government
  • 2.2.2 Concept of Development
  • 2.3 Theoretical Framework

Chapter Three

Historical Background And Operational Pattern Of Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas Of Kaduna State

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Historical Background of Soba Local Government
  • 3.3 Historical Background of Zaria Local Government
  • 3.4 Objectives and Functions of Soba and Zaria Local Governments
  • 3.5 Organizational Chart of Soba and Zaria Local Government
  • 3.6 Operational pattern and Functions of Soba and Zaria Local Government Departments
  • 3.7 Pattern of Local Govt Revenue from the Internal Generated
  • 3.8 Pattern of Revenue Utilization by Local Government in Nigeria
  • 3.9 Soba Local Governments Monthly Funds Statutory Allocation from Federation Accounts From 2006-2011
  • 3.10 Zaria Local Governments Monthly Funds Statutory Allocation from Federation Accounts From 2006-2011
  • 3.11 Analysis of Expenditures of Soba and Zaria Local Governments during the period of Study 2006-2011

Chapter Four

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Rate of Returns and Reponses of Questionnaire
  • 4.3 Respondents Profile/Biodata
  • 4.4 Test of Hypothesis One (1)
  • 4.5 Test of Hypothesis Two (2)
  • 4.9 Major findings of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • Bibliography

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The desire for creating local government anywhere in the world stems from the need to facilitate development at the grassroots level. The issue of rural development has been creating a lot of concern in most third world countries. There has been growing recognition of the importance of rural development as an instrument in the overall development of the contemporary developing world. This is because of the glaring gap between the rural and urban areas in terms of infrastructural, resources distribution, human resources development and employment, which has made rural development imperative (Ogbazi, 1982:2). This imbalance has subjected the rural areas to more disadvantaged economic position. It has induced rural – urban migration, thereby, increasing unemployment situation in the urban areas, while, simultaneously depriving the rural areas of their agricultural workforce.
In Nigeria for instance, the recognition of the above problems, instigated the Federal Military Government in 1976, to take a bold initiative to reform the local government system in Nigeria. The essence of the reform was to bring about stable increase in rural productivity and income, diversification of rural economy and general enhancement of the quality of life in the areas (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1980:12). In the same vein, the Nigerian Constitution (1999:6) provides that every local government in the country shall participate in the economic planning and development of its own area of jurisdiction. To strengthen this great task bestowed on the local governments, General Ibrahim Babangida, reminded Nigeria‟s that local government were not created to pay salaries only, but to ensure collective participation in governance, motivate physical and economic development, creat the condition for development opportunities and provide social services which can improve the wellbeing of the rural people (Oyorbaire and Olagunju, 1998:49).

It is pertinent to believe that, the ability of any local government to accomplish such expected tasks will depend on the availability of funds. That is to say that the survival and effectives of this grassroot tier, depend on its financial viability. Hence, Adedeji (1969:96) assertion that the success or failure of any local government will depend on the financial resources available to it. Furthermore, Adedeji (1972:110), opined that local governments in Nigeria are enmeshed in a vicious circle of poverty. The elements of that viciousness include inadequate functions and power, inadequate finance, low caliber and poorly paid staff, poor performance, and transfer of functions to state and federal governments and cumbersome structure. Adedeji stated that finance represents the points at which the vicious cycle may be broken or possibly reversed. In other words Soba and Zaria local governments should not retain in their pursuit for financial buoyancy so as to break the vicious cycle of poverty of the rural populace.

However, it is believe also in some local governments, that inadequate funding of local governments has been the bane of rural development in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local government areas. For instance, Rowland (1979:138) believed that complete absence of funds for capital development is the major problem of financing local government in Nigeria today, and has been so for some years past.


1.2 Statement to the Problem

Local government in modern day life is responsible for delivering basic goods and services to its local communities in faster, easier and more efficient manner. Local government is the level of government in Nigeria at which the momentum to sustain national development is created. The rural development initiated by local government is expected in terms of specific projects such as kilometers of rural roads constructed and maintained; borehole and deep wells sink or rehabilitated and maintained by the local government; rural electrification; and rural people empowerment programmes. This could be expressed in terms of the improved quality of life the citizenry enjoy as optimized in the primary health care programme provided, procurement and distribution of fertilizer to farmers at subsidized rate; effective and efficient management of primary education as well as the regularity and quality of public enlightment programmes provided and enjoyed by the rural populace. The effectiveness and efficient provision of these services qualifies local government as viable, instrument of rural development. These problem need to be addressed in order to redress the severity of the problem on the Nigerian rural people (Fourth National Development plan 1980 – 85).

The merit in involving the local communities inhabitants as a focal point of good governance in the local government administration is that they serve as a point of contact between the local government and the grassroots (Okafor, 1982). Community in Nigeria in the past has maintained a strong tradition in the area of self-help projects (Okafor 1984). Basic infrastructural facilities such as roads, bridges, markets, health institutions, primary and post-primary institutions have been provided in different parts of the country through self-help development programmes. According to Okafor, community have the capacity to respond to specific local development plans, mobilize their resources in a collective way, adjust their organizations to the required needs and devise their own appropriate management rules to cope with the situation (Okafor 1984).

Unfortunately, rural communities in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local government areas are still facing numerous difficulties regarding availability and accessibility to basic necessities of life, such as inadequate programme design, poor management implementation, corruption, lack of commitment by government, and inadequate development support institutions for this segment of the society, specifically Soba and Zaria Local Government.

However, beyond these reasons, the dismal failure of past regimes in Nigeria to tackle the problem of poverty and living conditions of the rural populace is traceable to the inability of the government to explore the democratic approach to governance in local government. Much attention and thought served not have been given to the fact that beyond government‟s efforts, the rural populace themselves can meaningfully contribute to the development of their welfare (Alila, 1998). Also, most rural projects are financed from external source (i.e. statutory allocation) and with emphasis on items of capital expenditures that are not masses oriented.

Therefore, the following research questions are pertinent to be answered; thus:

  1. To what extent have the Soba and Zaria local governments ensured rural development?
  2. To what extent does poor capital funding affect Soba and Zaria local government in effort for rural development?
  3. Do the Soba and Zaria local government have the capacity for community mobilization and participation for rural development?
  4. What are the programmes and project put in place by Soba and Zaria local government for rural development?
  5. What are the factors hindering soba and Zaria local government towards rural development?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

Generally, the study seeks to examine the extent to which local governments have impacted on rural development in Soba and Zaria local government areas Kaduna State.

The studies also attempt to achieve the following specific objectives:

  1. To assess the impact of Local Government on rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government areas.
  2. To determine the extent to which poor capital funding affect Soba and Zaria Local Governments.
  3. To find out the extent to which community mobilization and participation affect rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government.
  4. To find out the number of programmes and project implemented towards rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government.
  5. To recommend solutions to the problems facing Soba and Zaria local governments towards rural development.

1.4 Hypotheses of the Study

  1. Ho: There is no significant relationship between the level of capital funding and the rate of rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas.
    H1: There is significant relation between the level of capital funding and the rate of rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas.
  2. Ho; There is no significant relation between the level of community mobilization and participation and rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas.
    H1: There is significant relationship between the level of community mobilization and participation and rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government
    Areas.

1.5 Significance of the Study

Existing literature in this field of research such as Idode (1989) and Olatunbosun (1975) only restricted themselves to the study of bureaucracy in rural development, rural neglect. This study provides a link between the local governments and their impact on rural development. The importance of this work cannot be overemphasized, because it is also unique and distinct from other studies on the ground that it assess and evaluate the impact of the programmes and projects on rural communities, it also get the views of rural dwellers and assess their level of participation and the constraining factors impeding proper policy implementation of the programmes and projects in Soba and Zaria local government areas of Kaduna State.

This study was embarked upon with the hope that, it will contribute to the body of knowledge on rural development and to help to proffer ways through which rural development can be enhanced in the local governments.


1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

It is difficult to study what challenges are faced by all the local governments in terms of rural development because of different resources constraints. Hence to make the research easy, the study focused on the Zaria being the urban local government and Soba being the developing rural local government areas of Kaduna state between the period of 2006 – 2011. This is done with the emphasis on the social, economic and infrastructural facilities.

Another reason for selection is that no study has been conducted on Soba and Zaria local governments for assessment of their impact within this period. In addition to that, though local governments have number of functions and responsibilities under its ordinance, the study focuses only rural development in terms of social, economic and infrastructural facilities. Rationales of selecting these services are because local government areas are rapidly moving towards urbanization and, the main challenge faced by the urbanized society is providing these services to their populace. For that reason, these services are more appropriate to get a clear picture of what challenges faced in the local government in terms of accelerated rural growth and development and how local governments would overcome their challenges and what innovations and strategies would work to deliver the better service to the rural populace.

In views of these facts, Soba and Zaria local governments have been selected as the case study in order to get a clear picture of what challenges faced by the local governments in terms of better service delivery towards rural developments. Local government as the third tier of government is expected to be the grassroots developers and mobilizes of the local communities, but unfortunately, over the years, local government in Nigeria have not lived up to their expectations, as they have become conduit pipes for the wastage of public funds. Local communities‟ probably possess the strongest capabilities and promises for mobilizing and managing local resources. This is because they are organic units for the formation of self-managing organization which ensure collective and co-operative action in the execution of rural development projects.

The inability of the researchers to access adequate funds to undertake the study. Inadequate record keeping by local governments councils limited the amount of information that would have been of immense help to the research. The confidentiality of some information at the Kaduna State Ministry for Local Government also limited
access to information.


1.7 Methodology of the Study

The research design for this study is survey research. The purpose is to enable the researcher generalize from a sample population so that inferences can be made. The use of survey design can be justified on the basis of level of capital funding and community mobilization, participation. The data collected centers on the assessment of the impact of local government on rural development of Soba and Zaria local government. The responses of the respondents are measured on the five-point Likert scale.

The survey also adopted the combination of the survey design of the descriptive and inferential statistical tools. In this vein, the research will observe what is happening to the sample subjects or variables without attempt to manipulate them as well as ensure that such observation is done one time. However, a selective description of the aspects of the case study areas is considered to be critical to this research due to its exceptional influence on the output of the local governments.

1.7.1 Method of Data Collection

The instruments of primary data used were the questionnaire administered to the people of the local governments: rural populace, community development associations, traditional rulers; local governments‟ staff and top management. The questionnaires were designed in simple language using close-ended and open-ended patterns and in the responses of the respondents are measured on the five (5) points Lickert Scale. Similarly, an unstructured interview and observation schedule was designed and contributed to the selected local government staff, management, traditional leaders and community development associations Executive. On the other hand, the secondary source of data was generated from the stock or available relevant materials on the topic under study. Published and unpublished materials have been consulted and were duly acknowledged in like manners.

1.7.2 Sources of Data

Data for this research was generated from two main sources; the primary and the secondary sources. Several primary and secondary of the data are generated in this research from divergent sources directly or indirectly and within the sources provided the framework of the presentations in this research work.


1.8 Definition of Basic Terms

Operational definitions are the definition of variables which must be practical, related to the subject matter and have emphasized referents (Ogbonna, 1991 in Agetwe, 2006). It has therefore become necessary for the terms used in this study to be operationally defined.

Local Government

The term „local government‟ as used in this study mean local government as that tier of government closer to the people expected to serve as the basis of socio-economic development in the locality to the people at grass-root level. It can also be seen as a government that has been perceived as a panacea for the diverse problems of the diverse people with diverse culture.

Development

As used in this study, the word „Development‟ implies an advancement of rural communities toward a desirable state accompanied by improvement in basic infrastructures and the reduction in rural poverty, unemployment and inequality. It can also be seen as a process that ensures the existing deplorable rural conditions are disappearing, with the overall goal of making conditions more livable and worth living.

Rural Development

As used in this study, the word „Rural Development‟ here connotes conscious integrated system and programmes designed to uplift and improve the general standard of living of the rural populace through the provision of basic social amenities in the rural areas by the government through the institutions which amongst other things, encourage the predication of people in the process of development with the ultimate aim of developing human potentialities which is the basis for any development.

Community Mobilization:

In this study mean how Soba and Zaria Local Government areas attempt to bring both human and non-human resources together to undertake developmental activities in order to achieve the overall standard of living in the community toward rural development.

Funding

The term „funding‟ in this study means; the statutory allocation is payments which are governed by the permission of the constitution or by Act of legislation. The constitution of Nigeria made it categorically clear that certain percentage of the amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account is to be given to all the local governments of the Federation. All the local government in Nigeria is to share 20% of the federation account. And the internally generated revenue simply refers to all monies which are obtained by a local government through legislation. This includes the various sources of revenue within the resources capability of the Soba and Zaria Local
Government.

Community Participation:

This means in this study as situation where rural communities need to actively take parts in designing implementing and shaping the project that affect them in Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas.

Capital Funding:

In this study, capital funding mean money spent and kept aside by Soba and Zaria on the purchases or improvement of fixed asset such as buildings, roads and other infrastructural facilities towards rural development.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Summary

It is no longer news that local government constitutes the most critical level of government at which the momentum to sustain rural development can be created. This level of government is faced with perennial problems and difficulties in Nigeria. Consequently, various reforms aimed at putting in place a framework within which local, human and material resources could be mobilized for rural and grassroots transformations have been initiated in the country. The general performance of local government administration in Nigeria is said to be for from expectation. To some scholars and observers, the system is a symbol of confusion, mediocrity, inefficiency and waste such that many have called for scrapping of the system entirely.

This study investigates the assessment of local government on rural development with reference to Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas between 2006-2011. The problematic of the study focuses on the performance of Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas on rural socio economic infrastructural provisioning, as a third tiers of government in Nigeria.

The researcher therefore, sought to ascertain whether the local government had been able to effectively and efficiently maintained services and works that would satisfy the basis of live at the grassroots and by implications bring about rural development among Soba and Zaria rural dwellers of Kaduna State.

On the whole, the findings of the research proved that, the local government system in Nigeria and Soba and Zaria in particular had failed to meet the desire to maximize rural and grassroots development using their positions as the closest level of government to the people. The failure according to the research is due largely to topdown policy approach, lack of financial, economic and executive autonomy and incapacitated socio-economic infrastructural activities by the local government.


5.2 Conclusions

As submitted by Lele, (1975) even before the wide recognition of the primacy of rural development, governments in all societies have launched various programmes and projects aimed at rural development. However, the extent of rural development varies from state to state. In other hand, the level of development of a society in a measure of the degree of presence or absence of certain infrastructures which could either positively impact or negatively affects the social, political, cultural and economic life of the rural dwellers. It is imperative to note that the provision of social amenities and other facilities are skewed in favour of the urban areas to the detriment of the rural sector/area were majority of the population live.

However, Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas had not succeeded in the performance of this role as the areas during the period covered witnessed, abject rural poverty, high rate of rural unemployment, decay and inadequate infrastructural facilities in the areas of rural electrification feeder roads portable water, farm/business inputs, health care services, mobilizing community participation and ineffective capital funding towards financial, economic and executive autonomy to preferred a wide a range of functions at the grassroots level.

Nevertheless, it could be noticed that, the low level of rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government areas has been due largely problems faced by the local government in their rural development process such as corruption, bad leadership, poor management and selfishness on the part of leaders and other stakeholders in the areas.
The research now turn to provide alternative framework or recommendations that can help improve the performance of the third tier of government in rural development of the area and other parts of Nigeria.


5.3 Recommendations

Having considered the findings from the research, the following measured are recommended for improving the performance of rural development Soba and Zaria local government areas.

To bring about a more realistic rural development in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local government, the local governments should minimize their total dependence on the federal allocation, and increase their efforts towards generating more revenue through the diversification of their internal revenue sources.

Again, rural communities in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local governments areas are no longer seem as recipients of development programmes rather, they are become critical stakeholders that have an important role to play in the management of programmes and projects in their areas. It is also a step towards building their capacities to effectively participate in identifying and responding to rural communities issues and problems toward rural development.

Furthermore, the political representative and leaders need to identify with the development needs of the moral areas of their constituencies. Indeed, they need to articulate such needs and ensure that they become integral parts of the government’s development agenda and that policy or programmes initiated to address them are monitored to ensure proper implementation.

Also, these is equally the need not only to adequately make budgetary allocation for rural development but, very importantly, in ensuring that such allocated funds are judiciously used with optimum financial autonomy to execute rural development projects and programmes.

Finally the local government in Nigeria, particularly Soba and Zaria need to eschew corruption specifically at the leadership level and emphasize accountability, due process, prudence and diligence. The leadership need to refocus firmly on its primary and statutory duty of administering local and rural development in integrated and sustainable manner. It is expected that the democratization process in Nigeria will aid the coming into existence of visionary and purposeful leadership in the local government system.


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