Importance Of Administration Towards The Development Of Rural Areas

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Importance Of Administration Towards The Development Of Rural Areas


Abstract


The study examined the importance of administration towards the development of rural areas. The essence of the establishment of the third tier is to bring development to the grassroots in every state of the federation. However, the purpose has not been completely achieved because of the way local government functions were undermined by the state government. Given the above, the local government is viewed as an appendage of the state government. The study relied on both primary and secondary data. To elicit the primary data, 60 copies of questionnaires titled ‘Local Government Administration and Rural Development in Rivers State. A study of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, 2011 – 2020 was administered at various communities in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area, Rivers State. A purposive sampling technique was adopted as a sampling technique. The study adopted the Human Needs Theory as its theoretical construct. The study unravelled that various impactful projects were carried out by successive administration in the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area, Rivers State, 2011 – 2020. The study recommends that the oversight function of the councillors should be strengthened by amending the laws that empowered them to checkmate the budget implementation before the next budget is passed.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective 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 Definition of Terms
  • 1.9 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The local government administration is not a recent system of government in Nigeria. The native authorities metamorphosed into what is referred to as the Local Government System in Nigeria. It was first experimented with in Northern Nigeria in the 1890s by Sir Frederick Lugard. Lugard maintained that the purpose of establishing the indirect rule was not the “desire to impose on the (Nigerians) people any theoretically suitable form of government, but rather to evolve from their old institutions, based on their habits of thought, prestige and custom, the form of the rule best suited to them and adapted to meet the new conditions” (Lugard, 1922, p.219).

Since the establishment of native authorities to date, local government administration has evolved in phases to the extent of a well established modern system of local government administration in Nigeria. At present, Nigeria operates a federal system of government that is made up of three tiers. The federal at the centre, the state occupies the middle and the local government at the bottom of the ladder. There are 36 States, plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and 774 local government council in Nigeria.

The “essence of the establishment of the local government council is to oversee and facilitate rural development in the grassroots (Ogele, Sarki, Solomon, and Kaka, 2020) of every state of the federation. However, the purpose has not completely achieved because of the way local government functions were undermined by the state governments, especially since the inception Fourth Republic in Nigeria. The local government is viewed as an appendage of the state governments.

The ineffectiveness and inefficiencies of the local government councils were what led to the 1976 local government reforms. It is imperative to note that, the then Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters, Brigadier Shehu Musa Yar’Adua declared during the Guidelines for Local Government Reforms (1976) that: The defects of previous local government systems are too well-known to deserve further elaboration here. Local Governments have over the years, suffered from the continuous whittling down of their powers… The Federal Military Government has therefore decided to recognize local government as the third tier of government activity in the nation. Local Government should do precisely what the word government implies in governing the grassroots or local level”(Erero, 1995,p.132).
Since the establishment of native authorities to date, local government administration has evolved in phases to the extent of a well established modern system of local government administration in Nigeria. At present, Nigeria operates a federal system of government that is made up of three tiers. The federal at the centre, the state occupies the middle and the local government at the bottom of the ladder. There are 36 States, plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and 774 local government council in Nigeria.

The “essence of the establishment of the local government council is to oversee and facilitate rural development in the grassroots (Ogele, Sarki, Solomon, and Kaka, 2020) of every state of the federation. However, the purpose has not completely achieved because of the way local government functions were undermined by the state governments, especially since the inception Fourth Republic in Nigeria. The local government is viewed as an appendage of the state governments.

The ineffectiveness and inefficiencies of the local government councils were what led to the 1976 local government reforms. It is imperative to note that, the then Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters, Brigadier Shehu Musa Yar’Adua declared during the Guidelines for Local Government Reforms (1976) that: The defects of previous local government systems are too well-known to deserve further elaboration here. Local Governments have over the years, suffered from the continuous whittling down of their powers… The Federal Military Government has therefore decided to recognize local government as the third tier of government activity in the nation. Local Government should do precisely what the word government implies in governing the grassroots or local level”(Erero, 1995,p.132).
Consequently, the innovations emanating from the 1976 reforms led to the following responsibilities to the local government. They include payment of all staff salaries, building and maintenance of the physical infrastructure of primary health centres, stocking facilities with medicines, among others. In other words, “the idea of local government administration in Nigeria was conceived to accelerate development and as well create the opportunity for the people at the local level to participate and hold those in power accountable for the roles they play in the government”(Abutudu, M., 2011, cited in Ozohu and Chima,2015,p.1).

Historically, the local government administration in Nigeria had gone through four major epochs such as (i) imperialist rule via the traditional administrative system, 1903-1950s (ii) liberal and participatory approach introduced in the 1950s; (iii) Military regime introduced a grassroots participatory democratic approach, and (iv) 1976 local government reforms, and (v) Babangida administration reforms of 1988. In essence, the local government reform of 1988 was a component of the 1988 Civil Service Reform package. Parts of the 1988 reforms are that the chairman of the local government is the chief executive but he is not permitted to sign cheques. An organizational structure was approved for all local governments, which each local government was allowed to possess a maximum of six departments. They are administration, personnel management, finance and supplies, planning research and statistics, education, agriculture and natural resources, works, land and survey, Medical and Health Departments. The 1976 and 1988 Reforms respectively provided for popular participation at the grass-root level. For example, the Universal Adult Suffrage enfranchised women in Northern Nigeria, and this development increased political participation in the rural areas. Recognizing the relevanceof political development in rural areas, the former President Babangida’s administration (1985- 1993) maintained that:

The current reforms of the local government systems should be seen as constituting critical foundations of the ongoing programme of transition of democracy… As the critical hub of the transition programme, the local government experiment typifies the learning process or “learning -throughexperience” upon which the entire gamut of the ongoing political reconstruction is anchored. As the Political Bureau aptly observed, the essence of the transition programme is a systematic and graduated process in which “democratic government can proceed with political learning, institutional adjustment and a reorientation of political culture at sequential level politics and governance beginning with the local government and ending at the federal levels (Oyovbaire, 1992,p.7)
The importance of the local government cannot be eroded as the third tier in Constitutional development in Nigeria. The 1979 and 1999 Constitutions recognized the local government as a legitimate third tier of government with functions. For instance, Section 8, Part 1, of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution recognize local government council as a tier of government vested with specific responsibility for the development and participation of the rural people in politics of the state; while Section 162(6) of 1999 established that the State Joint Local Government Account System “into which shall be paid all allocations to the Local Government Councils of the State from Federation Account and Revenue from the State Grant (Agbani and Ugwoke, 2014,p.146).

Rivers State is divided into 23 local government councils. Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni is one of the local government councils in Rivers State. The Rivers State government receives a large allocation every month from the federal government and distribute it to the local government based on the 1999 Constitutional provision of Section 162(6). Sadly, most local government councils do not comply by distributing what is accrued due to the overbearing influence of the state government. Despite the challenge of extortion tendencies of the state government, the local government do not judiciously utilize for rural development but is characterized with “corruption, fiscal indiscipline, irresponsibility”(Agbo, 2010, p.20) and as well as “crass mismanagement where the combined effect of graft and inefficiency are proudly showcased by the officials”(Ekawu, 2007, p.18). Clear corrupt practices in the local council such as misappropriation of funds meant for development, over-invoicing of goods, reckless, and unauthorized payments, among others have affected rural development in Rivers State.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Apart from the corruption in the local government council, the rural development has not been centrally guided… The crucial role of local government system as a link between government and the rural people remains unreliable” (Kamar, Lawal, Babangida and Jahun, 2014,p.24). It is even worse than the rural people do not participate in the “developmental activities from project selection and design through to execution and ex-post evaluation participation involves improvement of the poor so that they may exert their influence independently of government direction on decision making and related activities of development projects” (Hall &Midley, 2004,p.25). Against this background, the study interrogates the impacts of projects on rural inhabitants and factors that inhibit Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government council from carrying out her statutory responsibility of grassroots development.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the importance of administration towards the development of rural areas. Specific objectives include to:

  1. Investigate the rural developmental projects executed in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State.
  2. Examine the challenges that undermine the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State’s effort to engender rural development.
  3. Assess the Extent of Development of Local Government Areas In Rivers State.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the rural developmental projects executed in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State.
  2. What are the challenges that undermine the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State’s effort to engender rural development.
  3. What is the Extent of Development of Local Government Areas In Rivers State.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study is highly significant to students and scholars in the field of political science and public administration. This is attributable to the fact the findings and recommendations that will be made in this study will add to their previous knowledge. The recommendations that will be made in this study will add significantly to the policy formulation framework of stakeholders in politics and the Nigerian government.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This research work focussed on the importance of administration towards the development of rural areas. The study also covered the rural developmental projects executed in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State, the challenges that undermine the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State’s fort to engender rural development as well as the extextent Development of Local Government Areas In Rivers State.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

The limitations of this study revolve around data collection issues, researcher and participant bias. Leadership behaviour is a sensitive issue as no one wants to admit to any form of irresponsibility, incompetence, prejudicial or unethical behaviours in relation to public sector administration. Consequently, I would likely encounter abridged or ambiguous answers to interview questions. Data collection for the study will be primarily gotten from face to face interviews but there is the alternative of using secondary data collection in the event that I was unable to conduct all interviews as scheduled and as such the advantage of primary data is reduced.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Community Development:

A process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.It is a broad concept, applied to the practices of civic leaders, activists, involved citizens, and professionals to improve various aspects of communities, typically aiming to build stronger and more resilient local communities.

Local Government:

A generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-localised and has limited powers.

Rural Area:

A geographic area that is located outside towns and cities.Typical rural areas have a low population density and small settlements. Agricultural areas and areas with forestry typically are described as rural. Different countries have varying definitions of rural for statistical and administrative purposes.

Government:

The system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state.


1.9 Organisations of the Study

This research work is categorized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), background to the study, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms.
  2. Chapter two encompasses the conceptual review theoretical review and empirical reviews on which the study is based.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of Findings

As undoubtedly expressed in academic qualification table 4.4 in addition to figure 4.5 above, according to it. 12.5% of the respondent have FSLC, 16.1% of the respondent have SSCE. 19.6 of them have a diploma. 28.6% of them have HND. While 23.2% of the respondents have another degree.

As vividly expressed in the frequency statistics table 4.5 above, which specify the rural developmental projects executed in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, Rivers State, 2011-2020. The table indicated 56 cases with no missing cases in all items. The mean scores which signify the measure of central tendency were recognized at the table.

The data in the above table signifies the response procedure to the statement poses to the respondents. The first statement on rural developmental projects executed in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, Rivers State, 2011-2020 scaled on a 5-point Likert scale signify that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the moderate mean score of 2.750. Meaning that, the provision of educational facilities by ONELGA engendered in rural development in the area. The second statement, scaled on a 5-point Likert scale revealed that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the low mean score of 2.196. Meaning that, the provision of educational facilities by ONELGA engendered in rural development in the area.

The third statement scaled on a 5-point Likert scale exposed that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the moderate mean score of 2.696. Implying that, distribution of farm inputs and materials by ONELGA increased rural development. The fourth statement, scaled on a 5-point Likert scale revealed that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the moderate mean score of 2.946. Signifying that, rural electrification efforts ensured rural development in the area.

The fifth statement scaled on a 5-point Likert scale revealed that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the moderate mean score of 2.804.Implying that ,the construction of modern market facilities improved the living condition of rural dwellers. The sixth statement, scaled on a 5-point Likert scale revealed that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the low mean score of 2.232. Signifying that, the provision of health facilities by the local government facilitate the well being of the people.

As plainly indicated in the frequency statistics table 4.6 above, which specify challenges that undermine ONELGA’s effort to engender rural development. The table indicated 56 cases with no missing cases in all the four items. The mean scores which signify the measure of central tendency were recognized at the table.

The data in the above table signifies the response procedure to the statement poses to the respondents. The first statement on challenges that undermine ONELGA’s effort to engender rural development measured on a four item structured questionnaire and scaled on a 5-point Likert scale exposed that respondents agreed to that statement as a result of the low mean score of 2.196. Meaning that,over dependence on external sources of revenue and insufficient fund impede government’s ability to provide social amenities for rural development in the council area.The second statement, which was measured on a four item structured questionnaire and scaled on a 5-point Likert scale revealed that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the moderate mean score of 2.696. Meaning that, state interference, joint account and corruption erode ability to enhance the living condition of the people.

The third statement measured on a four item structured questionnaire and scaled on a 5-point Likert scale exposed that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the moderate mean score of 2.946. Implying that, the imposition of a caretaker committee reduces the capacity of the local government to deliver services to local people. The fourth statement, which was measured on a four item structured questionnaire and scaled on a 5-point Likert scale revealed that respondents agreed with that statement as a result of the moderate mean score of 2.750. Signifying that,constitutional ambiguity as well as godfathers negatively affects the efforts of local government in rural development.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on our findings, the study established that there is a correlation between the local government and rural development in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area. This was demonstrated in the number of projects carried out by successive administrations. Besides, the statutory mandate of the local government is to develop the grassroots in all parts of the state. That showcased in several impactful projects executed by the successive chairmen in the local government. They include the provision of primary education, healthcare, markets and related services to ensure the availability of social amenities, improve the living condition of the rural dwellers and ensure the wellbeing of the people within the jurisdiction of the council. The impact of these projects on the lives of the rural people. The schools built by the local government have also increased the literacy level and conducive atmosphere for the pupils. Materials and equipment for learning were also made available. The health centre also increased the availability of modern medical facilities that were not closer to the people in the past. Movements of persons from the rural areas have been eased up by the availability of the modern transportation system referred to as ONELGA Link. The transport fare is subsidized. However, several challenges impede rural development at the local government council level. The constant state interference, setting up caretaker committees, the existence of godfathers, among others, have retard the development stride in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government areas, Rivers State.


5.3 Recommendation

  1. The State House of Assembly should enact a law that will compel all the local government in Rivers State to ensure that a reasonable percentage of their annual projects are sited in the rural areas.
  2. The anti-graft agencies should be involved in the management of local government spending. This can be achieved by a regular audit of the account of the local government areas in Rivers states.
  3. The use of the caretaker committee to administer the local government is illegal and unconstitutional. Therefore, the National Assembly should enact a law prohibiting the use of caretaker committee by the state government to administer the local government.
  4. The oversight function of the councillors should be strengthened by amending the laws that empowered them to checkmate the budget implementation before the next budget is passed.
  5. The Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government council is overstaffed with lots of employees that are not doing anything at the council. Therefore, the local government should reduce her staff strength to save monies for capital projects where rural dwellers will benefit.

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