Inter-Governmental Relations In Local Governments In Nigeria

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Inter-Governmental Relations In Local Governments In Nigeria


This project topic “The impact of inter-governmental relation in the development of local government areas in Imo State. A case study of ideato north and ideato south L.G.A Imo State” Rural communities constitute a large landscape in Imo State and has been divide into local government areas. So this research work is on the relationship between the three tiers of government, the need for the process of the inter-governmental relations. It also point out the developmental effect of Ideato North and South Local government and other tiers of government. The institution of inter-governmental relation and how the federal and state government have assisted in the development of local government mainly ideato North and south. The historical aspect of ideato North and South Local government were available, all the data got, generated and analyzed was used for the development of the rural areas, some suggestions was put in place for the better of the local government (three tiers), since the local government of Ideato North and South, with other levels of government, State, Federal cannot stay in isolation, so there is a need for interaction between the local, state and federal government.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The wake for inter-governmental relation came up following the need for decentralization of government, power as a means of creating an enabling environment for wide spread developmental activities all over the country and the nation at large. Nigerian federalism has three levels of government. The federal government, the state government and the local government, this levels are what we refers as the three tiers of government. These three-tiers of government exist mostly in a federal state, this explains the structural arrangement provision with reference to federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution whereby the country under federal system of government has three levels of government. This arrangement is made for the administrative freedom of operation at each level, so each tiers has its areas of jurisdictions and functions. At the same time each interacts with one another for accomplishment of its duties. Government here is like a living organism, it is composed of various parts and each of these parts interacts among themselves so as to keep the system functioning at all times. Inter-governmental relation is defined as the different levels of government within a given state.Before reform 1976 when local government creation, finance and administration were under the beck and call of the state government, the local government system after 1976 reform became a constitutional subject by embodying the 301 local governments area of which some selected local government was among then. In 1976 the orlu North East county council made up of Nwabosi, Mbanasa and Arondizuogu was merged to create Ideato Local Government Area with its headquarters at urualla.

The living conditions of Nigeria in most rural communities of the federation are quite unpleasant resulting in massive rural- urban drift. Most of such areas have roads that are not motorable often neglected and poorly maintained, medical and healthcare facilities are grossly inadequate, in most rural communities enclaves and absences in some of them. In most Ideato North and south local government area there is poor electricity supply.The process of inter-governmental relation is no longer new to us as a nation which is facing new challenges that threaten to redefine its status. Inter-governmental relation process in the federal is basically relations spanning politically, administratively and economically co-operation between the tiers of government with the objectives of enhancing better administration of the apparatus. Local government generally in Ideato North and south regarded as a powerful instrument for rural development, the function which are generally allocated to local government are those which are designed to provide services of socio-economic and political development of the rural enclaves with the local government area. (Ogunna 1996:58) seeing the complexities of government functions and the tiers system of government practices, have evolve to primarily ensure the provision of basic services as best and efficiently as the government can manage such.Federalism capsules heterogeneity with its appendage of complexities. It is designed to accommodate different units of government, diversity of social institutions and cultural formation that do not suit in fittingly or are easily amenable to a unitary system. It is a political organizational container concept that accommodates contrast and it is capable of responding and adjusting rightly to the variegate needs of group complexities and diversity with less dislocations if properly managed. That is why the federal system is favored by scholars and students alike to meet the demand for national unity for the whole, while at the same time allow individual communal groups to maintain their identity that is distinct from that of the whole. Evidently, federalism symbolizes a political philosophy of promoting diversity-in-unity with decentralization serving as its standing pillar. Decentralization creates space for the devolution of power to subnational units. It provides the space for continued adjustment, compromise, and integration of divergent groups interest for better policy making, implementation and fiscal allocation. This is a necessary yet challenging process. It is challenging because the needs of the various groups are diverse and conflicting but represents their individually preferred interest for which they are not willing to compromise. And if need be, these individual variegated group interest must be reflected in the national development agenda. Remolding and balancing those diverse interest into a single policy framework for national action without undermining any group’s values requires adopting and utilizing the right mechanism that will confront, manage and resolve the challenges that do arise in the complex and challenging process of joint policy making, fiscal allocation and program implementation. The mechanism that makes this complex balancing possible is the IGM working within the framework of the IGR. The ability to capture diverse interests and balance appropriately into the national policy agenda makes federalism a distinctive paradigm of organization geared towards resolving the systemic contradiction of its distinct collectivities (Bassey, 2005, p. 29). The IGR interactions subsumes four distinctive areas of federal-state-local interactions which are:

  1. Intergovernmental fiscal relations;
  2. Intergovernmental administrative relations;
  3. Intergovernmental social services delivery;
  4. Intergovernmental legislative jurisdictional relations.

The essence offense IGR is to facilitate engagement and involvement of all the units in the process of national planning such that harmony between the various groups is not compromised. Specifically, the IGR is an important arena of activities or interactions between governmental units of all types and levels within the federal system (Anderson, 1960, p.3; Adamolekun, 1983, p.89). It encompasses all the permutations and combinations of relations that occur between the various units of government. It is the platform that allows different actors the opportunity for continuing dialogue on issues of group importance leading to the balancing of the policy table in a manner that promotes national progress. By this instrument, federalism is able to bring the people and their institutions together to manage their socio-economic and political differences coherently towards national development in a collective spirit with less strain. Federalism subsumes the IGR and the IGM mechanism. They are the grease that lubricates the complex wheel of interactions that transpire daily between the divergent groups and their institutions in a federal state. These daily interactions are not without their strains and differences that are likely to result in conflict. However, it is the IGM working through the IGR that ensures that the federal system is able to resolve amicably the disagreements that do arise from groups and institutional interactions. IGM is the management and coordination of relationships between and among governments for the purpose of achieving specific policy goal (Henry, 2007, p.349). The tools of the IGM include dialogue, negotiation, bargaining, consensus-building, compromise and collaboration. In a federal system, the IGM offers groups and institutions of the state, between groups and the state, and between institutions of the state the platform for interactions, adjustments and readjustments of interest and demands using the tools of the IGM. The process of adjustments and readjustments of interest and demands is consummated through continuous negotiation, bargaining, consensus-building and compromise among diverse groups. The IGM as a dominant theme in IGR literature; it is aimed at broadening cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between all the interest groups in a federal state. These tools for interactions represent genuine avenues for identifying and mitigating conflicts that often impede or slow down the process of quick policy making, fiscal allocation and implementation for national development. Using documented sources, the object of this paper is to examine the utilization of the IGM mechanism from 1999 to 2007 in some key areas of governance in Nigeria.

Many people of various communities in Nigeria are victim of illiteracy, political ignorance and political apathy, this leads to rural poverty. Rural development as a process could effectively tackle these problems if well programmed and planned, progressive improvement of the economic, political, social and cultural condition of communities through the combined efforts of government and the people of the communities. There lies the challenges of inter-governmental relations purpose, in different tiers of government, different jurisdiction yet harmonized to less friction and the maximization of social, economic and political benefit to the citizen. Therefore the local government election has been the affairs of local, sate and federal government was handled by national electoral commission which was a federal government agency, which also undertook the conduct of local government in 1979.

The local government service commission is vested with the responsibility to appoint, train, promote, discipline and transfer of staff in the local government. But inter-governmental relationship has this problem of revenue allocation which exclusively preserver of the federal government.

1.2 Statement of Problems

The problems facing local government and national development as well as inter-governmental relation in Nigerian has gained a very serious attention and widest publicity. One if its major problems are:-Inadequate funding and lack of proper financial management. The cash basis of local government has the negative effect of causing errors which might be intentional and difficult to discern.Insecurity of assets, poor internal control and also the limitation of business operator are also problems being evicted. The attitude of tax collectors which is the way of raisin money to the state by the local government short fall of expectation.Problem of fraudulence and embezzlement.

1.3 Objective of the Study

These are the objective of this study

  1. To asses the working efficiency and performance appraisal of Ideato North and south local government.
  2. To examine the available human material and financial resources in Ideato North and south local government.
  3. To examine the essence of revenue allocation which will enable Ideato North and south local government to embark on their developmental project.
  4. To ascertain rapid economic development in Ideato north and south local government area.
  5. To examine the web of complex and inter-dependence among the federal state and Ideato North and south local government in Imo State.

1.4 Research Questions

Seeing the nature of relationship that exist among the level of government and the type of problems associated with Ideato north and south local government area that certain research questions arises they includes:-

  1. How important is revenue allocation in the federal, state and local government for the development of project.
  2. In the working efficiency and performance appraisal in Ideato North and south local government to what extents for local government appraised their staffs.
  3. Do you think that it is important to examine the available human, material and financial resources in Ideato North and Ideato south local government.
  4. Do you think that they should ascertain rapid economic development in Ideato North and south local government.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study

  1. H0: revenue allocation does not have any importance in the execution of developmental project among the three tiers of government
    H1: revenue allocation does have importance in the execution of developmental project among the three tiers of government
  2. H0: work efficiency and performance appraisal of Ideato North and south local government area does not have any impact on the development of the area
    H2: work efficiency and performance appraisal of Ideato North and south local government area does have an impact on the development of the area.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The important aspect of this research work is that, local governments in Nigeria today has failed in diverse ways in the provision of social services to the local people thereby rendering the development of rural areas impossible. However, the essence of this research work is to provide enlightenment and to educated the people on the need for rural development. The study will help immensely in guiding the local government policy makers to make better decisions for rural development in rural areas.

Thereafter, this study is to provide an insight in which local people will be able to participate in the politics of their communities and to educate the people on the roles and duties they should play in the development of their locality. Thereafter, this research is beneficial to the researchers, students, Ideato North and Ideato south local government.This work is important due to the fact that it will go a long way to provide literature material and propel further research in relation to the problems of local government and rural development in Nigeria.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the impact of intergovernmental relation in the development of local government areas. But in the cause of the study, there were some constrain beyond the control of the researcher which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms


An IGO is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states, or of otherintergovernmental organizations. IGOs are established by treaty or other agreement that acts as a charter creating the group. Examples include the United Nations, the World Bank, or the European Union


Relation or relations may refer to anything that involves communicating with another person, group, society or country.


Consolidated Revenue Fund

Consolidated revenue fund” is a term used in many countries with political systems derived from the Westminster system to describe the main bank account of the government

1.9 Organization of the Study

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

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  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 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the impact of intergovernmental relations in the development of local government areas.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of intergovernmental relations in the development of local government areas.

5.2 Summary

The study has considered local government and intergovernmental relations in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. The three levels of government are constitutionally allocated powers, but the State House of Assembly determines the functions of the local government. The central and the state governments seem to have autonomy but the autonomy of local government is questionable because of the ambiguity of the constitution on this. The local government has therefore become an appendage of federal and state governments due to lack of financial and by extension, political 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 has made service delivery at all levels of government to be impossible. Cordiality will reign among the levels of government when the constitution gives the boundaries, by which all levels are bound.

5.3 Conclusion

In this study, we have ex-rayed the place of local government in Nigeria‟s inter-governmental relations. One outstanding issue in this relationship is that, the Nigerian constitution confers on the state, the legal existence and as a result, the local governments are state creation through laws passed by the various Houses of Assembly within the context of 1999 and 2011 Nigerian constitution as amended, section 7(1) which provides that “the system of local government by democratically elected local government council is under this constitution guaranteed, and accordingly, the government of every state shall ensure their existence, under the law which provide for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such council”. The above constitutional provision is appalling and awful because following 1976 local government reforms in Nigeria, it was believed that, local government would be repositioned as a distinct level of government with full governmental powers and authority, but instead the constitutional provisions continued to subject local government to a subservient, slave and subordinate position tied to the apron of the higher level of government especially the state government. This subjugated position in all ramifications has affected good governance and its functional competence, especially in the area of project implementation. This is so because there are no meaningful projects embarked upon by this level of government across the country because of their position as a „Weeping Child‟.

5.4 Recommendations

Nigeria is a unique federal state, where local governments are regarded as a separate arm of government, a third tier system of government. For local governments to remain effective third-tier system of government the following are recommended:

  1. That local governments should be allowed to function as a government with minimal control from the state governments.
  2. That the ongoing national conferences should alter section 7(1) of 1999 and 2011 amended constitution so that local government be constitutionally created and not states.
  3. The federal allocation meant for local governments should be sent directly to local government and, not through State- Local Government Joint Account.
  4. That both federal and state governments should stop unilateral/illegal deductions from local government share of revenue rather; such deduction must be discuss and agreed upon by all the parties.
  5. That, the account/records of the councils should be audited from time to time by the higher level of government, notably state government to ensure enthronement of financial discipline in running council’s affairs

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