Local Government Administration And The Challenges Of Rural Development
This paper examined Local Government and the Challenges of Rural Development in Nigeria. The key problem facing most local governments is lack of adequate finance to implement various developmental programs especially at the rural areas. This paper argued that local governments were faced with such challenges like inadequate finance, corruption, poor implementation of projects, lack of competent manpower, high level of illiteracy, lack of due consultation and non-involvement of local dwellers in policy decisions and hijack of local government allocation by the state government. The paper therefore recommended an upward review of statutory allocations to local councils as well as direct disbursement of funds to local governments, better welfare package to workers and open administration that encourages local participation.
1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria is regarded as a developing country and this informs, the ideas that her rural communities, which are part of the entire political system is struggling, to facilitate socio-economic growth. Idemili South Local Government Area in Anambra State, which represents a good sample of rural administration in Nigeria reflects a number of rural development concerns.
According to Dike, V. (2006), Local Government Area’s are supposed to be engines of national development. A rural community, grows into a bustling city and the local leader makes this possible. Idemili South Local Government Area was created out of Idemili Local Government Area in 1989. It is bounded on the north by Idemili Local Government Area, on the east, by Anaocha Local Government Area, on the South by Nnewi North and Ekwusigo Local Government Areas and on the west by Ogbaru Local Government Area. However Idemili South Local Government Area is not immune to the challenges of rural development in Nigeria. According to Arowolo, D. (2008), as important as this tier of government, there seems to be some impediments, that have been infringing on its performance and functions in recent times. These impediments range from political to include, interference by the higher levels of Government i.e federal and state governments, bribery and corruption, embezzlement and gross inadequacy of well-trained and qualified personnel to mention a few.
This study therefore is an investigation of the perceived challenges in rural administration, using Idemili South Local Government as a case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the justification of Local Government and its importance to the people at the grassroots level, this tier of government, in practice seems not to have justified the reasons for which it was established. The questions that summarily come to one’s mind are: why has local government administration not lived up to its expectation such as in Idemili South Local Government Area? What are the causes of this seemingly conspicuous weakness? What are the challenges of the local government? And how can this weaknesses be corrected and the challenges overcome?
The problem of Idemili South Local Government Area seems multifarious and it is the preoccupation of this study, to explain them in details.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is local government administration and the challenges of rural development. But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;
- Is to examine the perceived challenges of rural administration in Idemili South Local Government Area in Anambra State.
- Other specific objectives include determining if government revenue is appropriately and sufficiently utilized.
- To determine whether these perceived challenges are actually, the main elements that forestall rural development in Idemili South Local Government Area.
- To ascertain whether the administration of Idemili South Local Government has lived up to the expectation for the establishment of the local government area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study would provide an improved and proper guide for stakeholders of rural administration in Nigeria to among other things, pinpoint the major challenges to rural development in Nigeria.The result of this study would provide the basis for developing variety of ways for reducing the challenges to rural administration. This study would also reveal, whether the revenue accrued and generated for development in Idemili South Local Government is sufficient and properly utilized by the government.
1.5 Scope and Limitations of Study
This study focuses on finding out the challenges of rural development in Idemili South Local Government Area. It will attempt to see how these problems hinder economic development at the grassroots. This study limits itself to the development challenges of the Idemili South Local Government people. Due to the nature of social science research, it is expected that a study of this nature, would be met by certain limitations and this is evident, as this study suffers, from inadequate finances, to make for proper investigation.Another important limitation to this study is improper documentation of administrative activities in the local government. This study is also limited by the researcher’s inability to access Local Government Offices. Finally this study is limited by the high level of illiteracy at the grass root in Idemili South Local Government Area.
1.6 Research Hypotheses
This study adopts two hypotheses as follows:
- H0: There are significant administrative challenges to rural development in Idemili South Local Government.
H1: There are significant improvements in rural administration in Idemili South Local Government Area.
- H02: The administration of Idemili South Local Government has not lived up to the expectation for the establishment of the local government area.
H2: The administration of Idemili South Local Government has lived up to the expectation for the establishment of the local government area
1.7 Definition of Terms
For the purpose of this study, a few but important terms have been selected for proper clarifications. They include; Grassroots, Political system, Rural area and Underdevelopment.
The ordinary people in an organization or society.
The political arrangement of a society, embracing all factors influencing collective decisions,
Refers to that part of a county that is considered less developed. Especially in the African Parlance, it is characterized by low cost houses, Agro-based economy and less sophisticated socio-economic system.
This refers to the state of growth in society that is associated with poor/non infrastructural facilities, weak economy and poor level of technological and industrial capacity.
1.8 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, 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.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain local government administration and the challenges of rural development.
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 rural development
This study was on local government administration and the challenges of rural development. Four objectives were raised which included; Is to examine the perceived challenges of rural administration in Idemili South Local Government Area in Anambra State, Other specific objectives include determining if government revenue is appropriately and sufficiently utilized, to determine whether these perceived challenges are actually, the main elements that forestall rural development in Idemili South Local Government Area, to ascertain whether the administration of Idemili South Local Government has lived up to the expectation for the establishment of the local government area. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Idemili South local government council of Anambra State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up heads of department, counselors,senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
Sustainable development, according to Odigbo and Adediran (2004) is human focused,, long-term and enduring, and not a quick fix. Local government has a role of building strong and virile rural communities by laying down a structural foundation on which rural development can thrive. Such foundation will re-orientate our value systems as well as encourage private initiatives and propagate cooperative philosophy. Also, adequate education that will change the moral value of the society should be given to all and sundry. I believe that strict observance to these suggestions can lift local councils from their relegated position of tools of manipulations to the aspired status of instrument of change and development at the grassroots level
- Adequate revenue raising powers in correspondence with the functional responsibilities of local government should be constitutional assigned. This will encourage the Local government Council to general more money internally.
- The so called joint accounts between the state and local government should be replaced with direct allocation to Local government.
- Local government Councils should not depend totally on the revenue from the federation account but efforts must be made to create more sources of generating revenue internally.
- There is need for regular audit of local government Councils account by the relevant authorities with a view to enhance probity and accountability.
- The provisions in section (7) of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria which empowered the state government to determine the establishment, structure, finance and operation of local government should be urgently amended in favor of local government to enhance true federalism.
- The entire system of local government in Nigeria should be totally over-hauled to enable it play its role as an agent of rural development
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