Local Government Administration; An Effective Tool For Rural Development (A Case Of Owerri-West Local Government Area)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


This research work seek’s to address the issue on how local government administration acts as development administration in Nigeria.

In order to make this study reliable and relevant, a particular local authority among the 774 local government in Nigeria was used as a reference point otherwise known as a case study, which is Owerri west local government council in Imo State.

The research work provides to us sufficient reason why we should concur that local government is an engine force that energized the rapid development of rural areas through the mobilization of human, material and financial resources.

Therefore for economic objectives and social objectives to ensure that both their political objectives are accomplished the 1976 local government reform granted the authority and autonomy.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objectives 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

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Rural and community development
  • 2.3 Brief history of Owerri- west local government
  • 2.4 The role of Owerri-west government in the development of rural areas
  • References

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Sources/methods of data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Sample technique
  • 3.6 Validity and reliability of measuring instrument
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data
  • 4.3 Analysis of data
  • 4.4 Interpretation of result(s)

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Local government is recognized as a third tier of government as a result of the federal government trying to decentralized power among the federal units. This decentralization of government power was aimed towards implementing the policies and programs of the government council, this rural area through elected member of the government at the grassroots level”.

Local government administration mainly deals with the responsibilities of the government in Nigeria, managing the affairs of people living in a particular geographical, area usually rural people. Local government is defined as a political arrangement guided by an established low, whereby communities within different specified geographical area elect among themselves people who exercise specific power and authority granted to them by the constitution, decree and bye-law within their area of jurisdictions for the welfare of their people. (Nworje 2004:4) prior to colonial era with its subsequent indiscriminate imposition uniform native authority system, each region (later state) in Nigeria circumstances and conditions. The various traditional system of local administration was used to fasten development among the people of Nigerian.

However, the Igbo setting (the Igbo of the oil rivers protectorate), the human and Ndi-nze controlled the affairs of the village area and organized the people in the form of local government, the masses were so native and primitive (not so civilized, informed or active) that if they are given the option to state their needs they may not place their priorities right. Their main concerns were all about good road, good pipe water, etc. the need to stimulate political and economic consciousness and also extend the goodies (eland) of government now democracy to the poor masses at rural level who constituted the greater proportion of the country’s population is now utmost and should be considered so by all concerned.

However, this traditional rule, went through some modification which resulted to a uniform native authority system in the view of the fact that these traditional system different from one part of the country to another, the uniform native authority system that was imposed by the colonial masters recorded a success in the worth and failure in south. Prior to the time of colonial administration in Nigeria, there existed a centralized in the west as system of government.

The presence of British people in Nigeria introduced a different system of government known “local government administration or local administration which comes in form of indirect rule system of local government was introduced in eastern Nigeria. This system had a elective principles it created a three system of government that the country, district and local councils. Subsequently in 1952 and 1955, native authority system of administration to both eastern and western part of the country was abolished, more so in 1984 and 1999 respectively there were reforms and all those were towards rural and community development. Government embarked on splitting up of are as in the smaller units to stimulate even development of rural communities according to “Yar-Adua on his maiden, broadcast he said the government has kind mind to stabilize and rationalize government at the local levels in order to harness local resources (human, finance and material) for rapid development.

Local government was is the vehicle of development administration that was created to ensure the involvement and participation of the people at the local levels in decision and policies for their own progress and development. Local government was created to mobilize the people at the local level so as to harness their energies and resources towards national development. Yar-Adua also emphasized that the then federal military government believed that if is only through on effective local government system as an instrument of development administration that human and material resource could be mobilized for development rural areas.

Through a democratically elected officials which is the essence of those reforms especially 1976 reform. Therefore, local government administration in Nigeria has played major roles in rural and community development. It was by this reason that Owerri-west local government area in year 1994 despite it effort make to take under development problem at Owerri-west local government” with its headquarters at Umuguma. The local government failed the myriad of problems.

1.2 Statement Of Problems

In spite of all effort made by the government to see development is extended to the rural area or communities, yet some people still nurse the belief that local administration has failed to accelerate development in the rural areas.
These problems can be stated in these forms, which include:

  1. To what extent has the local government helped in creating employment?
  2. To what extent has local government of Owerri-west helped in providing some basic amenities, such as health center, electricity, pipe born water and a lot of view?
  3. To what extent has Owerri-west local government has help in wiping out, illiteracy in the rural areas.It was said that development is fully completed when the citizens or people’s political consciousness as regards to their rights participation in election as well as putting the actions of their leaders to question has been awaken.
  4. To what extent has Owerri-west local government as government at the grassroots level.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

  1. To find out of the local government has played a complementary role in rural development
  2. To find out if the local government have helped in mobilizing human and material resource.
  3. To find our if the local government has helped to promote general participation in political activities of a country.
  4. To find out the extent local government has help in creating employment in the rural areas.

1.4 Research Question

  1. Does the local government use their fund for community development?
  2. What is the relationship between local government and community development?
  3. Does local government administration bring development to the community?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study is geared towards correcting the misconception some people have as regards the value of local government, it will go a long way in dealing with peoples belief that local government administration is an extension through which federal state government.

The aim is for easy accessibility and study. The emphasis therefore is the role of local government in rural community development.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

It is obvious that Nigeria as a country has 774 local government. As a result of numerous local government in the country this assignment was narrowed down to one local government area, which is Owerri-West local government area in Imo State.

I feel the aim is for easy accessibility and the emphasis therefore, is the role of local government in rural community development.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

During the research work, lots of constraints were encountered in the course of this project, ranging from time, inadequate fund an non availability of material, ignorance on the part of the respondents including the constraints of the atmospheric condition.

During the research work, sometimes was able to gather to my best ability the key information that formed a picture of what the study demands and hope that this constraint will be minimized in the subsequent studies for greater performance.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

The key terms in this work, local administration are as follows:-

Local Administration:

Local administration is a bureaucratic process aimed at the provision of local services, it involves the delegation of power to an administration authority, to execute policies and bye laws. (OGUNNA 1996). On the other hand, local government administration deals with the role of government in managing the affairs of local people of a particular locality. It takes place in a particular sector or the government, the local community. As a aspect of public administration, it deal with planning, organizing, staffing, controlling of human and material resources for the welfare of the rural dweller (Nworji 2004:2)

Local Government:

Local government may be defined as a government established through an act, at the local level and to deal with specific matter as it affects them under the 1963 republican constitution, local government authorities were created mainly to deal with matters of local concern e.g market, federal roads, mot parts etc the essence of local government creation is to involved local participation in the affairs of their country as well as bringing them into the realms of politics at the grassroots level.


According to Winston Canadian dictionary, community may be defined as all person who live in one place as the people of a town, have the public, a group of persons bound ties of religion, culture or of a common interest. Community broad views includes both rural and urban community respectively. The main difference between the two therefore is reflected in the pattern of distribution of social and essential amenities


According to Oxford advance dictionary, rural is concerned with or like the country side, remote and isolated. It is a kind of community due to lack of infrastructure and other social amenities is generally referred as the rural community.


This according to oxford dictionary is the function or position that somebody has or is expected to have in an organization, in society or in a relationship.


Previously, development was viewed as being synonymous with economic indicator of gross national project (GNP) and the growth of per capital income. This concept has envolved over the years to a more broad conception, which sees development as a multi dimensional process involving changes in structures, attitudes, institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth reduction of inequality and eradication of absolute poverty, Torado in (19790) Development also means that attainment and qualitative realization of a state affairs characterized by adequate and equitable human happiness and welfare and mastery of his environment as well as free individual participation in the affairs of the state or simply “the satisfaction of basic needs in an economically and politically transformed society.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

In this chapter, from the analysis and the fact of the various responses made by the members of the communities in Owerri west local government area, the researcher made some useful finding.

5.2 Summary Of Findings

Below are the useful findings made by the researcher:

  1. That modern local government has led to rural in community development by performing political, social-culture and economic function politically, local government makes by dividing them into wards.
  2. That because of the existence of local governments, the rural areas now participate in political matters.
  3. That local government provides socials amenities such as health centers, roads, electricity, pipe born waters, etc. that local government helps in economic development through the provision of commercial services such as building, maintaining of market, transport services, motor parks, presence forest and trees, collect revenue such as taxes and rate etc.
  4. That local government is government at the grassroots level that brings government closer to rural dwellers based on this research, that research was able to find out that local government involvement in creation and construction of pipe-born water was absent among the projects that exert high level of influence for rural and community development than grading and training of roads finally it reveals that lack of financial encouragement hampers or affect rural and community development.

5.3 Conclusion

Local government is an instrument used in fostering democracy. It guarantees political consciousness and awareness and finisher enhance PDP political participation. Based on the findings local government is created to serve as a veritable instrument for rapid and even development of local communities. It also serves as a training ground for national politics through local political process.

Lastly, local government serves as a viable communication on liken between the local governments of the federation. It informs that people about policies and activities.

Therefore, through local government programs and activities if affects development changes in rural community areas.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings of this research, hereby recommend a follows:

  1. I recommend that local government should be given financial help to enable them function effectively in their bid to develop the rural and community areas.
  2. Secondly, I recommend they provide conducive environment for individuals and other corporate entities to embark and enhance rural and community development grading of roads.
  3. The government are having laissez faire attitude to both appointed and elected officer in the local government council, especially my area of case study. This has led of management and embezzlement, of public funds the money shared among party loyalists there by hampering development of rural setting.
  4. I recommend that the money should be used in rural and community development.

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