Local Government And Rural Development In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Local Government And Rural Development In Nigeria


Abstract


The scope of this study borders on the role of local government in rural development using Dekina Local Government Area in Kogi State. The study therefore adopts a qualitative descriptive approach. It implore one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources of data. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c. and was analyzed to make the topic under discuss meaningful.

Findings from the study revealed that Local government has a role of building a 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. However, local governments are 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 study therefore recommends that Local governments should strive to raise and maintain revenue that would enable her deliver projects and services that guarantee quality living to the grassroots. This has the potency of reducing the incidence of rural-urban drift.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria is a federal state made up of three tiers of governments. Accordingly, the constitutional assignment of responsibilities to each of the tiers in both the exclusive and concurrent lists carries financial burden (Edame, 2004:249). Observably, due to the about eighty (80) per cent financial dependent nature of the federating units (states and local governments) on the federal government, those units become financially vulnerable, or what Edame calls “unviable political entities”. This problem is found to be more peculiar to local governments; and worsened by the unnecessary interference or excessive control by the state governments.

Local government is the third tier of government in the country. It is often referred to as the government at the grassroots level. Development would not be meaningful if it does not affect the rural dwellers, it is as a result of this that local government was created to ensure effective and efficient service delivery to the people at the grassroots level. The creation of the local government in many countries stems from the need to facilitate development at the grassroots. The importance of local government among others is a function of its ability to generate sense of belongingness, safety and satisfaction among its populace. In Nigeria socio –political context, with multiplicity of culture, diversity of languages and differentiated needs and means, the importance of local government in ensuring unity and preserving peculiar diversities cannot be underestimated.

Inspite of the relevance of local government, there are some problems that have faced it in the performance of its functions especially in areas of service delivery at the grassroots. Since a large percentage of the population are mostly found at the grassroot level, the development of rural areas cannot be over-emphasized. Thus, development of rural areas impacts positively on per capita income and food production. Development of the grassroot has been the concern of every responsible and responsive government.

Yusuf (1999) further stated that rural development is the outcome of a series of quantitative and qualitative changes occurring among a given rural population and whose converging effects indicate, in time, a rise in the standard of living and favourable changes in the way of life of the people concerned. In terms of level of economic development, quality of life, access to opportunities, facilities and amenities, standard of living and general viability, the gap between the urban and rural areas in Nigeria is very wide. The rural areas are grossly neglected as far as development projects and infrastructure are concerned. The challenges and prospects of rural development in Nigerian have been of great concern to the different tiers of government due to the rate of rural-urban migration.

Onibokukun (1987) sees rural development to be faced with the paradox that the production oriented rural economy relies heavily on nonproductive people who are all ill-equipped with outdated tools, technical information , scientific and cultural training and whose traditional roles and access to resources pose problems for their effective incorporation into modern economics systems.

Inspite of the huge resources committed to rural development in Nigeria, rural development still remains a mirage because the local government authorities which are saddled with the responsibilities have not been able to perform up to expectation. The expectation was that the third tier of government would act as a catalyst to rapid and sustained development at the grassroots level. Yet, the hope for rapid and sustaineddevelopment has been a mirage as successive councils have grossly underperformed in almost all the areas of their mandate. Apart from the palpable mismanagement and misapplication of funds currently witnessed in most local governments in the country, the resources available which otherwise should be used for development programmes at the grass –roots are being used to service bloated elected officials and unproductive bureaucracies (Obasanjo, 2003)


1.2 Statement of the Problem

1.3 The key problem facing most local governments is lack of adequate finance to implement various developmental programmes. It would be recalled that since early 1990s, there have been tremendous increase in the total amount of funds available to local governments in Nigeria. The reasons for the lack of adequate finance can be attributed to the fact that local government allocations are been hijacked by state governors, used for electioneering campaigns and shared among political God-fathers and members of state assemblies. This fact was indicated by the Central Bank of Nigeria in its economic report for the third quarter of 2011 when it announced that the total receipts by the 774 local government councils from the federation and VAT pool Accounts for the period of July, August and September was #493.77billion. The media report of Monday, December 26, 2011 indicated how allocations to local government areas were been hijacked by state governors and at times out rightly diverted to non-existing projects. Also, state governors have used the joint Account to siphon local government allocations from the federation account. Akhabue (2011) pointed out that the last criminal fad was that state governors redistributed allocations to local government from the federation account and gave less than #20million to each council to pay salaries, and take care of their overhead costs. All these corruptive activities had added in no small measure to the problem of inadequate finance which has made effective services delivery at the rural areas to be impossible. This paper therefore tends to address this problem of inadequate finance which has posed serious challenge to the development at the rural areas. Thus, thebogus allocation to local government do not get to the hands of local government practitioners for proper service delivery.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to examine Local government in Rural development: Specifically the study seeks to:’

  1. Examine the history and concept of local government
  2. Determine the role local government play in rural development
  3. Ascertain the challenges and prospect of rural development at the grass root level

1.4 Research Questions

The research is guided by the following framework as poised in questions form

  1. What is the history and concept of local government and rural development?
  2. What role does local government plays in rural development?
  3. What are the challenges and prospect of rural development at the grassroots level?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Findings from the study will be relevant to policy makers and all stakeholders involved. The overall significance of this study twill benefit rural dwellers and the larger society as the result of the study enhances the chances of proffering enduring solution to the age-long controversies surrounding local government inabilities on contributing effectively to rural development. This stands to be possible as the study will expose hidden agenda of government and constraints that preclude the functionality of government(s) for the general good of all the stakeholders. It will enable the promulgation of necessary law to checkmate the excesses of local governmentcouncillor and ward reps who squander the fund assigned for development and enhance a robust democratic leadership towards yielding effective development plans. Finally, this study would contribute to the general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material to both scholars and student who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on the role of local government in rural development. The study will further the challenges that Local leaders face while pushing for development. The study suggest prospect and recommendations to enable local government facilitate rural development. The study is however delimited to Dekina Local Government Area in Kogi State.


1.7 Research Methodology

The study therefore adopts a qualitative descriptive approach. It implore one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources of data. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c. and was analyzed to make the topic under discuss meaningful.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

During the course of the study challenges encountered were exclusively but not delimited to the following numerous. These are

Financial Constraint:

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)

Time Constraint:

Time factor pose another constraint since having to cope in this research which went simultaneously within the time schedule of other academic work making it impossible to undertake this study in large more representative skill.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Local Government:

This is the third tiers of government at the local or grassroot level. It is established by law to exercise specific functions within specific areas. It is a territorial community with non-sovereign power to regulate its own affairs.

Service Delivery:

This has to do with the process of providing basic amenities as in infrastructure and infrastructural development above.

Rural Development:

Rural development is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in rural areas, often relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The scope of this study borders on the role of local government in rural development using Dekina Local Government Area in Kogi State. The examined the challenges that Local leaders face while pushing for development in local government. The study suggested prospect and recommendations to enable local government facilitate rural development. .

The study therefore adopts a qualitative descriptive approach. It implore one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources of data. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c. and was analyzed to make the topic under discuss meaningful.


5.2 Conclusion

Sustainable development is human focused,, long-term and enduring, and not a quick fix.Local Government is the focus of government efforts at promoting development. To effectively develop, the people’s efforts must be adequately mobilized. A Purposeful combination of local (peoples) efforts and energies with that of government with the objective of improving socioeconomic conditions and encouraging political participation are key factors in rural development. Rural Development as a strategy is designed to improve the economic and social life of the rural people. Findings from the study revealed that Local government has a role of building a 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.

However, local governments are 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.


5.3 Recommendation

Base on the findings from the study, the following recommendations were proffered:

  1. Local governments should strive to raise and maintain revenue that would enable her deliver projects and services that guarantee quality living to the grassroots. This has the potency of reducing the incidence of rural-urban drift.
  2. As a corollary, local governments should be more people-centred in approach, such that necessary collaboration/partnership with communities in its domain can facilitate the process of rural development.
  3. This research strongly advocates autonomy for local governments in such a way and manner that enhances its performance of constitutional and ancillary roles.
  4. There is an urgent need for realistic political reforms that can decongest the federal government and whittle down the exclusive list in favour of the local governments.
  5. As an adjunct to the above, necessary electoral reforms is canvassed as a matter of urgency to redress the disconnection between the representatives at the local government councils and the masses. Credible elections will ensure that council representatives and executives are truly elected people who can deliver people-oriented services and programmes that aid rural development.
  6. Local governments should play pro-active roles in engaging the services of agricultural extension officers and agents in teaching and dispersing modern farming methods to the farmers. This has the advantage of inculcating the necessary adaptive methods in farming with improved yield which guarantees food sufficiency and reliance.
  7. The institutions and natural groups that can facilitate the attainment of the objectives of rural development such as cooperative movements, local/town improvement unions, National Directorate of Employment, Cooperative and Agricultural Banks should be strengthened and linked in a positive manner in order to galvanise rural development in a sustainable manner.

Project Material Download

5,000 5000

The Complete Material Will Be Sent to You in Just 2 Steps

Quick & Simple…


Step One Purchase

Make Payment (Through Transfer) of ₦5,000 to Any of the Account Below

Access Bank PlcAcc No: 0811003731
Samphina Academy
Current Account
Zenith BankAcc No: 1225513212
Samphina Academy
Current Account
PalmPay Main LogoAcc No: 8143831497
Samphina Academy
Digital Account

Or CLICK HERE To Pay With Debit Card


FOR STUDENTS OUTSIDE NIGERIA
CLICK HERE To Purchase Material ($15)
FOR GHANIAN STUDENTS
Make Payment of 120 GHS to 0553978005 | Douglas Cloud Osabutey | MTN MoMo

Step Two Purchase

Send the Following Details on WhatsApp ( 08143831497) After Payment

  1. Payment Details

  2. TOPIC: Local Government And Rural Development In Nigeria

The Complete Material Will Be Sent To You On WhatsApp After Receiving Your Details
T & C Apply


  Contact Our Help Desk


Need a Different Topic? Perform a Quick Search



List of Related Works

Click on Any Topic to Preview the Content

samphina.academy

Samphina Academy

Samphina Academy is an Online Educational Resource Center that is aimed at providing students with quality information and materials to aid them in succeeding in their academic pursuit.