Local Government As An Instrument Of Democratic Sustainability

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Local Government As An Instrument Of Democratic Sustainability


This research work is centre on the local government as an instrument of democratic sustainability with a case study of Lokoja Local Government Area, Kogi State. The major objectives of the work is to offer a pragmatic solution to the problem of development in Lokoja Local Government. primary and secondary methods were used in collecting data, while simple percentage method was used in analyzing data. The findings revealed that local government contributes to democratic sustainability. The researcher recommended that local government in Nigeria should be made to be more financially stable and independent.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

The expediency for the creation of local government any where in the world stems from the need to facilitate development at the grassroot level. The importance of local government is a function of its ability to generate sense of belongingness, safety and dissatisfaction among the populace. All forms of government, regimes of political system have so far ensured the attainment of this goals. Such strategy for ensuring national administrative development and political efficacy is found in the concept of local government. Whatever is the mode of government, local government has been essentially regarded as the path to, and guarantor of national integration, administration and development.

A local government as a government at the grassroot level of administration meant for meeting particular grassroot need of the people. It is harmed by the need to decentralize power. Local government has aptly been defined as government by popularly elected bodies charged with administrative and executive duties in matters concerning the inhabitant of a particular district or place (Appandorai 1975).

Local government is also the lowest unit of administration to whose has and regulation, the communities who live in define geographical area with common social and political ties are subject (Orewa 1991:27).

Regardless of non nomenciature, government is a create of the British colonial rule in Nigeria. It as overtime experience change in name, structure and composition.

Between 1930’s and 1940’s local government was known as Chief-in council and Chief- and council, where traditional rulers were giving the pride of the scheme of things.

In the 1950’s election was introduced according to the British model in the western and eastern part of the country with some of autonomy in personnel, financial and general administration. (Nwabueze, 1982:20-21).

On this premise that the rising tide of progress, growth and development experienced in the local government in this area was based.

The pace of this development was more noticeable in the north.

The major concern of this research is to dwell on these difficulties and illuminates that factor that are responsible for them.

In achieving this, the research relies on descriptive approach it concludes that the problems of local government are multifarious in nature and the solution for them should be adequate and practical in other to evolve viable and development oriented third tier of government.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The effectiveness of democracy and local government are meant to bring about grassroot development, but are still hampered by some constraints which do not allow the manifestation of the purpose of their establishment. This includes;

  1. Poor representation
  2. Election malpractice
  3. Corruption and mismanagement of funds
  4. Unskilled workers
  5. Shortage of personnel among others.

This study is focused on the constraints facing the proper democratic functioning of the establishment of local government to affect the lives of the people at the grassrrot level.

Proper representation, majoritarian rule, equitable distribution of wealth among citizens social and economic development etc which forms part of the hallmark of adopting democracy are not realized.

Also, grassroot development provisions of social services in the local government are being affected.

1.3 The Aims And Objectives Of The Study

  1. To look at the level of development in Lokoja local government
  2. To look into the level at which democracy has brought in Lokoja local governments.
  3. To look into the militating factors against the development of Lokoja local government.
  4. To offer a pragmatic solution to the problems of development in Lokoja local government.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

This study will help a lot of people to understand the importance of democracy and local government as an instrument of grassroot development. It will also forms part of the data bank in this area for future research work and whenever is successfully completed.

1.5 Scope Of The Study

It is my intention in this study to examine the problems of democracy and local governments as an instrument of grassroot development, with particular focus in and views the problems they have been and still facing in the service delivery functions citizens inputs, mobilization and contribution since it is on grassroot level, my scope will enter around the grassroot local government under investigation in all ramification of their existence, this research work covers the period of (2010-2011).

1.6 Limitations Of The Study

The area of coverage of this study which could not be extended to all the local government in Nigeria due to the cost and other unavoidable problems is the major limitations of this study. Even mobility of research to find relevance one of the major constraints during my course of study. (carrying out the research work).

Another limitations of this research work are as follows:

  1. Financial impediments: In carrying out this project , there is limited financial assistance to generate more information
  2. Time constraints: Time allow for this research work is another limitation getting information needed for the research work involved large amount of time however time allowed is another limited
  3. This research work is also limited to where the researcher is disposed to the respondents however its is limited to this information they have given.

1.7 Definition Of Concepts

Local Government:

Local government can be defined as the government at the local level exercised through representative council established by law to exercise power within defined areas.


Democracy is a simple interpretation, ‘’is the government of people by the people and for the people’’. It is the government that is made for masses participation of the people in the process of governance in any political system that claims or want to be democratics.


Is the ability of a social system such as country, to function at a defined level of social well being indefinitely.


Is something that imposes a limit or restriction or that prevents something from occurring


Is a theoretical concept used to explain political behavior in political science.


Is a regard for what is politic or advantageous rather than for what is right or just a sense of self-interest.


Is a practical, concerned with making decisions and actions that are useful in practice, not just theory.


Is to prevent the free movement, action, or progress.


Is a hierarchical system for classifying and identifying position.


Involving the common people as constituting a fundamental political and economic group.

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