Local Government As An Instrument Of National Development

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Local Government As An Instrument Of National Development


Abstract


This study is on local government as an instrument of national development. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Badagry local government of Lagos 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 directors,administrative staff, senior staff andjunior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The Local Government in Nigeria is an indispensable tier of government in the Nigerian federal system. It is deeply rooted in the law of the land and derives its powers from the constitution. Section 7(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, states that “the system of Local government by a democratically elected local government council is under this constitution guaranteed”. From the above, it is clear that the local government is backed by law and administratively should have a democratically elected representative of the people who are charged with the responsibility of moving the government towards attaining sustainable growth for national development. Local government can be defined as a political authority which is purposefully created by law or constitution for local communities by which they manage their local public affairs within the law/constitution (Ogunna cited in McDon, 2013).

The quest for a wide spread development in the country and economic emancipation laid basis for the federal government to create this tier of government which is seen as the closest government to the people. Local government refers to the third level of government besides the Federal and State governments in Nigeria that operates at a level close to the people mostly residing in town, communities and villages (Mbaya, Audu and Aliyu, 2014).

Based on the fact that the Federal government sees to the affairs of the entire nation and has many institutions under it which it needs to coordinate and maintain for national growth, it sees the welfare of the local people as paramount and this prompted the need for the creation of local government as the third tier government in the country and charged with the responsibility of uplifting the lives of the rural dwellers. It is important to observe that the basic amenities which are so dear to the people are left in the hands of the local government such as primary health care, rural electrification, pipe borne water, primary education among others, which are considered by developmental scholars as sine-qua-non for national growth and development. Laski (cited in McDon, 2013) puts it that,

we cannot realise the full benefit of democratic government unless we begin by the admission that the problems are not the central problems and that the results of problems not central in their incidence require decision at the place and by persons, where and whom the incidence is most deeply felt.

The pride of any government is the attainment of higher value level of development in such a way that its citizens would derive natural attachment to governance. However, for a nation to be in a phase of development there must be some prerequisites, which include socio-political and economic stability (Lawal, 2011).

The quest for development has been a major issue of concern to both domestic and foreign scholars of Nigeria. In fact, the issue has arrested the attention of statesmen, politicians, traditional rulers and the generality of Nigerian populace. Despite the attention however, it is evident that a larger proportion of the Nigerian people are yet to see the indices of development. Majority of Nigerians still live in misery, poverty, squalor, anguish and Penury (Otoghile and Edigin, 2011).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Local governments are established to bring about developments. In Nigeria however, this has not been the case. Poverty, unemployment and starvation still pervade the nook and cranny of the country.

With the knowledge that development is essential and critical to growth and sustenance of any country.The local government administration in Nigeria has been put through several political, administrative, structural, and financial reforms since colonial era till date for effective democratic governance and political participation of the rural people in order to attain grassroots development that would translate to sustainable national development. These reforms have not yielded any meaning grassroots development as local government are just playing the puppets, and as such many have called for the scrapping of this third tier of government. Wilson (2011) adds that the zeal for democratic governance at the grass root informed the establishment of local government as a democratic institution and framework for the governance of the rural people. However, it appears the reforms are not giving the local governments the desired capability as a democratic institution to achieve meaning grassroots development across Nigeria.

It is against this backdrop that this research seeks to examine the impact of Local Government on National Development with a special reference to Badagry Local Government Area (LGA).


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The creation of local government by the federal or state government is to bring government closer to the people and also foster the development of the local citizenry.

The following are the objective of this study;

  1. To identify the relationship between local government and national development
  2. To examine the impact of local government administration on service delivery at the grassroots.
  3. To find out if inadequate finance has hindered national development in Badagry Local Council.
  4. To find out if corruption among Badagry LG personnel has affected the execution of community development projects.
  5. To identify the challenges facing local governments in performing their functions effectively.
  6. To make appropriate suggestions on how to make the local government system more efficient and effective.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: There is no significant relationship between local government and national development
    H1: There is significant relationship between local government and national development
  2. H02: Local government administration does not have any impact on service delivery at the grassroots
    H2: Local government administration has an impact on service delivery at the grassroots

1.5 Significance of the Study

The essence of this project is to contribute to knowledge in bringing a general awareness of the people in relation to national development to the local government. One major task I wish t pursue is to help through this research study to present an impartial report of the performance of Aninri local government.It is also hoped that recommendations of his report will assist government at all levels in implementation their development programmes More so, this project work will also e useful to the civil servants especially those at the administrative positions in formulating and implementing government policies and programmes. Political office holders will also find this document useful in tacking the challenges of policy implementation. Furthermore, the result of this study would assist both the federal, state and local government in meeting the aspirations and needs of the people particularly in the rural area. Finally, this study could be a basic on which further research may be carried out.


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers local government as an instrument of national development. The researcher encounters some constrain 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.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Local Government:

A local government is a form of public administration which, in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state.

National Development:

Development is critical and essential to the sustenance and growth of any nation. A country is classified as developed when is able to provide


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

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was on local government as an instrument of national 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 local government as an instrument of national development.


5.2 Summary

This study was on local government as an instrument of national development. Six objectives were raised which included:To identify the relationship between local government and national development, to examine the impact of local government administration on service delivery at the grassroots, to find out if inadequate finance has hindered national development in Badagry Local Council, to find out if corruption among Badagry LG personnel has affected the execution of community development projects, to identify the challenges facing local governments in performing their functions effectively, to make appropriate suggestions on how to make the local government system more efficient and effective.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 Badagry local government of Lagos 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 directors,administrative staff, senior staff andjunior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

A nation cannot be believed to be recording increases in national developmental indices when human and material resources in its component local government areas remain immensely immobilized. Development is all about improved living conditions for citizens who reside in the various local government areas of a nation-state. Underdevelopment is also about hunger and starvation in these local government areas. Sustainable development is about doing today what must be done for life to be meaningful for the present and future generations. The way forward calls for the empowerment of the local government areas by constitutionally untying them from the apron strings of the State Governments. Indeed, the truth remains that the issue of sustainable national development in Nigeria is immensely intertwined with developments in the local government system. In this regard, this study concludes that one of the best ways of going about the overall development of the Nigerian state is to concentrate on the development of its local government segments


5.4 Recommendation

We therefore recommend that effort should be made by the council to revive revenue drive in the council and reward dedicated and honest staff. There is also need to procure additional vehicles and boats to help revenue personnel to discharge their duty efficiently and effectively. We recommend that the council should use direct labour in executing of projects rather than the use of contractors, money paid to contractors can be channelled into other developmental projects in the area.


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