The Role Of Local Government In Political Development Of A Nation

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


This project has been able to shed more light to the role of local government in political development of a nation. The research sample is randomly selected from Agege Local Government by survey method composed of one hundred and twenty respondents therefore, through the hypotheses tested it was concluded through chi-square statistical packages that preferred choice of people as candidate for local government election will enhanced political development in Nigeria. That corruption by some local government officials will pose serious threat to the role of local government in political development of Nigeria. Adequate revenue from various sources will enhance the role of local government in political development of Nigeria.

However, it is recommended that the local government should set up tools to achieve the political will of the people at the grassroots level and that local government should endeavour to be accountable to the public and carry out its activities with utmost transparency to enable the public assess local government

Chapter One


1.1 Background To The Study

Local Government are commonly referred to as third tier of Nigeria’s federal system of government. Although there is an expectation from federal government that local government will address wide ranging responsibilities, local government systems work differently in each state and all local governments have relatively limited capacity to raise revenue.

Local governments are under increasing pressure from both the communities they represent and other levels of governments. This situation has come about due to increased expectations from the community to meet the needs of broadening diversity and from increased expectations from state and federal governments for local government implementation of policy objectives. These increased expectations are not counteracted by an increase in local government’s ability to raise revenue and provide expected outcomes, Local government also faces increasing pressure to perform functions traditionally undertaken by other tiers of government. This seems to have been caused by the withdrawal and centralization of most state and federal government to local government.

In addition, local government fund is being slowly eroded by reductions in real value of grants from commonwealth and state governments. Examples of Local Government functions and service include: Engineering (public works design, construction and maintenance-for example roads, bridges, footpaths, drainage, cleaning, waste collection, and management.

  • Recreation (golf Courses, swimming pools, sport courts, recreation centers, halls, kiosks, camping grounds and caravan parks)
  • Health (water sampling, food sampling, immunization, toilet, noise control, meat inspection and animal control)
  • Community services (child care, elderly care and accommodation, refuge facilities, meals on wheels, counseling and welfare)
  • Building (inspection, licensing, certification and enforcement)
  • Planning and development approval
  • Administration (aerodromes, quarries, cemeteries, parking station and street parking)
  • Cultural/education (libraries art galleries and museum)
  • In some states, water and sewerage
  • Other (abattoirs, sale-yards, markets and group purchasing schemes)

In addition to specific business and service provision. Other roles, objectives and accountability requirements of local governments include:

  • Provision of democratic leadership
  • Community vision
  • Strategic and integrated planning
  • Advocacy to other levels of government
  • Management of community assets

In a broad political sense, the responsibilities of local government seem less significant when compared with the responsibilities of federal and state government however, the reality is that local government is the first ‘port of call’ for residents who are not satisfied they are receiving adequate services, Whether this dissatisfaction relates to the maintenance of their roads or the availability of health and education services. There is an expectation that local government will act to rectify such issues, regardless of which level of government has statutory responsible. Local government is the third .tier of Nigeria system of government. It is government nearest to the people. It is equally known as grassroots’ government. Local government serves as intermediary between the state, federal government and the grassroots’ people.

Local governments are elected to represent their local communities; to be a responsible and accountable sphere of democratic governance; to be a focus for community identity and civic spirit; to provide appropriate services to meet community needs in an effective and efficient manner; and to facilitate and coordinate local efforts and resources in pursuit of community goals.

Local government is concerned not only with generic people services but also has awareness of specific community needs and goals and has a willingness to address these. It is clear that local government cannot facilitate and coordinate local efforts without high levels of support and cooperation from communities and through participatory relationships with all levels of government.

The ideal of enabling and facilitating strong community representation across all sectors of the community in local government decision making presents a significant challenge to local governments.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

Local government administration has been criticized as most of local government chairmen are not performing their duties efficiently or they lack accountability. Some critics consider it to be a mere way of making elected chairmen rich, meaning that election candidates hide under the umbrella of reigning party to context for election. Candidates are even imposed on citizens even though they may not like the candidate.

The performance of local government chairman and councilor can be affected when considering their revenue (both generated and from state and federal government. Revenue generated from various source is small and the ones from state and federal governments are not enough.

Another critic is that most of the people ruling in local government do not have experience to govern. Most of them lack competency while some are stark illiteracy. To be frank this affects negatively the performance and development of local government.

There is inadequate machinery for effectively monitoring the performance of local authority.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

This research work aimed at contributing to the existing knowledge of role of local government in the political development of a nation. The aims and objectives of this study are expressed in the terms of the following;

  1. To assess the need for local government in development of a nation.
  2. To inspect closely, the effect of local government in the political development of a nation
  3. To suggest ways to an effective local government administration.
  4. To review the benefit accrued to grassroots as a result of local government administration.
  5. To review the various sources of income to local government
  6. To examine the functions performed by local government

1.4 Research Questions

Research was made on the study into some important issues such as;

  1. How can local government contribute to the political development of Nigeria?
  2. To what extent has local government contributed to the political development of Nigeria?
  3. To what extent does the expected revenue from various sources contribute to effective performance of local government?
  4. How can local government increase its involvement in the political development of Nigeria?
  5. How can Government curb the corrupt practices of some local government officials to ensure accountability?

1.5 Statement Of Hypotheses

Nigerian is able to achieve political development through the roles played by local government in Nigerian politics. In order to confirm or refute these suppositions, some research questions were posed earlier on and from these questions, the following hypotheses were formulated to provide answers to the questions:

Hypotheses I
  • Ho: Using preferred choice of people as candidate for local government election will enhance political development in Nigeria
  • H1: Using preferred choice of people as candidate for local government election will not enhance political development of Nigeria
Hypothesis II
  • Ho: Corruption by some local government officials will pose serious threat to role of local government in political development of Nigeria.
  • H1: Corruption by some local government officials will not pose serious threat to role of local government in political development of Nigeria.
Hypothesis III
  • Ho: Adequate revenue from various sources will enhance role of local government in political development of Nigeria.
  • H1: Adequate revenue from various sources will not enhance role of local government in political development of Nigeria.

Where, Ho is the Null Hypothesis and

HI is the Alternative hypothesis

1.6 Scope / Limitation Of The Study

Local government applies throughout the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and it is uniformly implemented. However, this research study did not cover the entire nation. It concentrated on role of local government as it applies to Agege Local Government in Lagos State as far as data collection and its consequently analysis is concerned.

It was envisaged that problems would arise ill the area of gathering data and information from primary and secondary sources, especially from the Agege local government; problems such as delay in getting the questionnaires filled and returned, and the reliability or otherwise of information provided.

1.7 Significance Of The Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of local government in the political development of Nigeria.

It should also be able to encourage arid increase the awareness of the operations of local government in Nigeria.

Hence, increase the support for creation of more local government.

It should also raise important issues and suggestions which may help local government officials to be more effective in their assignment.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Local Government:

This refers to third tier of government in Nigeria.

Federal System of Government:

A system of government subject to the authority of a central government in matters that affect the country as a whole.


Contribution, gift, or subsidy (in cash or kind) bestowed by federal and state government, citizens or other organization (called the grantor) to local government to perform specific function.


A state; a body politic consisting of a certain number of men, united, by compact or tacit agreement, under one form of government and system of laws.


The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property

1.9 Organization Of The Study

This study contains five chapters:

  • Chapters one includes the; Introduction, Background of study, Objectives of the study, Research Questions, Statement of Hypotheses, Scope and Limitation of the study, Significance of the study, Definition of Terms, Organization of study, and research methodology.
  • Chapter two is the Literature Review which comprises the Historical Background of the study, Role of local government, models, and or theories relevant to the research questions and hypotheses.
  • Chapter three is the Research Methodology which comprises; the population of study and Sampling Design, Research Design and Sources of data.
  • Chapter four is the Analysis of the data which comprises; Preparation of tables by classification; sex, age and status of respondents, Presentation and analysis of data according to tests of hypotheses and or research questions.
  • Chapter five comprises the Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation.

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