The Role Of Local Government In Socio-Economic And Political Development Of The Community
In this research work, the researcher intended to have a general discussion with local government as my background. But lack of space may not allow me for detailed discussion and analysis. However, all essential part of the role of local government administration in economic and social development of rural areas in Nigeria is discussed. In chapter one, I discussed the background the problem of the study, the scope, some research questions and research hypothesis, significant and some definition of terms. In chapter two, contains review of related literature, local government, social and economic development process, characteristics of rural area and the history of local government. Furthermore, chapter three contains research design, area of the population and sample size.
1.1 Background of the Study
This study is a modest attempt at a lucid explanation of the role of local government in Nigeria. Nigerian local government system have witnessed tremendous transformation since the introduction of the 1988 civil service reforms one of the changes introduced at the local government is the direct payment of their statutory allocations which was also increased from 15%-20%, in addition, local government auditor was established by each sates government to ensure proper utilization of financial resources at the local level to avoid misappropriation of public fund. Also, all local governments now have a common structure which distinguishes them from service department. Local government at any level has some roles such as; the maintenances of law and order, the promotion of economic and social development etc. They are left with considerable freedom to actual will for the interest of the local community. Form the administrative point of view, the government as an agent of development is well placed to help the rural areas to develop. These can be done by investing in social and economic infrastructure such as; roads, hospitals, bridges, schools, electricity and telecommunication. The other essential duties inherited by native authorities include; water supplies, markets and libraries. We generally regard the convenience list as including those extra amenities which makes life better in the communities other than the stated ones. These include; creation of bus and lorry parks, the regulation of land cards on the streets, community recreation centers, parks and open spaces, grazing areas and fuel plantations, the naming of streets and the numbering of houses These are recognized automatically as the responsibility of the local government. They also help in service of parks control and water supply, electricity and gas, the provision of road of transport and any other trading undertaking that the state government authorizes. The local government also takes responsibility for health orientation and drug supplies, midwifery services arrangement of health visit and home nursing to provide facilities for immunization and vaccination.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The local government is expected to become more active in facilitation social and economic development at the grassroots level. The local government is a potential social and economic booster if well equipped.
Although some factors like inadequate finance, lack of technical manpower, denial of autonomy militate against the efficient administration at the local level.The local government despite these problems struggles to maintain a high standard in socio-economic development. The researchers want to identify those areas (roles) that the local government has excelled in terms of social and economic development using udi local government of enugu state as a case study
1.3 Objective of the Study
The major objectives of the study are:
- To identify different factors militating against the effectiveness of local government administration and solutions to those problems identified
- To ascertain the role local government plays in socio-economic and political development in the community
- To ascertain the relationship between role play by local government and the community development
1.4 Research Hypotheses
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
- H0: there are no factors militating against the effectiveness of local government administration and solutions to those problems identified
H1: there are factors militating against the effectiveness of local government administration and solutions to those problems identified.
- H02: there are no relationship between the role play by local government and the community development
H2: there are no relationship between the role play by local government and the community development
1.5 Significance of the Study
The need and important of the research is obvious. At a time when local government has come to assume on over whelming influence on the process of political and economic development, it becomes more relevant to examine much more closely the characters and dynamics of this third tier of government and to clarify the major contradiction that have tended to impede it’s capacity to promote development at the local level. However a scientific study of this kind becomes necessary especially at this time when the past and present civilian administration is particularly concerned with rural development.Finally, this study will generally aid to the growing number of literatures on local government affairs more particularly on the roles of local government administration in economic and social development of rural areas in Nigeria and pragmatic solutions offered towards making them more efficient and responsive to the needs of rural dweller and also to policy makers and researchers alike
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This research area and dimension of coverage is based only on the roles of local government administration in economic and social development of rural areas in Nigeria and to the staff, teachers, farmers, businessmen/ women and artisans in udi local government area of Enugu state. 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
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
This following term have been defined for the purpose of this study
i. Local Government:
This refers to a government at the local level exercised through representative councils established by law to Exercised specific functions within a defined geographical area
This is a multidimensional process involving re-organization and re-orientation of the entire economic and social system in addition to improving income and quality of life of the inhabitants of an areas it typically involve radical changes in institutional social as well as popular attitude and sometimes even customs and beliefs.
This refers to that organ which constitute representation of people either elected or nominated.
(iii) Socio – economic Development:
This embraces improvement in not only the standard of living and capital per income but also in high level of employment reducing inflation, advocate provision of food, high infrastructures, stressing value rather than achievement.
This refers to those things that the researcher intends to achieve at the end of the research.
This consists of essential integrated series of developmental projects that spans over a length of time or period.
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
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the role of local government in socio-economic and political development of the community
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 in socio-economic and political development of the community
This study was on the role of local government in socio-economic and political development of the community. Three objectives were raised which included: To identify different factors militating against the effectiveness of local government administration and solutions to those problems identified, to ascertain the role local government plays in socio-economic and political development in the community, To ascertain the relationship between role play by local government and the community development. 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 Udi local government area of Enugu 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 up heads of department, counselors, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
Nigeria local government system has been silently accused as capture by author like (Ajayi 2000, Diso 2005, Yahaya 2009, Agbakoba 2010) of not living up to their responsibility in line with 1999 constitution of federal republic of Nigeria, in this area of community development.However, effort have been made to reform the local government system and make them more focused to the grassroots development as the reason for its creation, despite these reforms, problem still exist in the local government system today especially in area of community development.The finding of the study has proved that the more number of local government we created in Nigeria with reform policies, the less development we have in rural areas. There are case of corruption, financial misappropriation, poor infrastructure development, unfocused administration, poor policy implementation, problem of personnel management and undue political influence on the activities of local government, which have affected it in term of providing the people with political and socio economics benefits. It was also observed that less than 40% of rural dwellers enjoy services provided by the local government.
For local government system in Nigeria to perform adequately in line with the constitutional responsibilities of rural development, the study recommends the following as panaceas:
- There should be adequate transformation in Nigeria local government leadership system, good leaders should be elected by the people to handled local government affairs and local government administrators should build their policies on peoples need and have institutional purpose. This will ensure that things are rightfully done for the benefit of the rural people.
- Proper re-orientation should be given to the federal and state government, ministries in-charge of local government supervision to organize periodic seminars, conferences and workshop to the key leader and other workers of the local government council on issues of general administration, community development, social service delivery, human resources management and monitoring among others. This will enhance performance and unavailable facilitate to the rural development in Nigeria local government system.
- The menace of corruption and mismanagement should be checkmated within the local government system, there is a need to redirect the activities of the anti-corruption agencies to the local government as to promote transparency and accountability in the management of local government system, office of the anti-corruption should be extended to the state and local government officers.
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