The Frequent Changes In Local Government Administration As A Bane To A Proper Policy Implementation In Nigeria (A Case Of Owerri North Local Government)

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Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


This research topic is on the Frequent Changes in Local Government Administration as a Bane to a Proper Policy Implementation in Nigeria, A Case Study of Owerri North Local Government Area. This forms thee basis of this research effort geared towards injecting new ideas into local government Administration and helping to solve this problem arising from this frequent regime changes not only in Owerri North Local Government but in all other local governments in Nigeria.

The objective of the study therefore aims at how best to reduce the incidence of frequent changes in the administration of Owerri North Government which leads to improper implementation of development policies thereby reducing the rate of development in Owerri North Local Government Area. Some of the findings include that there is the absence of people oriented leadership which has over the years formulated and implemented development policies in a selfish manner that development projects are abandoned by each succeeding administration in Owerri North Local Government Area.

The research of this work made the following recommendations; that only people oriented leadership is fundamental in Owerri North Local Government cherished development, that there is need for policy implementation guide which must be judiciously followed while policies are being implemented.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Local Government Administration
  • 2.3 Local Government Reforms
  • 2.4 Policy and Policy Implementation
  • 2.5 Policy Formulations and Reforms Agenda
  • 2.6 Causes of Frequent Policy Changes
  • 2.7 Effects of Policy changes in Imo State Local Government with Specific Reference to Owerri North
  • 2.8 Policy Implementation
  • 2.9 Development Policy Implementation
  • 2.10 Development Policy Implementation in 1998
  • References 4

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Sources/Methods of Data Collection
  • 3.4 Population and Sample size
  • 3.5 Sample Technique
  • 3.6 Validity and Reliability of Measuring Instrument
  • 3.7 Methods of Data analysis

Changes Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of Data
  • 4.3 Analysis of Data
  • 4.4 Interpretation of Results

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Introductions
  • 5.2 Summary of Findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Local Government is the grass root government which is established world over not only for the purpose of authority maintenance, penetration of governance into the rural areas, consolidation of rural loyalty, obedience, political support and commitment of the subjects to the government and state, but also for the realization of rural development goals increased political participation of the rural people to the decision making process on issues that directly affect them.

To buttress the above preamble, the 1976 guidelines for local government reform in Nigeria sees local government as that government at the local level exercised through representative councils established by law to exercise specific power within defined areas. These powers should give the councils substantial control over local affairs as well as the staff and institutional and financial powers to institute and direct the project so as to complete the activities of the state and federal government in the areas so that the local initiative and response to local needs and conditions are maximized.

When the above definition is examined, it implies that a local government is a representative government; a government empowered by law to undertake certain functions and established to implement development needs and policies that affect the rural people. The above is true because the existence of local government administration is aimed at the execution of development policies for the upliftment of lives of the rural people Nworji (2004).

In a similar vein, Appadorai (1975) defines local government as the government by popular elected bodies charged with administration and executive duties in matters concerning the inhabitants of a particular district or place.
It is true of course that the creation and establishment of local government in any civilized and even civilizing societies is for the purpose of grass root development and still for implementation of development policies of modern governments at the rural areas. In line with this conceptualization, local administration in Nigeria is established to carry out these functions of grass root development policies which dates back to the colonial era.

At this stage ion Nigerian history, Frederick Lugard the then governor general because of lack of administration staff had no choice than to adopt a strategy whereby colonial offices index him were instructed to rule the local people through their traditional chiefs warrant in the eastern Nigeria, Oba’s and their chiefs in the western Nigeria and the Emirs in the northern Nigeria. These riles had legal recognition under the native authority ordinance.

Thus, the native authority system of local government renewed round the practice and theory popularly called “indirect rule”. According to Ofoeze (2003), native administration in Nigeria is defined as a system by which titularym power recognized for grass root development. This really anchored on the believe by the colonial masters. That local government administration offers effective machinery through which the local people’s wishes and aspirations are made clearly to the central government who will be aimed most effectively while making policies that affects the development of the rural people.

In Nigeria therefore, after independence and in consonance with the pursuit of this development goals of the federal and state government in rural areas, local government creation becomes central in the development strategies of the various regimes since after the civil war was in Nigeria. For the realization of this policy of grassroots development in Nigeria has been increased in geometric proportion to accelerate national development to achieve policy of national development. Owerri North becomes carried out from the formal Owerri municipal council.

Owerri North Local Government area was created by the administration of Gen Sani Abacha in 1996. This was the outcome of the request made by ther late Eze (Dr.) Onu Egwunwoke for the creation of Uratta Local Government Area with headquarters at Orie Uratta.

However, since the request for the creation of another local government by Emekuku/Emiland Alaenyi blocks did not come to fruition. They were fused into the said proposed Uratta local government to accommodate the new configuration.

The inclusion of Obube, Agbala Ulakwo and Obibiezena block was later considered as they were not accepted by Ngor Okpala Local Government. Since the creation, there have been continued changes in administration of the council which have affected the development of the area.

It is based on this promise that the researcher has undertaken a research on the topic: “Frequent Changes in Local Government Administration as a Bane to Proper Policy Implementation in Nigeria, A Case Study of Owerri North Local Government”.

As mentioned above, Owerri North Local Government becomes created in 1996 with its headquarter at Orie Uratta. The local government has had about nine different regimes of administration made up of the executive chairman and two sole administrators. This local government is made up of nineteen autonomous communities namely: Obibi, Amakohia, Azaraubo, Ihiteoha, Orji, Emekuku, Umuakaliku, Mbaoma, Obube, Naze, Ulakwo, Emii and Akwakuma.

Owerri North Local Government is an urban local government. It encircles Owerri municipal council like a peninsula – six major roads that lead out of the municipal acts across Owerri North communities. In the North, Orlu road leads to Amakohia and Akwakuma community. In the east, Okigwe road leads to Orji community. MCC road leads off Wetheral to Obibi and Ihitteoha communities. In the South, Mbaise road leads to Egbu, Emii, Awaka and Emekuku Communities.

Owerri North is one which places high regards for her culture. The ceremony over kola nut is hitherto observed to the latter the new yam festival which is an annual event to thank God for all his provisions is highly rated and honoured.

Amongst the various cultural festivals is the “Onwa Oru Uratta”. This is an annual cultural festival celebrated by Uratta perople, Uratta clan is made up of eight brothers name: Umualum, Umuorji, Umuoba, Owaelu, Umunahu and Orji. In later years, Amakohia migrated from Owaelu while Akwakuma migrated from Umunahu. These ten are fondly called “Uratta Ofo Asato Mbamiri.

The festival is organized on a selected orie market day in February determined by Ndi Oha supreme council of elders of Uratta. On the said day, the various town adorn their various canopies with decorations, food and drinks appearing in cultural dresses of judge wrapper and white shirt for the men and white blouses and matching gears for women, many cultural dances are displayed to thrill the public and guests. The occasion is set out to honour some deserving sons and daughters of Uratta who contributed in no small measure in the development of their localities.

Owerri North local government according to the 2006 population census has a total number of one hundred and seventy –six thousand, three hundred and thirty four (176,334), made up of eighty-seven thousand and ninety four (87,094) makes and eight-nine thousand two hundred and forty (89.094) males and eighty-nine thousand two hundred and forty (89,240) females.

Owerri North Local Government Area has its peculiar problems of lack of electricity, roads, portable dinking water, under-development agricultural method, dilapidated infrastructures like schools and water tanks and bore holes, and inadequate health care delivery system among other problems. These above form the nucleus of the challenges facing meager Owerri North local government administration in the face meager revenue base.

These administration have tried to grapple with the problems of the underdevelopment, but the frequent and sudden change or high turn-over of administration has impacted negatively to the community of policies and programmes for the development of Owerri North locaql government.

This situation explains why soon as there is change in administration in Owerri North and New ones formulated leading to abandonment of needed projects for grass root development. In fact, this is one of the problems or changes to the development of Owerri North local government area since its creation.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

In every aspect of human endeavour, there must be ups and downs, so also to Owerri North local government area.
In the course of this work, a handful of problem emerged.

These problems are not only fundamental, but their proper appraisal and comprehension are relevant to the proper implementation of policies and policy continuity in Owerri North local government area which will invariably pave way for the realization of the very essence of creation of Owerri North local government.

The management of Owerri North local government is therefore faced with the problems of meeting the developmental needs of the citizens of the 19 communities that made up Owerri North local government area.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

This research is structured to achieve many purposes of the following.

  1. First, it is structured to explain the need for policy continuity in Owerri North local government administration. Again, it shows that regimes tenures are to short for the completion of individual administrations policies.
  2. Also, it aims at proving that financial administration in Owerri North is at the dictates of the executive chairmen and not strictly guided or controlled by any legal enactment.
  3. The research also aims to examine the procedures at appointment of the various local government chairmen and their consequences on implementation of cherished development programmes.
  4. It also intends to explain why new administration in Owerri North Local Government abandoned the development policies of their predecessors at the expenses of the poor masses who elected them.
  5. Finally it intends to explain the process and procedures through which plans are formulated in Owerri North local government.

1.4 Research Questions

In the course of this research, some questions are raised to actually ascertain the rational behind the under development of Owerri North local government.

Stated below are some of the questions:

  1. Why has Owerri North local government since its creation not done much for the realization of this development objective?
  2. Why is there nothing to show in terms of development projects for the much/statutory allocation given to Owerri North from the federation account and the state statutory allocation to Owerri North local government from the state government?
  3. What are the financial control mechanisms put in place to check mismanagement of funds?
  4. To what extent is this mechanism employed in Owerri North local government financial management to ensure consistency in the use of funds for development?
  5. Why is there culture of policy discontinuity in Owerri North local government administration?
  6. How are the policies planned or formulated in Owerri North Government?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The creation of Owerri North local government is as a matter of national policy on national development channel. This research is geared towards making it possible for the understanding that the administration of this council area should remain focused towards realization and the achievement of the rural committed leadership.

This study will make way for the realization that continuity in planning and programmes no matter who initiated it, will make way for the accelerated development of the entire autonomous communities in Owerri North local government.

This research also emphasizes the importance of expanding reference base of this local government administration through harnessing all these neglected services allocated to by the 1976 constitution.

It will also sensitize the rural people on how they should as a matter of necessity contribute to the development of the council area through making the council become aware of their felt needs.

It also emphasizes that the strict application of recommendations of this work by the executive and the legislators will as a matter of expediency create room for quick development of Owerri North local government area.

1.6 Scope Of Study

This study beams its focus on Owerri North development policies since its creation to date, and how these policies are implemented. The 19 communities in Owerri North local government area were grouped into 6 and one community representing each group was used. A total of 6 communities were used for study.

It tries to examine the quantum of these financial resources and base in order to know the extent to which this resources base can lead her in the development of the council.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

The research of this nature requires enough money and time which are in short supply and will obviously conduct a research of this type. Again, the interviewee may not open up to the interviewer for fear of being mentioned and this may affect the objective, result or even findings.

The areas to cover by the researcher in Owerri North possess another feat to objectivity since there are about nineteen autonomous communities to cover within a short time frame.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

To avoid ambiguity and salting away understating some concepts have been defined to enhance their rationalization.

They includes the following:

Local Government:

This means the government at the level of grass root, government exercised through elected representatives to perform specific functions, Awa (1980).


This is a group of people who live together in a particular area and who are alike by way of custom and tradition.


This means qualitative human happiness and welfare of citizens of a country or nation.

Community Development:

This is the process by which the efforts of the people themselves are united with those of government authorities to improve economic social and cultural conditions of communities, Owuamalam (1995).

Felt Needs:

These are those needs that remain uppermost in the need hierarchy of various communities.


This is a broad guidelines used by organizations in translating strategies into action or activities. Policy is aimed at mapping programmes of actions that need to be pursued in order to accomplish the goals of the enterprise which are already defined.

Policy Making:

This presupposed the process of developing an effective and efficient broad guideline in a structured manner for its effective implementation.

Policy Implementation:

This is the process of implementing a broad of action. It also embraces associated with putting the chosen policy into place and supervising its pursuit.


It is the capacity to achieve maximum output with minimum input.


It is a defined expected result to be achieved in the future. It is futuristic because it states the predetermined result.


This is the use of human, material and financial resources to achieve organizational objectives.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes and concluded the work and also provided some recommendations.

5.2 Summary And Findings

From the analysis of the various responses made by the members of communities in Owerri North local government area, the researcher made some useful findings which are stated below:

That there is the absence of people oriented leadership which has over the years formulated and implemented development policies in a selfish manner.

That the council leadership implements policies without operational guide but as they suit their interest.
The Owerri North local government area has witnessed near absence of development infrastructure like portable drinking water, electricity and good road owing to the improper implementation of development policies.

That this poor policy implementation behaviour amounts to colossal waste of public fund and remain at the detriment of the poor citizens of the community assistance for the provision of basis goods.

That the implementation of policies and projects are not monitored to ensure speedy completion and required standard.

5.3 Conclusion

The life of Owerri North local government area is bestowed on the hands of local administration by the constitution of the federal government of Nigeria. The continued frequent changes in leadership of the council area and the non commitment to the ideals of the development of this area by the leadership will always lead to the underdevelopment of this council area. More so, the increase statutory allocation and expanded sources of revenue of Owerri North local government based on prudent spending ad proper implementation of development policies will obviously translate into concrete development of the area thereby enhancing the standard of living of the people of Owerri North government area.

5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations were put forward:

  1. That only people oriented leadership is fundamental in Owerri North local government cherished development.
  2. That there is need for policy implementation guide which must be judiciously followed while policies are being implemented.
  3. There is also the need for Owerri North local government to implement policies that are development driven that will not only be seen or touched, but will enhance people’s standard of living and exerts the capacity for income re-distribution.
  4. There is also the need for each administration to be given a reasonable time-tenure during the period of the administration that initiated it.
  5. As a corollary to the above, the federal and state government have the duty to hold the local government administration into check so that public fund will not find its way into private pockets at the expenses of the community or rural dwellers in Owerri North for whom such funds are released to the spending of the local government administration.

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