Viability Of Local Government As A Third Tier Of Government (A Case Study Of Afikpo North Local Government)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


Abstract


This research study was designed to critically examine viability of local government as the third tier of government a case study of Afikpo North Local Government Area. The study used the problem facing the management of local government vis-avis the resources or reasons of creating the local government so that it should do precisely what the word government implies.

That is government at grass root level. In data collection, the research employed questionnaire and interview sources of data. The main findings of the work are: (1) The finance problem, is a serious issues in Afikpo North local government. (2) Problem of finance are made worse by absence of qualified and competent personnel who would be willing in the art of administration in Afikpo North local government.

The non payment of taxes and rates by the people of Afikpo North local government due to their disloyalty to the government.

Based on the conclusion the following recommendations are made:

  1. The local people not only in Afikpo North local government but on the entire Nigeria should be educated on their obligation to government.
  2. Seminars should be constantly organized for the local permanent staff and such seminars should include moral lessons.
  3. Conditions of service in the local government should be made more.

Table Of Content


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Certification Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

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 Question
  • 1.5 Significant 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

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • References

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Sources/ Method of Data Collection
  • 3.4 Population and Sample Size
  • 3.5 Sample Techniques
  • 3.6 Validity and Reliability of Measuring Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of Analysis

Chapter 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 Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of Findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

The viability of local government as a third tier of government cannot be over emphasized due to many features which includes entry existence, government character and autonomy. All these stand as to have established areas and population that is it must be created to save citizens by existing in a known location.

It is required to either be elected by citizens of the unit or be appointed by other officials who are popularly elected and the right to determine its own budget without major modification by another unit or tiers of government respectively.

Local government is government nearest to the grass root level and need to organize their own system of local government council to suit their own social, political, cultural and economic needs.

The autonomy of local government as a third tier deprives from them since the state government controls influence in the activities of the local government councils, its whims and caprice. The state executive dissolves the council at will.

More so, to make local government in its plan to build sound foundation before returning the country to civilian rule felt that the best place to start was with the local communities.

The military deemed the reform necessary. It will stabilize and rationalize government at the grass root. The reforms were aware of the defects of grievances local government and made efforts to curb those defects by specifying some functions and sources of revenue to the local government council which is contained in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.

Local government as a tier of government was formed to design and executive government programmes in such a manner that would satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the people at the grass roots. The existence of local government was guaranteed by the 1999 constitution.

There are three institutional characteristics of local government which are:

Firstly, the local government unit must have a legal personality or entity, which means that like any other public corporation, it can be sued or can sue.

Secondly, it must have specific power to perform a range of function for example, in the provision of infrastructural facilities, education, health, promotion of agriculture.

Thirdly, it must enjoy substantial autonomy especially in finance and staff matters, subject to limited control from the central government. it was observed that the autonomy projected a myth and not reality since local government council has no control over its annual estimates as they are subject to ministerial approval.

Recruitment of local government staff are done by the local government service commission.
British local government are also subjected to ministerial control but can claim “quasi autonomy” as they do not submit their financial estimate for approval, they are given with discretion in the award of contracts and appointment of staff.

The people entertained high hope that the performance of local government will improve in view of its report.

From the performance of the local government throughout the federation it was discovered that most of the local government are not able to execute their functions.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Viable government instituted at the local level to develop and uplift the lives of people and rural dwellers and ensure this. Local government is accommodated by revenue allocation and specific sources also were made available to it.

The major problems militating against the performance of local government in Nigeria are:
Lack of fund and unqualified staff. These made it difficult for the local government to render desired services to the people.

Okpi (1988:12) stated that the ultimate rest of the efficiency of political structure is its ability to liberate people from the constraints by poverty, ignorance, squatter, illiteracy etc. it is to solve problem that local government was made the third tier of government.

The question now is how viable are the local government to perform this function?
Okoli (1993:23) further put viability in terms of development of infrastructure, financial abilities of the loyalty of the people and interpretation of the concept of development to include:

Agricultural small scale industries improvements. The quality of manpower involved in administration is inadequately appreciated in our local government. The major complaint is always inadequate funds. The issue of qualified staff should have a recognized place in viability of local government.
This study tends to address the issue of lack of fund and unqualified staff or manpower.


1.3 Objective Of Study

The objectives of this research work are:

  1. To find out if local government is truly doing its work as the third tier of government.
  2. To know the role of qualified and competent staff in local government administration
  3. To find out the cause of lack or inadequate fund in local government.
  4. Finally to enable the researcher to complete requirement for the completion of National Diploma (ND) in Public Administration.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is local government really autonomous?
  2. Does the embezzlement of fund by revenue collectors affect the performance of the local government?
  3. Does local government use appropriate strategy in raising revenue in the local government?
  4. Does local government perform these functions for which it was being created?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The viability of local government as the third tier of government is very important to both the general public and student of local government administration as it discusses. The study is also helpful to researcher who may need to carry out more research in the field. This research will help students especially those from public administration to understand better the administration of local government.
Also, local government administrators and the general public will benefit from the study as it will improve their general understanding of the system. People who read for pleasure and widening of knowledge will equally find this research interesting.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

It is impossible to study all the local government areas in Nigeria due to its large geographical area, limited finance and time factor.

However, this research work is limited to Afikpo North local government of Ebonyi state and the result was generated since 1976 reform which made local government administration uniform in the entire Nigeria.


1.7 Limitation Of The Study

There are lots of limitations in the course of this study which include time factor, money mobility which includes lack of good road network and transportation facility such as car, bike etc.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Administration:

Controlling and directing public affairs.

Autonomy:

Self government

Constraint:

Problems or restrictions

Citizenry:

Person with full right in a country.

Local Government:

Lowest level of government or government at the grass roots.

Revenue Generation:

Collecting of money from the masses and government assets.

Finance:

Money or funds

Embezzlement:

Using money placed on one’s care wrongly and for the person’s own.

Disloyalty:

Not being faithful to government by not paying taxes, rates and other levies.

Mismanagement:

Directing and coordinating wrongly.

Competent:

Being able to carry out the work for which one is paid for.

Probity:

Upright in character

Staff/manpower:

Persons employed to work in an institution

Viability:

Capable of performing a function without outside help.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

In this chapter, the major findings are summed up, conclusion on the research will be made and recommendations will also be made base on the findings


5.2 Summary Of Findings

The following findings are made:

  1. Financial problem is a serious issue in our local government
  2. Local governments are not independent on their own
  3. The problem of finance is made worse by lack of qualified and competent personnel who are not well trained in the art of administration
  4. The masses do not pay their taxes and rate properly thereby reducing the amount of fund available to local government
  5. Corruption is one of the major reasons why local government lack funds as fund revenue collectors embezzle the funds they collect while other accounting officers mismanage the little available funds.

5.3 Conclusion

The increasing art of local government in respect to inadequate fund has proved to be reality. Through the federal and state government allocation funds to the local government, the internally generated revenue that could have compliment are not paid to people.

Dispute that the revenue collectors embezzle the little collected and the offices and the political appointees lack technical knowledge of financial management thereby mismanaging the fund.

Owing to these, our local government administration as a third tier of government is a myth as they are not viable in regards to performing their function due to inadequate fund and lack of qualified personnel.

It is therefore said that local government administration as the third tier of not presenting viable.


5.4 Recommendations

  1. The entire local people not any Afikpo North Local Government should be educated on the purpose of tax and their duties and obligations to the government. they should be made to known that the tax pay is the source of local government revenue and is used in return to develop and provide social amenities in the local government areas.
  2. Training for all levels of staff should be organized by all local government to update their personnel.
  3. Seminars should be constantly organized for the local government staff.
  4. Conditions of service in local government areas should be made more attractive.

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