LOCAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM IN NIGERIA AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Local government in modern-day life is responsible for delivering basic goods and services to its local communities in a faster, easier, and more efficient manner. Local government is the level of government in Nigeria at which the momentum to sustain national development is created.
The rural development initiated by local government is expected in terms of specific projects such as kilometers of rural roads constructed and maintained; borehole and deep wells sink or rehabilitated and maintained by the local government; rural electrification; and rural people empowerment programs… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
In Nigeria, the rural people, thoroughly marginalized into a vacuous existence, make up the other Nigerians-forgotten and always forgotten. The line is like a perpetually recurring bad dram, a tale of extreme want in the midst of abundance.
There has been an administration upsurge of interest in the literature on development administration and in planning circles on the positive role, local government could play in national development.
Usually, the emphasis is in terms of using local government as a strategic instrument for fostering, promoting, and implementing rural development… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
With the formal colonization of Nigeria in 1900, the integration of the country into the world capitalist system this completed.
The imperatives of economic exploitation and political domination resulted in the establishment of institutions and organizations quite alien and in most cases in opposition to the existing indigenous ones. This becomes necessary in order to forestall any frustration of the colonial policies.
It is within this context that we can understand the origin of the “indirect rule” system which was a system of local government introduced by the British. Essentially, indirect rule was a system… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The ineffectiveness of the local government system in Nigeria stems from the socio-economic structure of the society which natures an urban-oriented development strategy is hailed by foreign experts who have on numerous occasions advised our leaders and who still do so.
As smock et al rightly pointed out, to assert that the lack of attention to the rural sector has been mere because of the short-sightedness of Africa leaders would be to overdose the urban and industrial bias of the majority of… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Generally, the study seeks to examine the extent to which local governments have impacted on rural development in Aguata and Anaocha local government areas Anambra State.
The studies also attempt to achieve the following specific objectives:
- To assess the impact of Local Government on rural development in Aguata and Anaocha Local Government areas.
- To determine the extent to which poor capital funding affects Aguata and Anaocha Local Governments… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Political scientists, politicians, and the administrator’s overtime have been preoccupied with the question of the justification, the appropriate status, and the functional roles of the grassroots government.
Some simply dismissed the matter and postulated that there was no need for government at the grassroots since most of the perceived needs of the local people can be provided by the central and provincial governments who are comparatively more endowed with requisite resources… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
- Concepts of Local Government
The study of the administration and political institution of Local Government has continued to generate a lot of comments from various scholars and researchers. This is because of the fact that it occupies a very important position in national transformation effort towards accelerated growth and development.
However, there is a reasonable degree of divergent ideas among most writers on the meaning of Local Government, although few definitions exist, this is to a large extent a function of the different socio-economic and political development of local government by most writers.
Some writers defined Local Government as “Local administration set up outside the main focus of the central national or regional administration”. The implication of this definition is that there is a glaring absence of legal personality, i.e. ability to sue and be sued, which is the major characteristic of Local Government… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
- Background of Local Government in Nigeria
Regardless of nomenclature, Local Government is a creation of British colonial rule in Nigeria. It has overtime experienced change in name, structure, and composition. Between the 1930s and 1940s, for instance, Local Government was known as chief-in council and chief-and-council, where traditional rulers were given pride of place in the scheme of things. In the 1950s, the election was introduced according to the British model in the western and eastern parts of the country with some measure of autonomy in personnel, financial and general administration (Nwabueze, 1982:20-21).
It was on this premise that the rising tide of progress, growth, and development expected in the Local Governments in these areas was based. The pace of this development was more noticeable in the south than in the east… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Local Government Reforms in Nigeria
The various Local Government reforms as enunciated by the government actually geared at improving the Local Government system in Nigeria. Some of these reforms will be examined looking at their major objectives briefly. The 1976 Local Government reforms were the reform that made a landmark in the Nigeria Local Government system.
This reform was part of the time table for the return to civil rule after 15 years of military rule spearheaded by the Murtala/Obasanjo regime. Although the concern about Local Government actually started before this, with the intervention of the federal government in Local Government finances between 1973/1974 and that of primary education in 1975.
However, this reform is regarded as a pacesetter in the affairs of Local Government because it created Local Governments as the third tier of government with a constitutional backing i.e. in section 7(1) 1979 Constitution.
The reform also provided for the granting of autonomy to the Local Governments and uniformity in their operations in the area finance. The Local Governments were allocated a particular percentage from the federation account.
It should be noted that the 1976 Local Government reforms were what finally put an end to the native authority system rule in the country… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Problems of Local Government in Nigeria
A Local Government is an administrative unit with a defined territory, administration authority, power, and relative autonomy‟. It is governed by either selected or elected members of the community. Most countries of the world are apparently committed to establishing Local Governments irrespective of the fact that there is no consensus on whether they should exist or not (Bello-Iman 1996:206).
The problems of Local Governments in Nigeria can only be examined in relation to the objectives upon which its creation in Nigeria was predicated. The four basic purposes for the establishment of Local Government according to the Local Government Reforms Guidelines (1976) include; enhancement of participatory democracy, promotion of local freedom of action or local autonomy, political integration and national unity, and the provision of services for which they are the most efficient providers compared to other levels of government.
It is, therefore, obvious from the literature that a number of factors inhibit the actualization of these objectives… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Concept of Development
Improving the living conditions of the rural folks forms the central focus of the development concept. The term has come to mean different things to different people. While some writer views the concept as dealing with rising Gross National product or increasing per capita income, others like Dudley Seers (1973) sees developments as meaning creating conditions for the realization of human potential.
Since the pursuit and attainment of certain high levels of per capita income have not been accompanied by discernible changes in the conditions of living of the focus and object of development i.e. man, others have come to define the problem of development as a selective attack on the worst form of poverty… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
In a study like this, which centered on the assessment of the impact of local government on rural development, it becomes very necessary to develop certain concepts as a framework for the analysis of data collected.
In this situation, a relevant conceptual framework for analysis is provided by the four philosophical justifications or conceptualized performance roles for local government postulated by the four major contending schools of thoughts that emerged as a result of various attempts by scholars in the field to ascertain the functional responsibilities on performance role local government should emphasis. In this regards, Ola (1984), as cited in Adeyemo, (2005) identified four schools of thoughts, they are;
- The democratic participation school
- Efficiency service provision school
- The development services school
- The holistic integrationist school
An advocate of the Democratic School of Thought (J.S.Mill, Alex-de-Tocqueville, David Bulfer, William Mechanize, Keith Lucas, and James Bryce) holds that local government functions to bring about democracy and to afford opportunities for political participation among the citizens as well as to educate and socialize him politically.
That is to say, local governments exist primarily as a political institution with the responsibilities for fostering representative and participatory democracy at the local level (Ola, 1984; Adeyemo 2005; Usman 2008)… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The practical implication of the view of this school, therefore, is that local government exists, consciously to make its own contributions to and thereby help to achieve national integration, national evolution, and national consciousness.
Emilsady (1962) has suggested that local governments perform these holistic integration functions through:
- Decongesting government at the center thereby freeing national leaders from onerous details and unnecessary involvement in local issues.
- Increasing people’s understanding and enlightening people about economic (community) development… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter one to Five Project Material)
This chapter shows how the study was carried out. The procedures and methods employed in the conduct of this research are discussed under the following headings:
- Research design
- Sources and methods of data collection
- Population and sample size determination
- Instrument design and administration
- Method of data analysis
The research design adopted is the survey method. This is chosen because it permits the use of the inductive approach, where sample sizes are used to make a generalization about the population.
Sources and methods of data collection
Data for this research were obtained from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources of data were the questionnaire designed and administered to the auditors. Whereas the secondary data collected from textbooks journals from the libraries and internets and magazines constitute forms the theoretical framework of the study.
The questionnaire was constructed in a simple manner to avoid confusion and for easy understanding by the respondent. And it was delivered personally by the researcher to the respondent and collected back on completion… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
This chapter covers the presentation of data as well as its analysis. The data obtained for the study was mainly through the use of questionnaires, observations, and interviews which were designed to assess the impact of Local government administration, Anambra State, on rural development.
A liker scale was used throughout the questionnaire which consists of a total of sixteen questions (16) (apart from section A)… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Rate of Returns of Responses of Questionnaire
|Sampled Population||Anaocha||Aguata||No. of
|No. of Duly Completed||Percentage (%)|
Source: Survey Research, 2013.
By extension, the four hundred (400) questionnaires were administered to the respondents who were selected through simple random and stratified random sampling methods in the areas of study. Out of the four hundred (400) questionnaires, three hundred and forty-two (342) questionnaires were returned given 86% rate of returns… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
As submitted by Lele, (1975) even before the wide recognition of the primacy of rural development, governments in all societies have launched various programs and projects aimed at rural development. However, the extent of rural development varies from state to state.
In another hand, the level of development of a society is a measure of the degree of presence or absence of certain infrastructures that could either positively impact or negatively affects the social, political, cultural, and economic life of the rural dwellers… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Having considered the findings from the research, the following measured are recommended for improving the performance of rural development Aguata and Anaocha local government areas.
To bring about a more realistic rural development in Nigeria, specifically Local government administration, the local governments should minimize their total dependence on the federal allocation, and increase their efforts towards generating more revenue through the diversification of their internal revenue sources… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
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