Roles Of Local Government And Community Development In Enugu State (A Case Study Of Nkanu East Local Government Council
The study was carried out with the aim of assessing the role of local government in community development in Nigeria. The study focused on the activities of Nkanu east South local government area of Enugu state.
In doing this, both primary and secondary data were collected. The primary data were sourced through questionnaire drawn and interview conducted on some randomly selected residents and staff of the local government.
The data obtained were analyzed using tables, percentages and frequencies. Two hypotheses were postulated to help in gathering and analyzing the data collected.
From the analysis of the data, findings revealed that the local government has not been able to perform this role as a result of ineffective and inefficient manpower, inadequate, misapplication and misappropriation of financial resources and excessive political interference and control from the higher tiers of government, especially the state government most especially through the instrumentality of state/local joint account.
Based on these findings, the study recommended that the local government service should motivate qualified and highly skilled personnel to join the service. The workforce should be trained to improve on its proficiency, the local government should improve on the internally generated revenue and areas of waste/corrupt practices should be checked. Also the state/local government joint account be scrapped and in its place, there should be direct allocation to the local governments, while the latter be made to render proper accounts on how financial allocations made were spent.
1.1 Background of The Study
Local government is the lowest tier of government anywhere in the world. It is very important because it is very close to the people as a result of its multi-purpose in term of carrying out socio-economic service in the local areas, promoting the democratic process, serving as training ground for national political leaders and serving as medium of communication between the people and the higher tiers of government.
However, local government needs to be viable before achieving these purposes. The liability of local government in turn depends on the nature of the power shared and the society. Where power is divided to local government, they are likely to be liable while in case of de-concentration of power they are bound to be unviable.
This gives rise to both terminologies of local government (as in devotedly) and local administration (as in documentation) the latter amount to more filed agent which operate execute the policies of the higher government, while the firmer possesses were legal competence and more autonomy in the areas of self-rule and mobilization of resources (Tumba 2005).
Community development can be described as the process where community members come together to take collective actions and generate solutions to common problems, community wellbeing (economic, social, environmental and cultural) often evolves from this type of collective action being taken at a grassroots level. Community development ranges from small initiatives within a small group to large initiative that involves the broader community.
The concept of community pre-suppose the mobilization by government or the people of that locality, local human and materials resources in a coordinated fraction to be used in the development of the community in term of project execution or implementation.
Community development means territorial formal social system with intimacy and share common social, economical and cultural characteristics. It is also a population living with legally established where people have some social, economic and cultural features in common which enable them to pursue a common goal.
Development in its own dimension means different things to different people, some people take it to be change, other take it as advancement improvement and progress while some scholars regard it as modernization or westernization, in other words, development means continues process of positive change in the quality and span of people.
What is meant by change are:
Ability to feed, clothe and shelter one resulting from one income from one occupation and from provision of infrastructural facilities like, road, water, electricity, the telecommunication and implement in another factor of production.
Ability to live longer as a result of provision of health and medical facilities.
Ability to read, write and to understand forces surrounding through provision of formal and informal education.
The study of the roles of local government in community development gives us an insight towards the details knowledge and understanding has local government operate as the third tiers of government anywhere in the world.
Also the study made us to understand that the impact and contribution of government whether of federal or state level toward the development and effective administration of local government and its roles in community development.
More also it made us to understand the multipurpose feature of local government in terms of carrying socio-economic services in the local areas, thereby stimulating and encouraging local initiative in community work, promoting the democratic process, saving as training ground for nation political leaders, serving as medium of communication between the people and higher tiers of government.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Some of the problem affecting the role of local government and community development are:
Planning without implementation and implementation without planning of program.
People are not very clear about the nation and the community development programs. This usually leads to lack of community to the part of the people. It is more of governmental program than that of the people.
Lack of proper plan monitoring and evaluation, hence there is no systematic way of determining program accomplishment facilitating effectiveness and efficiency.
Insufficient resources, many community development projects suffer from shortage of resources and in i.e human and for material resources.
Top down planning in which few top administrative offices make division on community development program planning and pass it down for implementation.
Problem of coordination: This usually results in role conflict for example a change agent is expected to fulfill the desire of the sponsoring agency rather than what he consider appropriate to the community. i.e the use of contraceptive for birth control.
Poor statistical base for effective planning.
Inadequate understanding of the community such as it structure of influence, communication and decision making pattern.
1.3 Purpose Of The Study
- This research also aimed at identifying different factors militating the effectiveness of local government and solutions to those problems identified and it will be offered at the completion of the research work.
- The study makes a modest attempt to fulfill this purpose in the social and community development of the effective delivery of service to the respective local populations scattered all over the country.
- It also make a recommendations on making local government an effective third level of government, the development and management of the human resources of local governments and the development of the financial resources of local government.
- How to ensure faithful implementation of local government.
1.4 Statement of Hypotheses
H1: The level of performance of Nkanu east South Local Government Council in terms of community development is determined by the human, financial and material resources available.
H2: Political interference by other tiers of governments is a constraint to community development efforts of Nkanu east South Local Government Area.
1.5 Scope of The Study
This research area and dimension of coverage is based on only the roles of local government administration in community development of rural area in Nigeria and to the staffs, teaches, businessmen, farmers in Nkanu east south local government of Delta state.
1.6 Significance Of The Study
The need and importance of the research is obvious. At a time when local government has come to assume an overwhelming influence on the process of political and community development.
It becomes more relevant to examine much more closely, the characters and dynamics of this three tier of government and to clarify the major contradictions that have landed to impede its capacity to promote development at local level.
However, a scientific study of this kind becomes necessary especially at this time when the past and present civilian administrations are particularly concern about rural development.
Finally, this study will generally add to the growing numbers of literature on local government affairs, more particularly on the roles of local government administration in economic and social development of rural area in Nigeria and pragmatic solutions offered towards making them more efficient and responsive to the needs of rural Nigerians, it also to policy makers and researchers alike.
1.7 Definitions Of Terms
The following terms have been defined for the purpose of this study:
- Local government: This is government at a local level exercised through representative councils established by laws to exercise specific functions with in a defined area.
(ii) Development: Development is a multi – dimensional process involving a re-organizational and reorientation of the entire economic and social system, in addition to improve income and outcome. Its typically involves radical changes in institutional, social as well popular attitude and sometimes even customs and belief.
(iii) Council: This refers to the organ that constitute representation of people either elected or nominated.
(iv) Social community development: This is a combination of social and community development. It embraces improvement in not only standard of living and per-capital income, but also high level of employment, reducing inflation, adequate food, high infrastructures, stressing values rather than achievement.
(v) Objectives: These are end results to which an organization or government activity directed objective are hierarchical in nature are determined or formulated by top management of an organization after economic, social and political forces affecting the organization have been apprised.
(vi) Programs; This consists of essentially integrated series of development projects that spans over a length of time.
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