THE ADMINISTRATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND CHALLENGES OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT (A STUDY OF ANAMBRA EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE)
Background of the Study
The desire for creating local government anywhere in the world stems from the need to facilitate development at the grassroots level. The issue of rural development has been creating a lot of concern in most third world countries. There has been growing recognition of the importance of rural development as an instrument in the overall development of the contemporary developing world.
This is because of the glaring gap between the rural and urban areas in terms of infrastructural, resource distribution, human resources development, and employment, which has made rural development imperative (Ogbazi, 1982:2). This imbalance has subjected the rural areas to the more disadvantaged economic position. It has induced rural-urban migration, thereby, increasing the unemployment situation in the urban areas, while, simultaneously depriving the rural areas of their agricultural workforce.
In Nigeria for instance, the recognition of the above problems, instigated the Federal Military Government in 1976, to take a bold initiative to reform the local government system in Nigeria. The essence of the reform was to bring about a stable increase in rural productivity and income, diversification of the rural economy, and general enhancement of the quality of life in the areas (the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1980:12)… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Statement to the Problem
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.
This could be expressed in terms of the improved quality of life the citizenry enjoys as optimized in the primary health care program provided, procurement and distribution of fertilizer to farmers at subsidized rate; effective and efficient management of primary education as well as the regularity and quality of public enlightenment programs provided and enjoyed by the rural populace. The effectiveness and efficient provision of these services qualifies local government as a viable, instrument of rural development.
These problems need to be addressed in order to redress the severity of the problem on the Nigerian rural people (Fourth National Development plan 1980 – 85)… (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 inAguata 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 administrators’ 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.
According to the United Nation (UN) office for Public Administration, Local Government is a political subdivision of a nation (or in Federal system or State) which Constitute by law and has substantial control over local affairs including the power to impose a tax or exert labor for prescribed purposes, the governing body such as an entity is selected or otherwise locally elected… (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.
During this period, heterogeneity was the hallmark of Local Government as there was no uniformity in the system and the level of 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)
Why Local Government is very useful to the Nigerian context?
In this study, the researcher is interested in looking at the premises upon which the Nigeria Local Government is based and also why the Local Government is very useful to the Nigerian context.
The first assertion, which attempts to justify the existence of Local Government is on the basis of it being essential for a practical administrative purpose like responsiveness, accountability, and control. John Mills (1975) puts it that not only are separate executive officers required for purely local duties but the popular control over those officers can only be advantageously exerted through a separate organ. Their original opportunities, the function of watching and checking them, the duty of providing or the discretion of withholding, the supplies necessary for operation, should rest with the people of the locality… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The Role of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria’s Local Government
The traditional institution is a pre-colonial institution that has endured and continued to survive through the different political changes and developments in
Nigeria. These changes have tremendously affected the type, role, and functions of‟ traditional rulers over the years. A traditional ruler according to Nigerian Traditional Rulers (1 983: 1) can be defined as:
A person who by virtue of his ancestry occupies the throne or stool of an area and who has been appointed to it in accordance with the customs and tradition of the area and whose throne has been in existence before the advent of the British in Nigeria… (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
Advocates of Democratic School of Thought (J.S.Mill, Alex-de-Tocqueville, David Bulfer, William Mechanize, Keith Lucas, and James Bryce) holds that local government function to bring about democracy and to afford opportunities for political participation among the citizens as well as to educate and socialize him politically i.e. local governments exists 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)
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)
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
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
Table 4.2.1 Classification of respondents based on questionnaires administered
|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. However, only three hundred and twenty-one (321) of the questionnaires returned were duly completed thereby given approximately 80% rate of returns. Therefore, the analysis of data is based on the three hundred and twenty-one (321) respondents.
Respondents Profile/Bio Data
Profile of respondents in terms of gender, occupations, age, educational qualification, status, and estimated monthly income and housing facilities available.
Table 4.3.1 Bio-Data of Respondents’ Rural Populace
|60 and above||21||7%|
|Educational qualification||Religion studies||81||24%|
|First leaving certificate||school||63||20%|
|N6,000 to 10,000||50||16%|
|N11,000 to 15,000||30||9%|
|N16,000 to 20,000||39||12%|
|N21,000 and above||41||13%|
|Housing facilities available||No. response||21||7%|
|Two-room roofed with grasses||42||13%|
|Two-room roofed with zinc||101||31%|
|Three bedroom flat||73||23%|
|Four bedroom flat||28||9%|
Source: Survey Research, 2013.
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. On the other 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 developmentAguata 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)
Abbas, I.M. (2010.65). State, Class, and Management of Local Government in Nigeria, Anambra: ABU University Press Limited.
Abubakar, U. (2004). “The Effect of Local Government Expenditures on Rural Development in Nigeria” The Nigerian Journals of Administrative Studies (2) 1 June,
Adedeji, A. (1985.5). “Ecology for Economic Change”. Challenge African Development symposium
Adewumi, J.B (1987). Rural Transformation in Nigeria: DFFRI and Local
Government. Institute of Administration A.B.U, Anaocha
Adeyemo, D. O. (2005). Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria: A Historical Perspective, Available from, http//www.localautonomy.org.
Ajayi, (2000). Theory and Practice of Local Government Edo Ekiti, UNAD Aknul (2004) Alila (1998).
Asika N. (2000) Research Methodology in the Behavioral Science Lagos, Longman Nigeria Plc.
Bello, I., and Enemuo (1999) Decentralization and LG Models, Principles and Purpose” In Anifowe R. And Enemuo F.C (ed) Element Of Politics
Bello, I. J.B. (2002) “Financial Transfer” In Bello-Imam J.N (Ed) Local Government Finance in Nigeria CLGARDS University of Ibadan
Bello, I.B. (2004): Local Government in Nigeria: Evolving a Third Tier of Government, Heinemann Educational, Books Plc, Ibadan, Nigeria.