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The study examined the role of local government in rural development in Akwa Ibom State with particular reference to Etim Ekpo Local Government Council. Descriptive survey design was adopted in the study. In order to achieve the objectives of the study, four research questions were formulated to guide the study. 375 respondents constituted the population of the study. A sample size of 120 respondents was drawn from the above population using the systematic random sampling techniques. Simple percentage method was employed in the analysis of the data relating to the four research questions. The findings were :( i) The local Governments in Akwa Ibom State, particularly Etim Ekpo have contributed minimally to the development of rural area in recent past.(ii) Educational development was the outstanding form of development that is being carried out in Etim Ekpo Local Government Council. (iii) Corruption and mismanagement were the greatest challenges militating against the development of rural area in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State.(iv) The provision of political freedom to the people, Economic facilities, social opportunities and transparency guarantees are the best measures adopted to address the challenges facing the development of the rural communities in Nigeria and Etim Ekpo L.G Areaa in particular. Base on the above findings, it was concluded and recommended that to enhance proper freedom, economic activities, social opportunities and transparency are effective means of addressing local government challenges and the local government should be given full autonomy in order for them to freely and independently carry out their constitutional duties while some erring local government chairmanshould be sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others man among other recommendations.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page - - i
Dedication - - ii
Certification - - iii
Acknowledgements - - iv
Table of Contents - - v
Abstract - - vii
CHAPTER ONE - -
1.1 Introduction - - - - - - - - 1
1.2 Statement of problem- - - - - - - - 4
1.3 Purpose of the study- - - - - - - - 5
1.4 Objective of the study- - - - - - - - 5
1.5 Research Questions- - - - - - - - 5
1.6 Significance of the study- - - - - - - 6
1.7 Scope of the study- - - - - - - - 7
1.8 Limitations of the study- - - - - - - 7
1.9 Definition of terms- - - - - - - - 8
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 The concept of local Government- - - - - - 9
2.2 The concept of Rural Development - - - - - 13
2.3 The Concept of Development- - - - - - - 18
2.4 Function of local Government in Nigeria- - - - - 21
2.5 Challenges of Local Government in Nigeria - - - - 30
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH DESIGN AND PROCEDURES
3.1 Research Design - - - - - - - - - 34
3.2 Ares of the Study- - - - - - - - - 34
3.3 Population of the study - - - - - - - - 35
3.4 Sample Determination and Sampling Technique- - - - 36
3.5 Source of Data - - - - - - - - 36
3.6 Method of Data collection- - - - - - - 37
3.7 Method of Data Presentation and Analysis- - - - - 37
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1 Data Analysis of the personal of the Respondent- - - - 39
4.2 Data Analysis Relating to the Research Question- - - - 42
4.3 Discussion of Finding- - - - - - - - 46
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary of Findings - - - - - - - 49
5.2 Conclusions - - - - - - - - - 51
5.3 Recommendation- - - - - - - - - 52
Local Government is the grassroots government in the Nigerian Federal system of government. It is empowered by the constitution and cited in the laws of the land. Section7 (1) of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria backs the operations of the third tier level of Government. More so, the constitution permits democratically elected representatives of the people to man the local government affairs. According to Okoli (2005) the third tier government came into being as a result of the quest for wide spread development in the country. It is important to note that grassroots welfare and rural development can be achieved through the third tier government.
The essence of creating local government anywhere in the world stems from the need to facilitate development of the grassroots. Local government councils are constantly structuring to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery. Most especially, in the area of health care and education services, local government in Nigeria are striving to ensure the priorities are not misplaced in this country Nigeria in the provision of service delivery to their rural area or rural dwellers (Ajayi, 2000).
Local government in its real sense is very vital in the socio economy polity of Nigeria. This is so because it is nearest form of government to the common man in the rural settings everywhere. However, not every or much has been achieved by the way of development of rural area largely due to lack of focus administration of local government councils. This assertion can be confirmed by lack good roads, electricity, dilapidated schools, and health care centers and social amenities, which Etim Ekpo Local Government is not left out. What has happened to monthly federal allocated revenue that the local governments to these local government areas have been receiving so far?
The development of rural dwellers should be the concern of every responsive and responsible local government. Development remains insignificant if development does not positively affect the lives of people in the society (Lawal, 2000). Further, past administration has recognize the important of rural areas in the general development strategies in the country. Hence, various programmes have been designed and operated and relevant institutions have been established to promote the rural development. One of the paramount programme designed to achieve this aims is 1976 local Government reforms by the administration of General Murtala and General Olusegun Obasanjo.
Thus, local Government is designed to achieve its goals, that is, multi- dimensional goals of economic, social and political development. For local government to achieve its goals it should be appropriately organized, structured adequately, funded and sufficiently staffed with well qualified and consciously trained and motivated, competent and educated personnel.
Similarly, the expediency of local government everywhere in the world stems from the need to facilitate development at the grassroots. Local government is a function of its ability to generate sense of belonging, safety and satisfaction among its populace. All government regimes or political systems try to ensure and embrace national administration developments and political efficiency by recognizing in the concept and practice of local government. Whatever is the type of government, integration, administration and development, local government are of cardinal importance (Okoli 1998).
The local governmentin Nigeria have been heavily criticized because of failure to engage in meaningful development of the rural areas especially in the past few decades. A cursory look at most of the local government councils in the state shows that development at a low level. The rural dwellers are needed when it is time for election and ignored when the election is over. It is against his background that the researcher is motivated to examine the role of local government in rural development in Akwa Ibom State with particular reference to Etim Ekpo Local Government Council.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The local government is expected to be more active in the facilitation of rural development at the grassroots. The local government should be a booster of rural development if well equipped. Although some factors like inadequate fund, inadequate personnel, and lack of autonomy, corruption and mismanagement militate against the efficient administration at the local levels, meaningful effort should be made by the council administrators to address some of these problems. Many people in the rural areas live on miserable low income; as a result, their standard of living is very poor. A part from this, most rural dwellers they do not have access to social amenities and other basic necessities of life such as water, electricity, roads, health care services, etc.
It has been observed that in spite of all the federally allocated revenues given to the local Government Areas in the country in the past two decades, even in the face of dwindling revenues occasioned by recent economic recessions, for the development of rural communities, there is little or no evidence to show that such monies have been adequately used for such purpose. Failure to carry out their constitutional responsibilities, lead to low standard of living and high poverty level in the rural areas. It was against this background that then study on the role of local government in the development of rural areas of Akwa Ibom State with particular reference to Etim Ekpo Local Government council of Akwa Ibom State was conducted.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study was to examine the roles of local government in the development of rural areas in Akwa Ibom State with particular reference to Etim Ekpo local Government council of Akwa Ibom State.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THIS STUDY
The objectives of the study were:
(i) To examine the extent to which Etim Ekpo local Government area is identifying with the rural development of the rural area.
(ii) To identify the challenges faced by studying local Government in developing of the area.
(iii) To identify the type of development that is being carried out in Etim Ekpo Local Government council.
(iv) To highlight the appropriate lines of action adopted to address the challenges facing local government in rural development.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(i) What are the ways that Etim Ekpo local Government has contributed to the development of her rural areas in Akwa Ibom State?
(ii) What type of development is being carried out in Etim Ekpo Local Government area?
(iii) What are the challenges facing Etim Ekpo local Government council and other local government in Akwa Ibom State in terms of development?
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