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1.1       Background of the Study

Nwankwo (1992:1) defined government as a body of persons and institutions or agencies that make and enforce law in a given state. Flowing from this

adumbration is the fact that government must be coup0led with powers. Thus, arose the notion of power and its separation. Power is the ability to make someone to conform to your desire. Power can also be defined as the ability to make others conform to your desire. It is also the ability to act and secure conforming behavior.

A Federal System of government provides for an actual division of powers between two or more independent governments, each of which exercises control, within its scope of authority, over the same people. Given the territorially delineated cleavages abounding in Nigeria and historical legacy of divisions among ethnic groups,. The federal imperative was so fundamental that even military governments attached importance to the kperpetuation of federalism in Nigeria. Nigeria started as a Unitarian colonial state but disaggregated into ghree and later four regions. In 1967, the regions were abrogated and twelve states were created in their place.

The number of states increased to nineteen in 1976 and to twenty one in 1987. In addition, in 1990 there were 449 Local Government Areas that had functioned as a third tier of government since the late 1980s.

Local Government is the third tier of Nigeria Federal Government and is part of the administrative framework of Nigeria. Ordinarily, local governments are the

representatives of the grass root in governance. The local governments are expected to work in tandem with the state and federal governments for the good of all the inhabitants. The social services and control which in the aggregate make up the welfare state are administered by the local governments. Therefore, an efficient and understanding, working partnership amongst the three tiers of government is indispensable for government. According to section 7pf the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, local governments have their own independent existence and their legal duties and liabilities are prescribed in great detail by the Fourth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.

The functions of a local government encapsulate the participation of such council in the government of a state vis-à-vis the provision and maintenance of primary adult and vocational education; the development of agriculture and natural resources, other than the exploitation of minerals; the provision and maintenance of health services and such other functions as may be conferred on a local government council by the House of Assembly of the State.

On the other hand, a market is any one of a variety of different systems, institutions and infrastructures, social relations and infrastructures where persons trade and goods and service are exchanged, forming part of the economy. It is an arrangement that allows buyers and sellers to exchange goods/things. A market consists of all the potential customers sharing particular needs and wants who might be willing to engage in exchange to satisfy their needs or wants. Once the potential customer needs and wants

are backed by their purchasing power, an actual market is formed (Czinkots, Kotabe and Mercer, 1997:201).

Competition is essential in markets and separates market from trade. Two persons may trade, but it takes at least one of its two sides. Markets vary in size, range, geographical scale, location, types and variety of human communities, as well as the types of goods and services traded. Segmentation, on the other hand, is essentially the identification of subsets of buyers within a market who share similar needs. Market segmentation is the act of identifying and profiling distinct groups of buyers who might require separate products and for marketing mixes. It is the process of splitting, customers into different groups or segments within which customers with similar characteristics have similar needs. Market segmentation can be powerful concept even in the non-profit sector, although it tends to be a device for focusing, resources rather than dealing with competition. For example, there may be a number of segments within the ranks of the unemployed. Each of these segments has different opportunities for government action. Notwithstanding the heterogeneity of the characteristics of the people that make up the local government areas, each of these local government areas is seen in this work as a single mass market with a common need which could be addressed with a single marketing programme. This study therefore will attempt to scrutinize the applicability of market segmentation in the dissemination of local government programmes.

1.2         Statement of the Research Problem

The local government is the link between the government and the people living in the rural areas. Thus its programmes must be properly comprehended by the people for them to prominently participate in those programmes. Bearing in mind the heterogeneous level of literacy in the rural villages it becomes necessary to determine the best way to enhance efficient communication of the programmes to the people. Unfortunately, experience has shown that most advertisement placed in our electronic and print media on local government policies are in English Language. This denies the majority of the rural dwellers the opportunities to comprehend the policies. There is, therefore, the problem of how best to solve this communication gap (if any) and ensure that the people are properly enlightened through the correct medium.

Furthermore, the rural areas lack accessibility due to intricate communal settings. A collection of various communities constitutes a local government and this has its own challenge as each community has its own peculiar language. There is the serious challenge of the feasibility of utilizing the principles of market segmentation in solving the communication gap (if any) between the local government and the grassroots. It is clearly difficult to identify the appropriate criteria to be used in order to segment the communities in a local government and ensure easy access to information on local government programs.

There is no doubt that the application of market segmentation in the marketing of local government programmes will throw up the challenge of measurability of the

principle’s usefulness in bridging the communication gap between the local government and the people. It has never been possible to determine the response of the rural dwellers to programmes of the local government at any given time. Even in circumstances where the local government authorities themselves believe that adequate publicity has been given to a programme through the electronic and print media, most rural dwellers still claim to be ignorant of the programme. The problem now is where market segmentation is utilized how will its efficacy be determined? These problems dictate the objectives of this study.,

1.3         Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to determine the impact of segmentation on the marketing of government programmes in Aninri, Nkanu west and Nsukka government areas in Enugu State.

The specific objectives of the study are

1.      To determine whether the concept of market segmentation was used by the local governments administrators in selecting markets for their programmes.

2.      To determine whether the needs of the target publics in the local government areas were sought for before designing and developing their programmes.

3.      To determine whether the marketing communication programs in the local governments are affective in reaching the target market segments.

4.      To determine whether the publics in the local government areas are satisfied with the implementation of local government programmes.

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