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(A CASE STUDYOF ETI-OSA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA)
1.1 Background of the Study
National development cannot be effectively consolidated anywhere in the world if grassroots development is neglected. Similarly, for good governance to thrive much energy, time and resources must be invested in local government system. That is why most states of the world including those with centralized political systems establish subnational units of government to address local issues, which cannot be handled effectively by the central government, particularly the promotion of local development, local administration, local economy and local politics. These sub-national units of government are usually separated from the national government. These units are referred to as local governments in Nigeria. Therefore, according to Oni (2000), local government either as a political or administrative instrument constitutes the most critical level of government at which the momentum to sustain national development can be created.
Local government administrations (LG) globally vary in size and structure and operate under different arrangements based on the system of government in different nations. However as observed by Mello, (2012) local governments globally strive to meet peoples’ demands for goods and services in a cost effective manner particularly at the lowest level of government or government at the grass root. Among the characteristics generally manifested by local government include that it is a subordinate system of government or subunit of a federal/central or state government and charged with powers to perform legislative, administrative and quasi judicial functions as the case may be. It also has the power to formulate policies, prepare budgets and a measure of control over its own staff, with a view that it is rightly position to ensure unhindered and efficient service delivery (Chukwuemeka et al, 2014, Otinche, 2014, Ezeani, 2012 and Tumini 2011).
Among the notable feature of local government in Nigeria is that it operates a unified administrative system and expected to have an elected. The 1976 Local Government Reform fixes the population of a local government not less than 150,000 and not more than 800, 000. In all, there are 774 local governments in Nigeria including the four area councils in Abuja. The Local Government Service Commission has been empowered to handle staff matters particularly those in senior category while the State Assembly has oversight functions on its operation. In addition, Governor’s office, the Ministry of Local Government and Finance Ministry exercise authority in respect of establishment matters. The Office of the Auditor General of the state among other performs some regulatory functions over the operations of local government.
Ajayi (2000), Kolawole (1997) and Adewale (1990) argued that among other reasons for the existence of local government are the needs to toy in line with modern administrative practices. This position finds expression in the need for decentralization, democratic participation, speedy socio-economic development at the grassroot, bridging of communication gap and serving as a platform for training of future leaders.
Furthermore, to achieve these goals, for instance, Section 7(6) of the 1999 Constitution provides that:
(a)the National Assembly shall make provisions of statutory allocations of public revenue to local government councils in the federation, and (b) the Houses of Assembly of states shall make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to local government councils within the state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
As noted by Ovaga () and Onah (1995.40), in spite of the fact that the 1976 local government reforms granted greater autonomy, powers and functions to local governments, they still have a long way to go towards the satisfactory performance of their functions in many areas. The above statement is in consonant with the state of affairs in the local government system in Nigeria. The basic question central to this paper is why the local governments in other systems where there are no direct constitutional provisions and huge resource base as in Britain and United States of America are democratically run and efficient in-service delivery while same is not true of Nigeria. What are the lessons that could be learnt from comparative analysis of local government administration in nations like France, USA, Britain and India?
Among previous related studies is Kyenge (2013) that focused on reasons for poor performance. He listed indiscipline, misplaced priority, unskilled staff, financial challenges and autonomy. On the other hand, Ejike, (2014), Adeyemi, (2012), Aina (2006) and Aluko (2006) partly focused on corruption while Gboyega (2001) among others concentrated on undue interference by the state Government and the personnel challenges. Ibok (2014) argued among other reasons that inadequate funding constituted a huge challenge. The focus of this study is to examine problems and prospects of local government so as to be able to overcome the challenges faced by local government administration in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study sought to know the problems and prospects of local government administration in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to;
1. identify the problems of local government administration in Nigeria.
2. determine the prospects of local government administration in Nigeria.
3. determine the relationship between problems and prospects of local government administration.
1.4 Research Questions
i. Are there problems of local government administration in Nigeria?
ii. What are the prospects of local government administration in Nigeria?
iii. Is there a relationship between the problems and the prospects of local government administration?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho: There are no significant problems of local government administration in Nigeria.
Hi: There are significant problems of local government administration in Nigeria.
Ho: There are no significant prospects of local government administration in Nigeria.
Hi: There are significant prospects of local government administration in Nigeria.
Ho: There is no relationship between the problems and the prospects of local government administration.
Hi: There is a relationship between the problems and the prospects of local government administration.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the Study
This study on problems and prospects of local government administration in Eti-Osa local government area will cover all forms of challenges faced by the local government today with a view of finding a lasting solution to the problem.
Limitations of study
1. Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Local Government: A local government is a form of public administration which, in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state.
Public Sector: The public sector (also called the state sector) is the part of the economy composed of public services and public enterprises. Public services include public goods and governmental services such as the military, police, infrastructure (public roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, etc.), public transit, public education, along with health care and those working for the government itself, such as elected officials.
Administration: This means management and order
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