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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the past two decades, the potential importance of local government’s institutions has increased throughout Nigeria, as the demand for local development and improved services has grown. One of the reasons for this has been the confirmed growths and greater congestions of towns which in its turn, have accentuated such urban problems and crowded roads, inadequate water supplies and absolute sanitary facilities, in both rural and urban areas, the rising expectations and demands on the part of people for more better local public services.
However, local government is a system of administration under which communities and towns are organized to maintain law and order, provide some limited range of social services and public amenities and encourage the cooperation and participation of inhabitants in joint endeavours towards the improvement of their condition of living. It provides the communities with a formal organizational framework which enables them to conduct their affairs effectively and regulate the actions of their members for the general public good. The brief statement on the nature, of local government is relevant only at a stage in the evolution of developing
societies Local government all over the world have been described as government at the local (grassroots) exercised through the decentralization of state, central government through representative councils which are established by law to perform specific duties within restricted geographical areas Ademolokun 1979).
According to the 1976 local government reforms, local government has been defined as:
“Government at local level
exercised through representative
councils, established by law to
exercise specific powers within
defined areas, these powers should
give the council substantial control
over local affairs as well as
institutional and financial powers
to initiate and direct the, provision
of services and determine the type
of projects to be executed, so as to
complement the activities of the
states and federal government in
the areas and ensure through active
participation of their people and
their traditional institutions that
local initiative are response to local
needs and conditions are
maximized (Ademolokun 1979).
On the other hand, local government cannot provide adequate essential services to its rural people without their participation in developing their areas: one of the important contributions of people in developing the areas is by means of constituting community development project.
Community development is essentially the deliberate attempt for communities to work together to guide the future of their communities development, of a corresponding set up techniques for assisting community people in such process” as we all know, community development activities are undertaken voluntarily with or without financial support from the government or other agencies Ademolokun (1979).
The facts that the government has placed high premium on cooperative efforts of rural development, like execution of community development,
self-help projects, encourage communities to undertake such viable projects in order to supplement government effort”.
In addition, in its effort to develop rural areas the federal government of Nigeria established some agencies to complement communities’ effort in rural development such agencies are: National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and community Banks, Family Economic. Advancement programmed, National Community Development Board, IFAD, FADAMA III Programme e.t.c.
However, emphasis given to rural development is manifested when introduced community” development board that would help the local government in the areas of community development.
According to Aliyu (1971), the main objectives behind local governments
“is to facilitate even development of services at the grassroots level, making available necessary services and development activities response to local wishes and initiate bodies as well as mobilizing both human and material resources through the
involvement of members of the public into local affairs so as to bring the government closer to them” Aliyu (1975).
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Grassroots authorities is concern with initiation and execution of programmed geared towards endangering social and economic development of their area. This can be achieved through involvement in the implementation of socio-economic programmes that attempt to reconstruct the infrastructures necessary to improve way of life. For instance, the provision of good drinking water, rural electrification, and public recreation centers etc. Grassroots authorities also led to encourage the citizen to involve and participate in rural development which are organized and coordinated by grassroots authorities. This research is an attempt to answer the following research questions:
1. Has the creation of grassroots authorities solve some of the basic and immediate problems of people in the areas.
2. Has creation of grassroots authorities solved the problem of community development?
3. What is the role of grassroots authorities in national development?
The research will answer these questions using Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto State as a case study.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general aim of the research is to critically examine the role or local government in socio-economic development, while the
specific objectives are:
1) To analyze the role local government can play in bringing about development.
2) To specifically examine the role Tambuwal local government, played in bringing about development to their people.
3) To identify and examine the problems associated with Tambuwal
Local Government’s effort to accelerate development in its area of jurisdiction.
The research is based on the following assumptions:
1. That inadequate finance is likely to be one of the factors affecting the development of Tambuwal Local Government.
2. That presence of community development associations are likely to contribute to development of Tambuwal Local government.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Without doubt, so many research work have been undertaking on grassroots authorities and factors that hinders the socio-economic development process to give positive result in the country, this is not withstanding what ever have been written about grassroots authorities in the process of socio-economic development much needs to be done, especially on Tambuwal Local Government.
This work is also equally important, because it will help not only in comprehending and assessing socio-economic development of Tambuwal local government area of Sokoto state but would assist as well as in providing suggested solution to the problems associated to the grass root under development.
Finally, the research work would serve as reference to student, makers, and other researchers that have direct bearing on Local Government Studies.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research is particularly limited to the study of socio-economic development with emphasis on Tambuwal local authority of Sokoto state. It is however intended to pay much attention on grassroots authorities bearing in mind that it has a lot to explain to the understanding problems of socio-economic development, it is especially chosen as a case study with a view to arriving at something concrete, reliable, essential reasonable and undisputed, acceptable to the need or demands of this research work. Thus, the result of the research work may not be applicable to other grassroots authorities other than Tambuwal Local Government of Sokoto State.
In an undertaking of this nature, there are constraints associated to it such as:
This is one of the major constraints that directly or indirectly affect most research work. Due to high inflationary rate in the society, the cost of moving around to collect data for the study serve as a constraints to the study.
Secondly, lack of adequate books, magazines, journals and good libraries around also limit the research work. The time allocated seems not
enough, as the researcher has to retain the time available with other official engagement.
Despite this constraints the study the researcher will try as much as possible to make the study stand the test of time and requirement.
The research will look into development and how to enhance the performances of the LGA and how to improve some major bottlenecks to cover a specific period between 1999-2008, because under the period there have been a lot of administrative and developmental changes in Nigeria Local Government.
GEOGRAPHICAL BACKGROUND OF THE LOCAL
The local government has large expanses of land, measuring about 25 square kilometers, and with a total population of about 195-250 people according to the 2006 census figures. The area receives andestimated rainfall of about 70-150 centimeters annually. The state (sokoto) under which Tambuwal Local Government is found is situated within the Savanna belt in Nigeria and as such is characterized by the presence of Harmattan during the cold season, and as well as the heat climate conditions during the dry season, the area is very suitable for cultivation of a variety of crops due to mild climate conditions. A wide variety of crops like guinea corn,
maize millet, beans rice, Bambara nut, groundnuts, soya beans and vegetables and cultivated in the area.
Also in the same vein, are good forest belt, which is very important for the varying of animals, and which also provides for a greater expanse of land for other activities.
Being predominantly Muslims, the inhabitants of Tambuwal Local Government Area have their entire social and cultural life embodied in the Islamic way of life and to this respect; social an cultural activities such as marriages are observed according to the Islamic injuctions. Other related cultural activities such as Sharo, Dambe (traditional boxing) Kokawa, and musical festivals are performed during wedding and Sallah festivals.
1.7 SCHEME OF CHAPTERS
The research work consist of five (5) chapters which begins with an introduction of the research work in chapter one, where a brief insight of what the research consist, then follow by statement of the research with a rhetoric question was raise with regard to grassroots authorities an community development whether grassroots authorities has really solved the problem of people:
Forward by, the objectives of the study then the research will look at the significance of the study research hypothesis, scope and limitatios of the study and lastly scheme of the work.
Chapter two of the research contain literature review from various contributors, in the methodology, a number of primary and secondary sources were consulted which include Journals, Books, News papers, Magazines, achieves and Pamphlets.
The chapter four of this research work is data presentation gotten from the field through Questionnaire distributed to senior and junior staff of the local Government, the last chapter which is chapter five contains summary conclusion and recommendations.
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