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The poor state of some rural community is becoming an unpleasant sight in this present age where development has suddenly become the order of the day even in the government of the nation. Several scholars therefore have ascribed this unpleasantness to Local Governments. Thus, this research examined the role of local government council in the development of rural communities. Literature in this respect on rural development efforts by Local Government Council was reviewed. Similarly, development theory of growth by W.W Rostov served as frame of reference. For the purpose of this research 185 questionnaires were administered to the respondents within the community using simple random sampling with the aid of two research assistants. The results were analyzed using statistical package for the social sciences. The hypothesis tested on whether there significance relationship between the roles of the local government on community development in Warra, Ngaski local government shows that there is a significance relationship between the roles of the local government and community development. Similarly, the findings of the research work revealed that Ngaski local government council played a vital role in community development in areas of road constructions, agricultural empowerment and health care service delivery to the people. Furthermore, the challenges faced by community people in areas of community development efforts were insufficient fertilizer to the farmers and also lack of maintenance culture of the community development projects. Based on the findings of the research, the following were recommended: that the community dwellers should be less money conscious and should focus on maintenance of the projects placed on ground, ensurance of the collaboration of the community dwellers and local government council among other recommendations.
Keywords: LGA, Development, Rural, Communities, government
1.1 Background to the Study
The reason for the creation of local government anywhere in the world stems from the needs to facilitate development at the grassroots. The importance of local government is a function of the ability to generate sense of belonging, safety and satisfaction among its populace. All forms of government, regimes or political system have so far ensured the attainment of this goal. Such strategies for ensuring national administrative development and political efficiency as found in the concept and practice of local government has been essentially regarded as the path to, and guarantor of national integration, administration and development in Nigeria’s socio-political context. With multiplicity of culture, diversity of languages and differentiated needs and means, the importance of such organization in fostering the needed national consciousness, unit and relative uniformity as well as well as preservation of peculiar diversities cannot be over emphasized.
Local government is the tier of government closets to the people which is vested with some powers to exercise control over the affairs of the people in its domain (Lawal, 2000:60). Local government is expected to play the role of promoting the democratic ideal of society and coordinating development programs at the local level. It is also expected to serve as a basis of socio-economic development in the locality.
The local government is the third tier of the administrative structure in Nigeria. There are (774) local government areas (LGAs) in the country (Ajay, 2000). The major role of local government as spelt out in the 1999 constitution is as follows. Consideration and making recommendation to the state commission on economic planning or any similar body on economic developments of state, Collection of rates radio and television licenses, establishment and maintenances of cemeteries, burial ground and homes for the destitute or infirm, provision and maintenance of public conveniences and refuse disposal. The local government council also work hand in hand with state government on issues such as the provision and maintenances of primary education, development of agriculture and natural resources, provision and maintenances of health services with a view to ensure community development. The administrations under the leadership of Governor Umaru Nasamu Dakin Gari has place high premium on rural development such as execution of community self help projects and encourage community members to undertake such developmental efforts and programs. Even the past regimes have established a numbers of programs towards the improvement of Community Development, such programs are Directorate for food Road and rural infrastructure (DFFRI) and Community Development Banks also established in 1990. These were aimed at improving the condition of rural dwellers. During the Babangida administration the structural adjustment program (SAP) was introduced in Nigeria in order to solve the financial problem of the teaming populace. Government put more emphasis on development of self help projects that are also viable to the communities (Euehae, 1989). In line with the above, the Kebbi state
government has introduced the system of competing among the local government areas in the area of community development.
However, this is the process that brings the citizens to get involve and also shoulder responsibility in community affairs, it aims at involving the community development method by planning, organizing coordinating, analyzing and evaluating development activities. Such activities include assisting the community members by the government, voluntary organization and individual community development which is said to be the foundation of all development matters in the community.
Furthermore, there is the problem of inadequacy of manpower couple with ineffective and the injudicious utilization of projects being renders by the local government to community development efforts. Another factor that hindered the effort of local government in community development is the negative and careless attitude of traditional, religious and youth leaders which has caused slow progress towards community development activities. The communities cannot be subsume from blame due to their negative and careless attitude in handling the projects executed by the local government which is considered to be as result of inadequate awareness in maintenance culture and utilization of services as required. Finally, state/federal government interference is another problem facing local government in Nigeria (Aghsayere, 1999).
Moreover, the caliber of personnel at the local government services is nothing to write home about through state and federal government are trying on personnel or manpower development at this level of government is concerned but
lot more need to be done. If this numerous function and responsibilities that are giving to local governments are expected to the performed very well, there is a need therefore for adequate and well trained qualified manpower, federal and state governments should continue to assists in the area of man power need for the local government. Additionally, local government share of statutory allocations or grant should be channeled direct to them rather than through state government. Similarly, state government should stop interfering unnecessarily into local government matters. Finally, local government should be granted more autonomy in order for them to perform well.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
The aim and objective of any organization is the accomplishment of the purpose for which it is set up, and that determines the legitimacy of its existence. In the same vein, local Government authorities are established to achieve the purpose of improving the welfare of rural community by bringing government program to the grass root level.
Despite this laudable conceptualization, Local government authorities are seen not to be satisfactorily fulfilling their basic mandate of ensuring rapid development in their respective constituency. Myriad of problems that bothered on social welfare and physical development of rural communities punctuate the entire system, Ngaski Local government area is a case in point. The local government has been existence for barely 24 years and within the span of this existence, significant
amount of resources have been pumped into the noble cause of bringing infrastructural development to the grass root by the Federal government. In the analysis of these terms of reference concerning the pivotal function of the local government council, not much has been achieved over the years. The significant proportion of the local citizen wallows in object poverty, illiteracy level is quite unprecedented: there is evidence of poor infrastructural development in terms of road networks, water supply, health care delivery system and other deserving social welfare services.
The problem in the local government is even manifest in the Country side where no evidence of government effort relating to constructive programmes or projects of some sort can be identified. Agricultural activities that form the nexus of the occupational profile of the teeming population are carried out in a persistent manner of traditional context. The much popular agricultural intensives or intervention to the local farmers by the respective government and administration with the view to improving agricultural production in the state is totally unfelt or even unnoticed.
Epidemiological experience in the country side is unfavorable owing to lack of effective and efficient coordination in the medical health care delivery package across the local government council, despite all efforts by state, Federal, and intergovernmental agencies like the United Nations, the ECOWAS, the European Union and the World Bank. This underscores the reasons why cases relating to much
eradicated diseases such as polio meningitis measles etc are still been experience among the remote population.
Issues of manpower or personnel development and other capacity development project that could necessarily augment sporadic intensity in welfare and social services development in and across the width and breath of the local government are less proportionally in place. Considering this litany of problems therefore this study is intended to systematically examine the situation and make necessary recommendation.
1.2 Research Questions
This study is therefore build around the following questions:
1. What is the role of Ngaski local government council in the development of rural community?
2. To what extent can it be determined that the role of local government in community development will ensure community development?
3. How does local government execute community development projects?
4. What are the problems faced by the local government in the execution of community development projects?
5. What are the ways through which the role of local government in community development can be enhanced?
1.3 Objectives of the study
The broad objective is to examine the role of local government in rural community development. Specifically, the study is aim at:
1. Examining the role of Ngaski local government council in the rural community
2. Investigating the extent to which the role of local government will ensure community development
3. Examining the ways and manners local government execute community development project.
4. Determining the problems faced by the local government in the execution of community development can be enhancing.
5. Identify various ways through which the role of local government in community development can be enhanced.
1.4 Scope and delimitation of the study
Ngaski local government council was created in the year 1991, with headquarter at Wara town. The local council is situated in the south eastern part of Birinin Kebbin, Kebbi state capital. It is bounded in the north by Yauri local government, in the east Nasko local government of Niger state, in the west and south by bargu local government of Niger state. The entire local government council consist of ten wards each headed by a traditional village head and constitutionally represented by a councilor. The wards are as follows; Libata/Kwanga, Wara, Kwakwarna, Makawa, Gafara, Ngaski, Garin Baka, Utono/Hoge, Birnin Yauri,
Kambuwa. The study borders on the role of local government on rural community development as well the problems hindering effective local government in Ngaski.
The limitation to this study is that, it strictly covers the period from the year 2000 to 2014 is also base on the development of rural communities of Ngaski local government kebbi state i.e. effort policies and program which bring about development o the rural communities.
1.5 Justification of the study
The study is necessary because rural development program is a program that is concerned with people living in the rural areas who accidentally formed the bulk of the population. They are the main produces of what the nation is consuming. They produce raw materials to both local and international industries and contributing to the nation’s foreign exchange i.e. (GNP) and also is providing revenue to the government. To this the study is therefore expected to give more light on the interdependence between Ngaski local government and its rural communities and as well how the rows maintained their relation in order to improve the living stander of both entities.
1.6 The Significance of the study
This study is significant in the sense that it will be a research area for study on the issues considering policies and programmes for rural community development.
Moreover it would serve as basis for further research for interested students finally; it would serve as a point of reference for organizations having problems related to the topic of discussion.
HO: there is no significant relationship between the roles of the local government and community development.
1.9 Definition of key terms
1. Role: It has been define in oxford advanced learners Dictionary (2nd edition) as a part played by an actor a factor, function, person’s task or duty in an
undertaken. Role also seen to be position someone has taken or is expected to take in an organization in society or relationship (Oxford University Press 2005).
Role in the context of this research indicate that society is made of parts and each part play role to rich equilibrium, this mean that Ngaski local government is one of the third tier of government is allocated with certain expectations and responsibilities that it play toward this meting the basic means of its population refers to as role.
2. Local government: this is defined by different by scholars in different way based on their intellectual point of view, among such scholars who defined local government are: Berber (1987) who defined local government as non
soverign community, possessing legal rights and necessary organization that
regulate its town affairs. The United Nations office for public administration (2006) defined local government as a political sub-division of a nation which is constituted by the law that as sub power to excise for prescribed purpose. The government body of such an entity is elected or otherwise legally selected. Wala (2003) sees local government from the point of view of local masses participation. Local government can also be defined as that unit of administration with define territory and power as well as administration authority with related autonomy (Robson, 1970).
Local government in respect of this research refers to the government at the grass root or local authority established and back up by the 1999 constitution to bring to the people at the grass root or local level, government sense of belonging in which Ngaski local government is one of the local government interest by this research.
3. Community: The term community is also taken to mean a territorial bounded social system which people live in harmony and intimacy and share common social, political, economic and cultural characteristics.
Community in this regard is refers to all the villages under Ngaski local government that are expected to benefit from the role of Ngaski local government in proving the basic necessity of life for its population of all inclusive.
4. Development: Development is derived from word “Develop” which is an
English word. It simply meant improvement or improvement economically
because all other factors depend on it. Wala (2004) sees development as a continuous process of positive change in the quality of span of life of a person development means to improve in the social, technological and political development.
Development in this aspect mean the situation where by Ngaski local government as one of the third tier of government uses its resources generated from both federal, state and internal source to uplift the living standard of its population by investing its resources and focusing also its social policy in sectors like agricultural sector health care service delivery sector and educational sector to bring level of poverty under management within its jurisdiction.
5. Community development: This can be defined as a movement design to promote better living condition for community with the active participation and if possible on the initiate of the community, if this initiative is not forth coming it should be aroused and stimulated by the special techniques design to secure the active enthusiastic response of the community (Encouragement of initiative in African society, 1984).
Community development in this research refers to all process carried out by Ngaski local government which involved community participation in the designation of and maintenance of policies, program and then execution of all forms of development project in its rural communities which may range
from seeking the opinion of people, investing both competent man power
and resources as well as carrying out a kind of community orientation program so that the rural communities population should corporate and participate in the execution and maintenance of this project in order to link and reflect the local government economic growth to the living standard of its population.
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