LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE AND GRASSROOT DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA Public A…

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ABSTRACT

This study examines the local government finance and service delivery for community development. It adopted a descriptive research design to elicit data. 100 participants were selected using the simple random sampling technique from the staff of Badagry Local Government. Questionnaire was used as the instrument for the study and the collected data were statistically analyzed with the simple percentage. The findings revealed that there is significant relationship between the state financial control and effective financial management at the local government area. This has led to rapid development at thecommunal level. This prompted a recommendation that the state government should do more in terms of assisting the local government to achieve more rapid development.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Local Government as third tier of government is very important because it is very close to the people. Local Government is the third and most basic level of hierarchy in the three tiers ofadministration in Nigeria. It can be seen as a catalyst for grass- root, political, economic and social development.

Politically, local government system is expected to bring the government closer to the people though popular participation in governance. Economically, the local government is expected to ensure that the fruits of development are evenly distributed throughout the length and breadth of the country.

The evolution of local government administration in Nigeria began (over 30 years ago. Though in the early years of the independence, local governments were not given the necessary support in the running of local affairs. However after the attainment of independence in 1960, the Federal Government began to have interest in the administration of local affairs.

Local government as the third tier of government has been largely influenced by the purpose which it is expected to serve and the degree of autonomy it should enjoy, one view is that is that local government. is .a political authority set-up by a nation or state as subordinate authority for the purpose of dispersing or decentralizing political powers.

Firstly, it could take the form of decentralization which is handing over some administrative authority or responsibility to lower level within central government ministries and agencies. It entails shifting of the workload from centrally located officials to staff or officers outside of the national or state capital.

Secondly, it could take the form of development, which is the creation or strengthening of the financial capabilities of sub-national units of government. Their activities are substation outside the direct central of the central government.

Under the devolution form, local units of government are autonomous and independent them separate or distinct (Gbogega, 1989).

Meanwhile, the history of local government in Nigeria can be conveniently traced to the “Native administration” system introduced by the colonial government. Before the advent of colonial administration, in 1861, the people of Nigeria had developed and operated one indigenous formal political and administrative; system with different people of the entities later became Nigeria.

1.2    HISTORICALLY BACKGROUND OF BADAGRY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Sometimes in 1885, a Franco British frontier Commission met in Badagry to established boundaries between former Dabomeg, now Republic of Benin and Nigeria but earlier than this time precisely on 7th of July 1863, the Akran of Badagry, (Oba of Badagry) and this his Chiefs and Signed the treaty of cession of the town of Badagry and its territory to great Britain though the Queen’s representatives.

This made Badagry not to be placed under Lagos territory. Badagry was administered first as a district council and later as a divisional council of the colony province under the Westernregion of Nigeria Local Government Laws of 1953 and 1959.  However, the 1976 local government council with Awori-Ajeromi and Egun-Awori, districts under its jurisdictional authority.

Though the extent of the present day Badagry Local Government Area was first to administered between 1980 – 1983.  However, the democratization of the local government 1989 in Nigeria later led to the excision of Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Ojo Local Government Area out of the old Badagry Local Government Council.  Nonetheless, the town has ever remained the headquarters of Badagry Division which is one of the administrative divisions in Lagos State.

The main occupations of the people of Badagry are mat-weaving and fishing, with other domestic trade.  These contribute immensely to the economy of the local government area. Major tribes and language of the area are Egun, Yoruba, and Aworis.  The people of Badagry are predominantly mixed religion with Muslims, Christians and Africa Traditional Religion.

The council secretariat is located on Agric Road at Ajara while it presently runs six other area offices for effective administration.  The establishment of the local government administration, conduct of business, as well as the administrative and financial guidelines at Badagry local government area are governed by the existing local government administration law (1999) in the state which came into force on 4th October 1999.  The Badagry Local government consists of the executive and legislative arms.

The executive arm is made – up of;

A.      Executive Chairman

B.     Vice Chairman

C.     Two Supervisors, namely,

·        Supervisor for Education

·        Supervisor for Agric Rural and Social Development

D. The secretary to the local government

The legislative arm is made up of elected councilors comprising of;

i.       The speaker

ii.       The deputy speaker

iii.     Majority leader

iv.      Minority leader

v.      Other councilors

vi.      Council clerk (A career officer)

Structurally, Badagry Local Government Council has eight departments as follows:

–        Personnel Management

–        Economically Planning Research and Statistics Department

–        Finance Department

–        Budget Department

–        Legal Unit

–        Information Department

–        Audit Waste and Sanitation Unit

–        Primary Health (are services Department]

The Badagry local government council, like other councils derives its revenue from internal and external sources. Internal sources of revenue to the Badagry local government includes, commercially undertakings, such as mass-transit service scheme, motor park fees, market stall and lock – up shop fees, local licenses and fees, returns on investment and othermiscellaneous sources, especially those conferred on the local government by the constitution and laws of the state .

External sources: The Badagry local government area derives its finances externally from,

a.      Federation Account (Federal Allocation)

b.      Value Added Tax (VAT)

c.       Subvention from the state e.g. grants

Administratively, Badagry local government council like others in the state is controlled by the state through the department for local government in terms of personnel matters local government services commission handles it.

1.3    STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The system of local government in Nigeria is get to develop nor has it contributed positively to community development. The local government areas have been facing enormous difficulties despite a considerable injection of fund into them. Such difficulties have been hindering the effectiveness and efficiently of their activities. Those problems arise from financial problem, delay in the receipt of federal grants etc and it has greatly hampered the local governments in rendering appropriate services and meaningful developmental programmes for the people.

The local government areas also lacked qualified manpower to plan for the development at the local level, this is due to the absence of modern techniques of management.

In view of the above, the state felt that effective control and cffic.ent utilization or resources at the focal government level will bring about ideal financial management, the operation of the join t account. It is against the background of these problems that the study seeks to assess the effect of local government financial control on efficient mobilization of resources.

1.4    STATEMENT OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions were asked as a guide to the study

i.       Does Local Government seek permission from the state government before sourcing funds for projects?

ii.      Does the state government exercise financial control over the local government areas?

iii.     Does state financial control help in the enhancement of financial planning at the local government areas?

iv.      Does state grant and local government finances have any positive effect on community development?

v.      Does the state government. gives statutory allocation to local government as at when due?

1.5    STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following hypotheses were formulated as follows:


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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