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This study assessed the role of local government in service delivery with a specific focus on Kaduna North local government from 1999-2011. It sought to identify services delivered by local government and to ascertain the impact of the services on the wellbeing of the people. Two sets of questionnaires were designed and administered i.e. one for the inhabitants of the area and the other for employees of the local government, so as to capture both the views of the inhabitants of the area and the employees of the local government. Questionnaires were conveniently distributed to 360 inhabitants and 314 were returned. Questionnaires were also conveniently distributed to 30 employees of the local government and the 30 were returned.

This was further aided by interviews, focus group discussions, personal observation and the review of relevant literatures. The study revealed that, mismanagement of funds, joint account system, lack of transparency and accountability and restricted revenue sources available to local government and inability to effectively utilize its internal sources of revenue generation had impacted negatively on the provision of public goods at the local level.

This is evidence in the poor educational facilities, poor healthcare centres, roads, etc; several problems were however identified as constraints to the service delivery efforts of the local government. These are; lack of viable sources of revenue, mismanagement, joint account, undue interference from state government etc. Hence, this study therefore recommends for the full autonomous status of local government both financially and administratively in order to fully deliver on its mandate, viable sources of revenue and a leadership recruitment process that is merit driven and people of unquestionable character and integrity should be at the helm of affairs, among others.





Declaration ——————————————————————— i


Certification ——————————————————————– ii


Dedication ———————————————————————- iii


Acknowledgement ———————————————————– -iv


Table of Content ————————————————————— v


List of Tables ——————————————————————viii-ix


Appendix ———————————————————————–x


Abstract ————————————————————————xi







1.0                                                        GENERAL INTRODUCTION


1.1                Background to the Study ————————————————– 1-3


1.2                Statement of the Research Problem ————————————– 4-5


1.3                Research Questions ——————————————————— 5


1.4                Aim and Objectives of the Study —————————————- 5-6


1.5                Research Assumptions —————————————————— 6


1.6                Scope and Limitations of the Study ————————————— 6-7


1.7                Significance of the Study ————————————————— 7


1.8                Research Methodology —————————————————– 8


1.8.2            Study Sample and Sampling Techniques ——————————– 8-13


1.8.3         Method of Data Analysis ————————————————— 13


1.9            Organization of Chapters ————————————————- 14




1.10         Working Definition of Key Terms ————————————– 14









2.1            Introduction —————————————————————- 15


2.2            Conceptual Perspectives: ———————————————— 15


2.2.1        Local Government ——————————————————– 15-19


2.2.2      Service Delivery ———————————————————— 19-21


2.2.3      Perspective on Local Government Creation and Service Delivery —21-26


2.2.4    Local Government as an Instrument of Service Delivery in Nigeria– 27-38


2.2.5    Theoretical Framework —————————————————– 39-46






3.1    Introduction——————————————————————— 47


3.2   Local Government System in the Pre-Colonial Nigeria—————— 47-49


3.3   Local Government System in the Colonial Nigeria———————– 49-53


3.4   Local Government System in the Post-Colonial Nigeria—————– 53-55









4.1         Introduction ——————————————————————- 56


4.2        Brief History of Kaduna North Local Government ———————- 56-57


4.3        Geography ——————————————————————— 57-58


4.4        People ————————————————————————– 58


4.5        Economy ———————————————————————– 59-60


4.6        Administrative Structure —————————————————– 60-61


4.7        Service Delivery by Kaduna North Local Government —————— 62


4.7.1   Local Government Finances and Expenditure —————————– 62


4.8      Public Assessment of Service Delivery ————————————- 63-82


4.5    Discussion, Findings and Verification of Assumption ——————— 82-86



5.1 Introduction ———————————————————————- 87
5.2 Summary ————————————————————————- 87-88
5.3 Conclusion ———————————————————————– 88-89
5.4 Recommendations————————————————————— 89-91
References —————————————————————————— 92-101
Appendices —————————————————————————- 102-120






1.0                                                        GENERAL INTRODUCTION


1.1 Background to the Study


Local government administration in Nigeria has had a tortuous history. It is an important process of government with significant consequences for national development. It is about mobilization of human and material resources at the grassroots level for societal progress and development.


Local government is supposed to be broadly participatory and responsive to the needs of the people at the local community levels, such as villages and towns. Yet, during the period when the British colonized Nigeria and the mid 1970‟s when a major reform initiative was launched, local government administration was essentially undemocratic and authoritarian, either directly colonial in nature, or in indirectly so, but indeed undemocratic, under various traditional governance authorities referred to as Native Administration by the British colonial rulers (Jega, 2006:1).


The local government reforms introduced by the Murtala/Obasanjo military regime in 1976, sought to democratize the system, by introducing elective offices, and also tried to use the new system „to bring government nearer to the people‟ for the purpose of „grassroots‟ development (FRN, 1976).The desire by the government to maximize rural and grassroots development is one of the major objectives of local government system in Nigeria. The above role is very significant because 70% of the country‟s population live and operate within this area (Ibok, 2010:12)


Historically, local government developed as an institution for the provision of essential services to the people especially at the grassroots. Through series of reforms over the years, the system has undergone so many changes in respect of structure and function. In Omenka‟s view (cited in Tativ, 2011:2), the reforms were necessitated by the need to properly define the various organs and functionaries of local government because of the realization that local government is an essential instrument of service delivery.


According to the fourth schedule of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,the exclusive function of local government includes, economic planning, collecting taxes, rates and the provision of social amenities like market, feeder roads, health services, portable water etc. among others. These functions simply defined the rationale behind the existence of local government system in Nigeria.


Local governments have a role to play in the economic development of any nation. Constitutionally, they should provide for the democratic representation of local communities. This role covers a wide range of responsibilities and services which impact heavily on the livelihoods of individuals. They are, for example, key to determining where infrastructure should be located, to protect our environment and to provide services which are crucial to quality of life-primary schools, primary healthcare facilities, drinking water, recreational facilities, roads and other services.


It is therefore expected that local government as sub-units should collaborate with the national government in the delivery of services towards the sustenance of democratic process.


Scholars have argued that democratic governance and service delivery at the local government level is the vital tool for the social, political and economic development of Nigeria as a whole. It is worthy to note that Nigeria has been under military rule for a long time since 1966 and anytime there was a transition to civil rule raises citizen‟s expectation. The return to civil rule in 1999 after long years of military rule ushered in high citizen‟s development expectations at all levels of the three tiers of government.


This is consistent with what democracy theoretically is all about and entails better life-participation, freedom, accountability of political leaders etc. This was the particular case in 1999 i.e. a revolution of expectations by citizens. After few years of civilian rule, political executives and politicians in general started to place high emphasis on their achievements at all levels of government. The study examines this issue at the local government level with an empirical focus on Kaduna North local government of Kaduna State.


As an urban local government, it has a high population, diversities, complexities and demand for wide range of services due to its urban/metropolitan nature. There is however, a serious controversy among scholars and administrators including the general populace in respect to the actual performance of local government in Nigeria, as a grassroots government. This is particularly with reference to service delivery. To some observers and administrators the system is an embodiment of failure and a symbol of confusion, mediocrity, inefficiency and waste (Obasanjo, 2003, Tafida, 2005).

There is a general low opinion about the role of local government as an agent of development and service delivery since the return to civil rule in 1999, while the politicians have orchestrated that there have been glaring service delivery, others are skeptical. In other words, virtually all the three levels of government have not satisfactorily performed genuine developmental roles.


Historically speaking, local governments have been assigned different functions. In colonial time, native authorities were primarily established for maintenance of law and order. With independence, emphasis shifted from law enforcement to the provision of social services (Adeyemo, 2005:18).


How well Nigerian local governments have carried out their constitutionally assigned functions has become a subject of national debate among scholars and practitioners. To say the least, their operations have come under serious and severe criticism with some persons calling for the scrapping of the third tier of government. Since the return to civil rule in 1999, there is a widespread agitation that the huge financial resources allocated to local government did not correspond to the services delivered. Therefore, this study is conducted to assess the service delivery mechanism of Kaduna North local government within the context of the current civil rule in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Research Problem


The study assessed the nature of services delivered by the Kaduna North local government vis-à-vis its financial allocations since the return to civil rule in 1999-2011.


The expediency for the existence of local government anywhere in the world stems from the need to facilitate development at the grassroots. Within this understanding, local governments were created in Nigeria as a third tier of government to ensure effective, measurable and efficient service delivery to communities. Some of the services expected from local government authority include; Primary Education, Feeder Roads, Culvert and Bridges, Agricultural and Natural Services and Health Care Services etc. Since the return to civil rule in 1999. Scholars and Practitioners have made different claims in respect of the performance of local government system in Nigeria.


1.3 Research Questions


The major questions addressed include:


(i) What is the nature of performance of the Kaduna North local government in service delivery in the areas of Primary Education, Health Care, Feeder Road and Infrastructural Facilities between 1999-2011?


(ii)To what extent these services delivered by the Kaduna North local government impacted effectively to the development of the people?


  • What are the challenges that have impeded or are impeding the effective performance of the local government in terms of service delivery between 1999-2011?


  • What are the possible solutions to these challenges?



1.4Aim and Objectives of the Study


The aim of the study is to examine the role of Kaduna North local government area of Kaduna state in service delivery. The specific objectives of the study include the following:


  • To examine the nature of performance based on the services delivered by Kaduna North local government in the areas of Education, Health Care, Feeder Road and Infrastructure from 1999 to 2011.
  • Examine the extent to which these services have been delivered to the people of the area?


  • Discover the challenges facing Kaduna North local government in the delivery of services between 1999-2011?


  • Check possible solutions to the challenges?



1.5 Research Assumptions


The study is guided by the following research assumptions:


  • Kaduna North local government has provided some basic health and social services derived from its financial allocations.


  • Kaduna North local government has not significantly performed its role of service delivery within the available financial allocations between 1999-2011.


  • State/Local Government joint account system is a major constraint to effective service delivery by the Kaduna North local government.


  • Proper utilization of financial allocations can enhance the capacity of the Kaduna North local government in the delivery of services.


1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study


The study focuses on service delivery by Kaduna North local government from 1999 to 2011. Specifically the study focuses on education, healthcare service, e.t.c.


The study commenced from 1999 as the beginning of the year of our case study because  it  is  the  year  of  the  return  to  civil  rule  after  long  years  of  military interregnum. And also 2011 as terminal date because the span period is about one 6



decade and two years of civil rule, a period one will expect to see major differences between military and civil rule in terms of mode of governance generally and service delivery to the people in particular.


In conducting the study, the researcher faced a number of constraints which included: Finances- There is lack of adequate finance and sponsorship to carry out the research in all the local government areas of the state, that is why we are limited to the local government under study and Data Gathering- the secretive nature of government and the unwillingness of local government officials under study to reveal relevant document that they termed secrets in order to aid this research, especially those documents that have to do with the income and allocations to the local government from the federation account, internally generated revenue and files of various projects executed by the local government.


1.7 Significance of the Study


The study is significant because a lot of the studies on local government were done during the military era, now with the return to civil rule in place and the publication of huge financial resources allocated to the local government system. This has enabled us to have an insight into the activities of the local government system, which is not significantly different from the military era.


1.8 Research Methodology


Research methodology is one of the most important aspects of any scientific research. The researcher derived relevant materials on the subject under study from two main sources viz: Primary and Secondary methods of data collection:


  • Primary Methods of Data Collection is the process whereby the researcher went to the field to get first hand information. Data was collected through the use of Questionnaires, Interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGD).


  • Secondary Method of Data Collection comprises published and unpublished works on the subject under study. It includes review of works written by scholars, policy makers, books, journals, magazines, newspapers, e.t.c. (Mbachu, 2005:60). These materials were sourced through the Kashim Ibrahim Library (KIL) ABU Zaria, Postgraduate Library of the Department of Political Science, Internets, and Newspapers etc.


1.8.1 Study Sample and Sampling Techniques


The population for this study comprised of all the people of Kaduna North local government. According to the 2006 census, the population of Kaduna North local government is 364,575 (NPC, 2006 Census).


Kaduna north local government comprises of the following twelve (12) wards; Kawo, Gabasawa, Kabala, Hanyin-Banki /Ungwa-Kanawa, Abakpa/Ungwa Shanu, Ungwa Dosa, Badarawa/Malali, Maiburji, Ungwa-Liman, Shaba, Ungwa-Sarki, and Ungwa-Gaji. Among the significant groups in the population are the youth, teachers, health workers, farmers, civil servants, women, traders, local government officials and functionaries, and politicians. These various groups were sampled.


The sample size of this study is 360 or 0.001% of the sampling frame. That is; 360 divided by 364,575 = 0.001%. We purposively selected 360 respondents judgmentally as a Non-Probability sampling technique.




Below is the distribution of the wards population of the local government and the


sample size.


Table 1.1 Summary of Population and Distribution of Questionnaires Base on Electoral Wards

S/N Electoral Wards Population Sample Size Per Ward
(2006 Census)
1 Kawo 49,710 49
2 Gabasawa 38,892 38
3 Kabala 37,641 37
4 HayinBanki/Kanawa 44,608 44
5 Abakpa/Ungwa-Shanu 33,362 33
6 UngwaDosa 21,039 21
7 Badarawa/Malali 56,795 56
8 Maiburji 20,821 21
9 Ungwa-Liman 17,594 17
10 Shaaba 16,583 16
11 UngwaGaji 19,640 19
12 UngwaSarki 7,890 9
Total 12 364,575 360



The ward sample size of the study was obtained through the use of the following formula:

Ward Sample Population= Ward Population x Sample Size
Total Population of the LGA 1


e.g. for Kawo Wards =   49,710   x 360   = 49
364,575 1


This is what was replicated in all the electoral wards to arrive at the samples for each ward.


The study area which is Kaduna North local government comprises of six (6) district and twelve (12) electoral wards. Below is tabular representation of questionnaire distribution and their percentages based on the twelve (12) electoral wards:


Table 1.2. Number of Questionnaires Administered in Each Electoral Ward

S/N Electoral Questionnaires Questionnaires-Returned Questionnaires- Not
Wards Distributed Number Returned
Number % Number %
1 Kawo 49 13.6 45 14.3 4 8.7
2 Gabasawa 38 10.6 34 10.8 4 8.7
3 Kabala 37 10.3 32 10.2 5 10.9
4 HayinBanki/K 44 12.2 41 13.1 3 6.5
5 Abakpa/Ungw 33 9.2 27 8.6 6 13
6 UngwaDosa 21 5.8 19 6.1 2 4.4
7 Badarawa/Ma 56 15.6 49 15.6 7 15.2
8 Maiburji 21 5.8 16 5.1 5 10.9
9 Ungwa-Liman 17 4.7 16 5.1 1 2.2
10 Shaaba 16 4.4 13 4.1 3 6.5
11 UngwaGaji 19 5.3 13 4.1 6 13
12 UngwaSarki 09 2.5 09 2.9
Tota 12 360 100 314 100 46 100
Source: Field Survey, 2012.



On the whole, a total of 360 (100%) questionnaires were administered on the twelve (12) electoral wards of Kaduna north local government area. Out of this number only 46(12.8%) were not recovered and a total of 314(87.2%) questionnaires were recovered from the respondents. In addition, 30 questionnaires were administered to the staff of the local government and were all retrieved.


Our analysis will be based on the 314 questionnaires that were filled and retrieved and the additional 30 questionnaires administered to the staff of the local government.


The Multistage Cluster Sampling Technique was used to divide the population of the local government into ward cluster of convenience. This technique involves sampling in successive stages such that at each stage, selection is made by using any of the well known probability sampling methods.


After the division of the whole population of the local government into wards as cluster of convenience, Systematic Sampling Method was also used to alphabetically organize the population in order of wards and selection intervals based on households. The target groups is the adult males and females, the household population figures was used to determine the selection interval of the individual respondent at the ward levels, by dividing it with the sample size of each ward. Street arrangements of houses were used based on systematic intervals both in organized and unorganized settings, after the first household was selected randomly. Below are the household selection intervals.


Table 1.3 Selection Interval of Sample Size Using Systematic Sampling




S/N Electoral Wards Households Sample Size Selection Interval
1 Abakpa/Ungwa-Shanu 6,814 33 207
2 Badarawa/Malali 13,581 56 243
3 Gabasawa 10,899 38 287
4 HayinBanki/Kanawa 11,386 44 259
5 Kabala 10,763 37 291
6 Kawo 12,142 49 248
7 Maiburji 5,845 21 278
8 Shaaba 5,322 16 333
9 UngwaDosa 5,924 21 282
10 UngwaGaji 5,729 19 302
11 Ungwa-Liman 4,887 17 288
12 UngwaSarki 3,066 9 341
Total 12 96,358 360 3,359

Source: Health Department, Kaduna North Local Government


The table above has shown the systematic selection of respondents via the number of households as arranged alphabetically. The selection interval was derived by dividing the total number of household in each ward by the sample size of each ward. Six research assistants were used to aid the researcher in the administration and retrieval of the questionnaires.


Focus Group Discussions (FGD)


Two categories of focus group discussions were conducted. These are; the local government officials and the residents of the area. Those who were drawn from the local government officials are ten (10) in numbers which cuts across the various departments in the local government.


While, that of the residents/inhabitants, four (4) wards were randomly selected through closed balloting system. Namely: Gabasawa, Kawo, Ungwa-Gaji and Shaaba wards comprising of 12 residents/respondents in each ward.




Interviews were conducted whereby 30 people were interviewed. Amongst those interviewed were the past and present Chairmen of the local government who served up to the period of 2011. The Secretary of the local government, Heads of department in the local government, councilors, traditional authorities, community leaders, women, youths, etc.


All these categories of respondents were purposively selected because of their strategic importance in the local government and as inhabitants of the area; they are influential in decision making process.


1.8.5 Method of Data Analysis


The data were presented in tabular form showing numbers of respondents, frequencies and percentages of responses to questions asked. Also, This was also backed up by our interview and focus group discussions.


1.9 Organization of Chapters


The thesis is structured/organized into five closely inter-related chapters. Therefore, The first chapter is the General Introduction which outlines mainly the background to the study, the research problem, aims and objectives of the study, research assumptions, scope and limitations, significance of the study, and methodology while the second chapter is Literature Review and Theoretical Framework, the third chapter is Perspectives on Civil Rule and Service Delivery in Nigeria, while the fourth chapter is Background of Kaduna North Local Government and Assessment of Service Delivery Role, the fifth chapter is Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation.




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