PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA
PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA
The title of this research work is, problems and prospects of local government administration in Nigeria” with particular reference to Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State. It has been identified that accounting and financial reporting in the public sector particularly at the local government level was not given adequate attention. In the course of carrying out this study, the following objectives among others were set which included. The identification of major causes of maladies in the financial system of the local government; to examine the accounting department, to find out if it is manned by competent and qualified personnel, to examine whether the sources of income to the local government finances, to examine the various problems of the local government finances and accounts and to examine the prospects of improving the available sources of the local government finances. To achieve the set objectives, some research questions were formulated which comprised: an increase in local government share of federation account from 20-25% would help local governments in achieving at least 75% of their statutory responsibilities, the employment of low caliber staff has a significant negative relationship with the low efficiency and productivity of local governments, the Accounting system of local government is not effective in operation and that another source of tax revenue is not essential for Nigerian Local Governments. Two broad research methods were adopted in this study which were personal interviews and fully designed and well-structured questionnaires. For the purposes of analyzing the hypotheses, chi-square (x2) technique was adopted.
As a result of conscientious and of course painstaking study done, a lot of findings were made which included inter-alia, there was an ample proof that the greater number of local government’s employees are unqualified. Other taxes to be collected by the local governments can improve its financial base, the employment of low caliber staff has no significant negative relationship with the low efficiency and productivity of the local government; and increase, from 20 – 25% in the Federal Government Statutory Allocation of federation account would not be enough to detray a reasonable proportion of such responsibilities, embezzlement, receipt of huge kick-backs, contract inflations, large scale salary, fraud, auditing and internal control problems were discovered as some of the major accounting and financial problems of the local governments.
As a result, the following recommendations were proffered: efforts to be intensified in the collection of revenue and continuously seek new avenues for local taxations, emphasis to be placed on the recruitment of qualified, experienced and well-trained personnel for the assessment, collection and general administration of local taxes and rates, design a sound system of budgetary control, installation of a system of internal control, projects to be evaluated and implemented, proper feasibility study to be carried out; and internal funding to be improved by its engagement in commercial ventures.
1.1BACKGROUND OG THE STUDY
Some form of local arrangement and organization had existed which formed the umbrella for safe interaction economic transaction regulation adjudication and execution. These organization though localized in nature and structure had implication for rule adjudication and rule execution then care colonialism which was a British creation the British colonial master were resourceful and were given free hand to utilize what was in place in their area of control for the purpose of administration and possibly the much vaunted access to economic resources of the colonial people.
In the case of Nigeria Britain adopted the indicted rule system under the leadership of Lord Lugard Even though Sir George Goldile in 1886 adumbrated the system for the Royal Niger company in 1998 Sir Ralph more advocated for Nigeria a system that would incorporate and exercise power through native institutions.
Local government was know under colonial rule as native administration and it is the third tier of government F.C Okoli in his broke theory and practice of local government (a Nigerian perspective) defined local government as “government that restricted to geographical areas within a large government” the also said that it is a local democracy exercised by the people through their own representative for the benefit of the whole people. The local government enjoys some degree of authority but there is a limit to it.
Prof Odenigwe also said that that local government is a system of local administration under which local communities and towns are organized to maintain law and order to provide some limited range of social services and public amenities. It provides for the community and enables them to conduct their affairs efficiently and regulates the action of the members of the general public.
Local administration has to do with organizing human and materials resources that the activities of the national government extent to all the looks and crannies of the state.
Local government administration therefore is the act of combining the efforts of the people’s representatives within a geographical area to ensure that the activities of the national government and their impacts are felt at the grass root through efficiency and effectiveness
Having defined the local government local administration and local government it is necessary to also study the historical background and development of local government in Nigeria.
As stated earlier on his paper the history of local government in Nigeria followed pre-colonial and post colonial political development in Nigeria. Before colonialism there was nothing like local government rather there was native authorities relative autonomous villages towns and ethnic groups with little contacts with each other local government is a baby to colonialism. Initially the colonial masters introduced the local government through the use of the people or ethnic leaders like in the north where the Emirs were used in indirect rule system of ruling the people.
The colonial administrators the crown officers and the regional governors appointed officers. The appointer were called the district offers DOS they were given the duties of legislation execution and judiciary but because of the heterogeneous nature of the nation each local government has it’s own system of operation.
In 1976 the Nigeria military government embarked upon a nation-wide local government reform which established a single tier some local government council were later entrenched in section 7 (1) of 1979 constitution in 1979. form hence on local government was loyally recognized as the there tier of government the second in national government. This helped to bring government nearer to the people to enable them the opportunity of participating in the administration of their areas. The representatives were usually elected by the people and they are vested with the duties of planning organizing coordinating and controlling. The are faced with challenges in course of carrying out those duties and when they cannot achieve the set goals they are adjudged ineffective.
1.2STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The functions of administration in any organization which includes local government involves planning executing and controlling as earlier mentioned the demands of the duties are those task that must be carried out in order to achieve the set objective of the local government. Those objectives include the provision of infrastructure basic social needs welfare and security of the community etc this paper will attempt to find out.
1.The problem facing the government of the local government
2.The problem the local government staff encounter
3.How the local government generates an spends her finances
4.How continuity in local government is affected by changes of government
5.The extent of inter relationship between the local government and other tiers of government
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