Home Project-material LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND GRASSROOT DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA A STUDY OF ONITSHA NORTH L.G.A. 2012-2017

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND GRASSROOT DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA A STUDY OF ONITSHA NORTH L.G.A. 2012-2017

Dept: POLITICAL SCIENCE File: Word(doc) Chapters: 1-5 Views: 3

Abstract

This research examined the effect of Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra state and Grassroot development it studied what the poor masses benefit from the local Government. The research relied on the descriptive survey approach and restructured questionnaire for data collection using a sample size of one hundred and fifty (150) respondents was used for the study. The finding of the study revealed that the local government did not perform well in the developing of grassroot level over some years. These concluded that there is poor development in Onitsha North L.G.A due to government inaction. The research recommends that the Local Government council should use direct labour in carrying out project rather than use of contractor in developmental project.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1           

Background to the Study

 

Local Government is an institution of government through which affairs of local people are managed under a law made for that reason by the central government to carry out grassroots development. It is a government created for the purpose of efficient and effective administration of the localities. In other words, local government is the lower of administration to whose law and regulations, and the communities who live social and political lives are subjects. In view of these conceptual definitions and interpretation of the terms local government is perceived as local self-government or grassroots democracy.

 

This history of local government system in Nigeria for grassroots development dates back to the colonial days. Although contact with Europeans dates back to the fifteenth century, it was not until 1861 before the first steps were taken to establish an administration by Britain. By then, the colonial administration that was created was based on indirect rule system. It was then required that that administration should be carried out through traditional rulers and institutions. This necessitated the creation of native authority system in its most rudimentary form from 1890s to 1930s. According to Aghayere (2010), the main function of the native authorities was to maintain law and order.

However, in the early 1950s, the native authority system was modernized and constituted on a representative basis. Anyebe (2002) observed that the old regions of the East, West and North, as well as a result of different levels of development traversed various administration prior to the major 1976 Local government reforms. It was clearly seen that the colonial local administration revolved around traditional rulers, with the unit of local administration referred to as the “native authority”.

 

The unification of local government in 1976 reform which aimed mainly at unifying the hither to multiple system of local government in Nigeria as a strong third tier of government in practical terms, correct the problems confronting these councils etc., a lot of changes were carried out in the system of local government in Nigeria. For the first time, the country was given a common, single-tie structure of local government in place of the various structures of different states (National Guidelines for Local Government Reform, 1976). The framework for local government autonomy was then put at least in the formal sense; however, the local governments were not issued the necessary administrative and financial autonomy that could enable them to operate as a distructive level of government. Anyebe (2002) posited that Political Bureau set up by the Babangida administration endorsed the Dasuki Commission recommendation and more responsibilities were devolved to the Local Government with some measures of autonomy to function as the third tier of government. Subsequently in 1993, this development was frittered with the dismantling of all democratic structures by the Abacha regime. By 1994, at the local government which was a return to the status quo ante, local government was placed as caretaker committees at the mercy of state military administrators.

 

Sequel to the above, the 1999 constitution simultaneously but contradictorily recognizes local government as the third tier of government and making them to derive their power from the state governments under the State Joint Local Government Account (SJLGA). To this end and by implications, the power of local government to effectively implement its policies and programmes for effective grassroots development agenda seems to be whittled down. This affects virtually all local government councils in Nigeria especially Onitsha North Local Government Area, Anambra State in its grassroots development purposes. (1999 constitution)

 

Onitsha North Local Government Area has since 2013 renewed its focal points on decentralization such enacting laws to elevate the degree of fiscal devolution and local autonomy, strengthening Urban (such as Onitsha Metropolis) and local governance and fostering citizen participation source. It has equally since 2017 started partnering with civil society organization (CSOs) to support more effective service delivery, citizen engagement and local government orientation on the skills and knowledge required via Ose-main Market enterprises. Onitsha North Local Government Area has now started building Local Government capacity and appreciating citizens’ engagement, generating much required educational resources such as books and manuals for Local government employees and developing its internet capacities in offices.

 

However, despite the improvements in Onitsha North Local Government Area, there are number of challenges encountered by Onitsha North Local Government Area in particular. Such challenges include: Lack of autonomy, financial problems, shortage of trained personnel, lack of infrastructure, political interference, lack of political education, bribery and corruption, poor method of tax collection, poor communication system and among other problem. It is in the light of the above that this study seeks to carry out a research of Local Government and Grassroots Development in Nigeria with a special emphasis on Onitsha North local Government Area, Anambra State.



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