- Background of the study
This study is a modest attempt at a lucid explication of the impact of local government in Nigeria. Nigerian local government system has witnessed tremendous transformation since the introductions of the 1988 civil service reforms and its application at the local government administration one of the changes introduced to strengthen the local government is the direct payment of their statutory allocations which was increased from 15% to 20%. In addition local government auditor was established in each state government to ensure proper utilization of financial resources at the local level to check any misappropriation of public funds. Also all local government now has a common structure which distinguish them from service department.
Local government at any level has some stand and roles such as the maintenance of law and order, the promotion of economic and social development. They are left with considerable freedom to act as they see fit for the interest of the local community. From the point of view the government as agents of development are will place to help the rural areas to develop. These can be done by investing in social and economic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, electrification and telecommunication. The other essential duties inherited from the Native Authorities include rural and the urban water supplies markets and libraries. We generally regard the convenience list as including those extra amenities which make for a better life in the community, other than those life in the community, other than those which are concerned with fighting discuss e.g. bus and lorry parks. The regulation of handcarts on the streets, community and recreation centers, parks and open spaces, grazing areas and fuel plantations, the naming of streets and the numbering of buildings. These are recognized as automatically the responsibility of the local government. They also help in the service of park control and supply of water, electricity and gas, the provision of road and water transport, and any other trading undertaking that the state government specifically authorizes.
The local government also take care for a specifically health orientation and supplying of drugs, a midwifery service, to arrange for health visiting and home nursing to provide facilities for vaccination and immunization.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Local government is expected to become more meaningful in facilitating social and economic development at the grassroots level. Central to the achievement of these objectives is the financial viability of this tier of government. This point has been subtly underscored by “Dasuki panel” on local government administration, when it observed inter alia that a good number of local government roles could not be performed at all, due to a variety of reasons principal among which are:
(a) Inadequate financial capacity
(b) Lack of necessary technical manpower, and erosion of functions particularly in the revenue yielding areas by state government – thus reducing the revenue base of the local government.
This demonstrates that success or failure of local government depends among other things, on their revenue base, the fiscal resources available and the way these resources are utilized. However, central to the above is the ability of the local government to generate substantial financial resources which is one of the tripartite goals of every local government in Nigeria more importantly, one is inclined to think that this is the point that can give an impact in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty of Sokoto local government. The researcher wants to identify the reasons for the vicarious cycle, and proffer a solution to the above problems.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are;
- To ascertain whether local governments have any role to play in the economic development of rural area
- To ascertain the extent local government administration Played its roles in rural area
- To ascertain the constraints that militate against the success of development process of local government
- To ascertain whether low morale among the staffs of local government militate development of rural areas
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The research questions for work will be based on the following:
H0: local governments have no role to play in the economic development of rural area
H1: local governments have role to play in the economic development of rural area
H0: there are no constraints that militate against the success of development process of local government
H2: there are constraints that militate against the success of development process of local government
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The need and importance of the research is obvious. At a time when local government has come to assume an overwhelming influence on the process of political and economic development.
It becomes more relevant to examine much more closely, the characters and dynamics of this three tier of government and to clarify the major contradictions that have landed to impede its capacity to promote development at local level.
However, a scientific study of this kind becomes necessary especially at this time when the past and present civilian administrations are particularly concern about rural development.
Finally, this study will generally add to the growing numbers of literature on local government affairs, more particularly on the roles of local government administration in economic ad social development of rural area in Nigeria and pragmatic solutions offered towards making them more efficient and responsive to the needs of rural Nigerians, it also to policy makers and researchers alike.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers effect of local government administration in economic and social development. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms have been defined for the purpose of this study:
(i) Local government: This is government at a local level exercised through representative councils established by laws to exercise specific functions within a defined area.
(ii) Development: Development is a multi – dimensional process involving a re-organizational and reorientation of the entire economic and social system, in addition to improve income and outcome. Its typically involves radical changes in institutional, social as well popular attitude and sometimes even customs and belief.
(iii) Council: This refers to the organ that constitute representation of people either elected or nominated.
(iv) Social Economic Development: This is a combination of social and economic development. It embraces improvement in not only standard of living and per-capital income, but also high level of employment, reducing inflation, adequate food, high infrastructures, stressing values rather than achievement.
(v) Objectives: These are end results to which an organization or government activity directed objective are hierarchical in nature are determined or formulated by top management of an organization after economic, social and political forces affecting the organization have been apprised.
(vi) Programmes; This consists of essentially integrated series of development projects that spans over a length of time.