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Local government in Nigeria face challenges which are create by the act of legislation(constitution) that has hinder and affect the efficiency and effective participation(contribution and effective service delivery) in development of the Nation.
The following would be examine as factor affecting the enhancement of development from the local government level.
Looking vividly into the system of government adopted and practice in Nigeria i.e. Federal system of government. With three tier of government, namely federal,state and local government, each having autonomy over her jurisdiction or territory.
Though the federal and state government enjoy it autonomy to a proportional level approve by the law over their jurisdiction, Local government have low autonomy over her jurisdiction,it is more of a Administrative or Delegation authority for the state government whom exercise absolute control over the local government.
The state stand to approve local government budget, the statutory allocation of local government is paid into the state joint local government account, which is to be share by another tier of government(state government ) making local government watch dog of the state government.
The ability and capacity of local government to generate revenue internally is low, due to dependence on the statutory allocation from the federation account which has hinder the effective and adequate contribution to development by local government.
The allocation for local government from the federation account is paid to the state joint account which is to be shared among the local government within the state.
Some state governor tend to allocate little amount they wish to the local government, believing that it is the responsibility of the state government to provide development.
Mismanagement of fund
Corruption has eaten deep into the politics and administration of Nigeria. Mismanagement of funds by official in government is a challenge affecting local government impact to development, most political office holder sees the privilege of occupying public office as an avenue of enriching themselves through embezzling public funds meant providing infrastructure and developing the Nation(Nigeria) into their private account.
These can be trace to issue of State Governor who embezzle or deduct from allocation meant for local governments within the state, thereby raiments little amount to local government to serve the concurrent expenditure,leading to negligence of capital expenditure which promote and enhance development.
State Government cannot be solely blame for mismanagement of funds because some Local Government Chairman are corrupt, who also embezzle the little amount allocated to them in to their private pocket.
They neglect their duties and responsibility which lead to nonpayment of salary of staff. Most time its rear to meet a local government chairman in office because they only come when allocation arrive and after the disbursement of the allocation they go back to hidden.
These tends to affect impact and contribution of local government toward development of the Nation
The Nigeria constitution in reference to local government in Nigeria has cause constraint to Autonomy and Existence of local government in Nigeria.
The constitution had failed to recognized local government as a tier or level of government rather, it established the Nigeria Local Government as a Delegated Authority to the state government.
The state government is given constitutional authority and power to make law,delegate responsibility, duties and also influence local government decision.
Governor of state are given legal authority to devolve a local government council that do not comply with the state government (even when the policy of the state government does not enhance economy growth and development) and appoint caretaker.
Although some scholar as posit that, it ensure the doctrine of check and balance of the local government council, the question is, who checks the excessive control of local government by state government and also who check and balance the state government control over local government
HOW NIGERIA CONSTITUTION HAS FAILED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AS A TIER OF GOVERNMENT
The Federal and State government are recognized as tier of government by the existence of Executive, Legislative and judiciary Arms of government which no provision of such was made for the local government.
The Federal government has limited or non control over state government while the state is empower by law to control, direct and influence local government activities.
Court only exist at the federal and state level, with no provision for local government. In other word every judiciary decision and action concerning local government has to be done at the state level
Allocation are paid in to federal account and state account, while that of local government had to be paid in to state local government joint account before been disbursed by state government which as contribute to easy embezzlement of such funds and dependency of local government on state for it legal entitlement.
Finally you can be a developer and graduate with a BA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES from the Great AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA
All you have to do is apply by choosing AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY as your first choice, then apply for BA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, Faculty of Administration. Make the cut off mark of UTME and the Institution Post UTME cut off mark.
Deborah is a graduate of Department of Local Government and Development Studies, ABU. See her profile image below; source: www.priad.org/team.
Article Written by
Oguntola Olatunji Paul
Department of Local Government and Development Studies
Ahmadu Bello University.