THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (A case study of Local Government council in Lagos State)
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The local government is the grassroots government in the Nigerian Federal System of Government. It is empowered by the constitution and rooted in the laws of the land. Section 7(1) of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria backs the operations of the third tier government. More so, the constitution permits democratically elected representatives of the people to man the local government affairs. According to Okoli (2005) the third tier government came into being as a result of the quest for wide spread development in the country. It is important to note that grassroots welfare and national development can be achieved through the third tier government. It is against this background, the researcher evaluates the roles of local government in national development.
Despite the spirited protestations of Nigeria’s officialdom, it is yet to be empirically settled that national development has been on the ascendancy in the Nigerian State. On the other hand, evidence abounds that local government in Nigeria is a neglected paradigm of national developmental mobilization (Abada, 2012; Idike, 2013; Eze and Muanya, 2013; Uzuegbunam and Nwofia, 2014). The Nigerian condition has accordingly been depicted as a situation of affluence and affliction (Ibeanu, 2008), which signifies an apparent contradiction. Kuka (2012) further describes the Nigerian nation as being on autopilot.
Constitutionally, Local government represents the third tier of governmental organization in Nigeria and the others being the Federal and State governments. Frequently, the term “Grassroots administration” is employed when describing local government as this has the additional advantage of graphically describing the location of this governmental arrangement (Idike, 2013). In reality, it is not vested with the powers and resources that it deserves. It is also ironical that the Nigerian situation negates the essence of federalism (which is decentralization) by being highly centralized. Elsewhere, where the ideals and strategies for effective national development have been understood the correct way, Local government is the focus of government efforts at promoting national development. It becomes obvious overtime that to effectively develop, the people must be adequately mobilized (Okoli, 2005). A purposeful combination of the local (peoples) effort/energies with that of government with the objective of improving socio-economic conditions and encouraging political participation is a key factor in national development. According to Eze and Muanya (2013) stated that It also represents the objective expression of the energies of mobilized rural communities in concrete and tangible projects such as roads, clinics, schools, potable water and other communal initiatives that benefit the people. This study is specifically focusing of Local Government Councils in Lagos State.
Lagos, sometimes referred to as Lagos State to distinguish it from Lagos Metropolitan Area, is a state located in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The smallest in area of Nigeria’s 36 states, Lagos State is arguably the most economically important state of the country, containing Lagos, the nation’s largest urban area. There are 20 Local Government areas in Lagos State namely Alimosho, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Kosofe, Mushin, Oshodi-Isolo, Ojo, Ikorodu, Surulere, Agege, Ifako-Ijaye, Shomolu, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos Mainland, Ikeja, Eti-osa, Badagry, Apapa, Lagos Island, Epe and IjebuLekki.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The interrelationship or complementary nature of these two subjects (Local government and national development) underscore their relevance and need for this research. As Institutions of critical importance, they are respectively the basic political organization, and the socio-economic activity. In view of the critical importance therefore, what affects them determine whether or not Nigeria or other third world nations develop. The performance of the Local Government in Nigeria has triggered the curiosity of the research considering the constitutional duties of Local Government and their overall contribution to the national development in terms of service delivery to the members of the local communities. However, the researcher is examining the role of Local Government Councils in Lagos State in National Development.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the relationship between Local Government Councils in Lagos State and national development in Nigeria. The specific objectives are as follows:
1 To examine the role of Local Government Councils in Lagos State in National Development.
2 To examine the extent to which the local government councils in Lagos State, promotes the course of national development
3 To determine how the local government councils in Lagos can aid the course of national development.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1 What is the role of Local Government Councils in Lagos State in National Development?
2 To what extent does local government councils in Lagos State promotes the course of national development?
3 How can the local government councils in Lagos aid the course of national development?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
HO: There is no significant relationship between Local Government Councils in Lagos State and National Development.
HA: There is significant relationship between Local Government Councils in Lagos State and National Development.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1 The results of this study will be useful for local government administrators in Nigeria especially Lagos State on strategies and approaches that can be adopted to enhance national development in Nigeria. It will reveal how local manpower can be strengthened through the government to stimulate national development.
2 The findings from this study will also educate the general public on the role of local government on national development in Nigeria.
3 This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the role of local government on national development in Nigeria, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to the Local government councils in Lagos State, Nigeria. It will also cover their contribution to national development in Nigeria.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Development: The process of national growth and expansion
Grassroots: the most basic level of government activity or organization
Local: belonging or relating to a particular area or neighborhood, typically exclusively so
Communities: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
Politics: the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.
Abada, I. (2012): “An Overview of Local Government and Rural Development in Nigeria: 1999-2010”. Nigerian Journal of Social Sciences.8 (2) 169-182
Eze, C and Muanya, C. (2013): “Between Democratic and the Caretaker Committee Approach to Local Government Administration in Nigeria: Revisiting the Anambra Experience, From 2006 to 2013. International Journal of Research in Arts and Social Sciences. 6(-)172-188
Ibeanu, O. (2008): “Affluence and Affliction: The Niger Delta as a Critique of Political Science in Nigeria” An Inaugural Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Idike, A. (2013): “Gender and Participatory Democracy in the Local Government System in Nigeria: A Case Study of Ebonyi State (2001-2011). International Journal of Research in Arts and Social Sciences. 6(-) 371-380
Kuka, M. (2012): “Nigeria as an Emerging Democracy: Dilemma and Promise.” http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/law/. Accessed, 11/11/13.
Okoli, M.U. (2005): Local Government Administrative System: An Introductory and Comparative Approach. Abbots Books Limited, Onitsha