STRUCTURE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The structure of Nigerian local government has continued to change due to differences in the constitutional reforms that guide its operations. In the aborted third republic, the Babangida local government reforms made provision for the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Director of Personnel Management and Supervisory appointees. The Director of Personnel Management came from the senior cadre of the civil service at the local level.
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However, the 1976 local government reform published in August 1976 by Olusegun Obasanjo changed the multiple system of local government to a single tier all purpose local government. All the local government were made third tier after the federal and state government.
FUNCTIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
- Local government officials act as the elected representatives of a given section and a group of people.
- It helps to establish and maintain cemetery and homes for the less privileged.
- Local government involve in the collection of rates such as Radio and Television.
- As a representative of the people, Councilor act as a link between the people he is representing and the government.
- Construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, drains, parks and other public highways.
- Local government is involved in the registration of birth, death and marriage.
- Local government is involved in the enactment of bye-laws.
- Local governments are involved in the naming of streets, roads and numbering of houses.
- Local government license bicycles, wheel barrows, canoes and carts.
- Local government assesses privately owned houses for the purpose of levying such rates.
SOURCES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE
- National Assembly
- State House of Assembly
- Grants receive from both federal and state government
- Collection of rates from radio and television licenses, markets, shops and stores.
- Commercial ventures like transportation and recreational centers
- Fees from registration of birth, death and declaration of age, kioks, marriage and registration of land.
- A local government council may borrow money from financial institution to finance a project.
- Gift and donations from public spirited individuals and government through occasional launching.
- State five sources of local government revenue
- List four functions of local government.
PROBLEMS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
- Shortage of trained personnel: Some local government officials are untrained or ill-trained and so inefficient.
- Shortage of fund: Some or majority of local councils can not finance various projects which a normal local council should undertake.
- Bribery and Corruption: Bribery and corruption are common in most local councils; in forms of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds.
- Political Interference: Political leaders at different times have interfered in the internal affairs of local councils.
- Poor leaders of the council or absence of good leadership also constitute problem.
- Favoritism and Tribalism: These are more evident in the areas of appointment, promotion, transfer and discipline of staff in local councils.
- Illiteracy among councilors: Most councilors in the local government are illiterates and as a result they can not contribute to the development of the council.
- Lack of effective communication.
FEATURES OF THE 1976 LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORMS IN NIGERIA
- Uniform system of local government: It introduced large-sized local government area throughout the country
- The federal government was involved in the funding of the local government
- Service board/ Commissions were introduced in all the states
- Single Tier: All the local government were made all purpose single tier local government.
- Appointment: The reform introduced a full time chairman of local government and Supervisory Councilor.
- Systematic training of local government staff by the federal government was established.
- Councilors were paid fixed enhanced monthly salary instead of allowances.
- The traditional rulers had no significant role in the local government throughout the country.
- Enumerate 5 features of the 1976 Local Government Reforms in Nigeria
- Briefly explain how favoritism and tribalism could cause inefficiency in the local government council.
ROLES OF TRADITIONAL RULERS IN GOVERNMENT
- They perform political and administrative role; they help maintain law and order, peace and unity
- Some traditional rulers were appointed as ministers, though without port-folio. They were not given any specific function to perform
- Some traditional rulers were also appointed as Governors; for example the late Aderemi Adesoji, the Ooni of Ife, was made the regional governors of the Western region in 1960.
- They are symbols of unity; they help to unify different segments of the society.
- They are representatives of the people at the grassroot and also serve as a link between the people and the government.
- President of customary court: Some traditional rulers were appointed as customary court president.
Highlight four roles of the traditional rulers in government
- Discuss the problems facing Local government in Nigeria
- Describe the structure of Nigeria local government
- Local government is referred to as (a) third- tier government (b) first- tier government (c) second-tier government
- The following are the features of the 1976 local government reforms except (a) single tier government (b) appointment of chairman (c) political interference
- One of the following is a source of local government revenue (a) extortion (b) collection of rates (c) embezzlement
- The major problem facing the local government is (a) poor leadership (b) shortage of fund (c) tribalism
- Constituency refers to (a) electoral district (b) pooling booth (c) wards
- Define local government (b) State 4 features of local government.
- Highlight 5 features of the 1976 local government reforms in Nigeria.