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LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTONOMY AND EFFICIENT SOCIAL SERVICES DELIVERY AT THE GRASSROOTS (A STUDY OF EZEAGU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE 2015-2019)

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  • Chapters:5
  • Pages:83
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(Public Administration Project Topics & Materials)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTONOMY AND EFFICIENT SOCIAL SERVICES DELIVERY AT THE GRASSROOTS
(A STUDY OF EZEAGU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE 2015-2019)
ABSTRACT

The title of this research project is “Local Government Autonomy and Efficient Services Delivery at the Grassroots: A study of Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State (2015-2019) Local government autonomy is highly imperative for a meaningful development of the grassroots in Nigeria. The researcher was motivated to carryout research on this topic as a result of high degree of financial and administrative dependence of Nigeria local governments on the higher level governments to the extent that it is merely a myth to talk about local government autonomy in Nigeria.  The aim of this research project is to investigate the autonomy of local governments in Enugu state in this fourth republic.  The researcher, in conducting the study made use of both primary and secondary sources of data with the structured questionnaire as the main instrument used.  The population of the study was the people of Ezeagu  local government area of Enugu state.  The sample size is statistically determined using Taro Yamani’s formula for a finite population. The stratified random sampling technique was used to select the sample for the study, whereas the data collected were presented and analyzed with frequency, percentage and tables.  The study revealed that to a very high extent local government Autonomy is highly needed for grassroots development in Nigeria.  It identified that abuse of autonomy by local government, constitutional provisions such as state and local government joint account, political instability and over dependence on statutory allocation are some of the factors militating against local government autonomy in Nigeria.  The researcher recommended for a concerted effort by both Federal and state government to make local government autonomy a reality. The creation of institutions and associations for checking abuse of autonomy and for transparency and accountability were also recommended by the researcher.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE:    INTRODUCTION
1.1    Background of the Study                           
1.2    Statement of the Problem                     
1.3    Objective of the Study                        
1.4    Research Questions                             
1.5    Significance of the Study                    
1.6    Scope of the Study                               
1.7    Limitations of the study                           
1.8    Definition of Terms.                               
References
CHAPTER TWO:    LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1    The concept of Local Government                      
2.2    Theoretical Framework                       
2.3    Empirical Framework                     
2.4        Summary of Review of Related Literature         
References
CHAPTER THREE:      RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1    Research Design and Method                        
3.2    Sources of Data Collection                     
3.3    Population of Study                            
3.4    Sample and Sampling Techniques            
3.5    Sampling Techniques                           
3.6    Instrumentation                                 
3.7    Validation of the Instrument                          
3.8    Reliability of the Instrument                   
3.9    Method of Data Collection                
References
CHAPTER FOUR:    PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA            
4.1  Data Presentation                             
CHAPTER FIVE:    SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION.
5.1    Summary of Findings                        
5.2    Conclusion                                 
5.3    Recommendations                           
Bibliography
Appendix
LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1: Population Distribution Table for the study
Table 3.2: Sample size Distribution Table for the study
Table 3.3: Instrument Distribution and Returned Rate Table
Table 4.1:     Extent Ezeagu   Local Government is Autonomous   
Table 4.2:     Extent local government autonomy is needed for
grassroots development
Table 4.3:     Factors militating against local government autonomy in
Nigeria
Table 4.4:    Responses on the Low Level of Development at the
Grassroots.
Table 4.5:     Measures to Make Local Government Autonomy a
Reality
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1    Background of the Study
The scholarly discourse and investigation in constitutional studies and federalism, particularly in respect of local government autonomy, is engendered mainly by the overbearing powers of the state and sometimes lack of elected executive chairmen at the grassroots. State encroachment into local government affairs and their total control of the local councils by appointed committees who are loyalist to the State Governors has thus triggered research works aimed at reversing such encroachment given the immense role that can be played in grassroots politics by the local government (Elekwa, 2017).
 In Nigeria, reforms have been articulated and executed in a bid to correct certain perceived excessive state encroachment, abuse of powers and the use of undemocratic leaders and caretaker committee to run the local governments by the state governments in Nigeria. Of all government reforms deliberately put in place to address this problem, the 1976 local government reform which for the first time recognized local government as a third tier, accords autonomous powers to the local councils and reduced excessive politicking of state over local government occupies an enviable place in Nigeria's political system. Irrespective of the nature and extent of flaws that may characterize local government autonomy in principle and practice in Nigeria, it has, for fairly some time, become an important issue for considerations at the National Assembly. Not surprisingly, it has been subjected to various critical assessments. The foregoing nevertheless, not much intellectual efforts have been deployed in examining the local government autonomy as a vehicle for redressing inordinate usurpation of powers of local governments by state governments in grassroots politics in the country. The basic issue to which this article seeks to address is to, in an exploratory manner; examine the local government autonomy within the context of unrestricted local governments powers and authority over grassroots politics (Nwatu, 2016)
Globally, various strategies and approaches have been adopted or used by government for the purpose of good governance, and in their efforts at distributing the state resources to reach the people at the grassroots. However, there has not been congruence or general agreement on which strategy is the best, especially in the administration of the rural areas. Decentralization constitutes the basic and principle basis for the establishment of Local government. A renowned International scholar of Local Government, Manhood as quoted in Dalhatu (2016) that "too much concentration of political and economic power at one level would ultimately and inevitably lead to what he referred to as managerial constipation".  According to him, the basis of Local government is inextricably woven around the principle of decentralization. Local government is the product of decentralized administration. He further defined decentralization as: an arrangement by which the management of the public affairs of a country is shared by the central/ state/province and local government in a manner that the Local government is given reasonable scope to raise funds and to use its resources to provide a range of socio-economic services and establish programmes to enhance the welfare of those resident in its area of authority.
    Nwatu (2019) supported this expression when he noted that local government autonomy is a theory and practice in Nigeria has never been absolute.  As Obasi (2015) observed, historically, local government system in Nigeria has passed through a tortuous and chequered path.  And when compared with the core civil service it witnessed more returns and reorganizations.
    Before the 1976 Local Government Reforms, local government remained under the effective control of regional (and later state) governments.  The strict control by regional governments was changed when the 1976 reforms established what Aliyu (2017), called a comprehensive standardization of a system of local government within a national framework.
    The federal government spearheaded the reform to achieve local government autonomy.  The Federal Government observed that state government continued to encroach on the exclusive powers and responsibilities of the local councils, as their place was specially defined in the 1979 constitution.  Despite the fact that local government system is entrenched in the constitution as a third tier of government, successive civilian administrations since 1979 have seriously ignored the autonomy rule.  Ironically, the military regimes appeared to fare better in terms of guaranteeing the autonomy of the local government Abonyi, 2016).
    Proponents of council autonomy believe that it would help the course of grassroots development by eliminating the negative influence and interference of the state Governors.  Other benefits of local government autonomy include guaranteeing the right of the council heads to govern and manage their natural resources using appropriate planning standards; opportunity to design appropriate policies, programmes and projects suitable to peculiar areas, effective delivery of democratic dividends to the grassroots and public accountability (Nwatu, 2012).  Yet the degree of fiscal and administrative dependence of local governments on state governments is so high that the local council officials are now mere servants of the governors of their respective states.
The above discussion indicates to a very reasonable extent to which the joint account remains a conduit pipe for the draining of Local Government allocation by the State Government. This study, therefore, examine local government autonomy and efficient social services delivery at the grassroots in Ezeagu local government of Enugu State.
1.2    Statement of the Problem
Over the years, the local government administration has been faced with series of developmental and economic challenges where different policies have rendered the councils incapacitated to discharge their constitutional mandates. Fiscal relationship between state and local governments has become a problematic issue in intergovernmental relations in Nigeria. In this respect, the higher tiers of government have excessive control on the finance of local governments. Although the constitution enjoined states to pay 10 percent of the statutory revenues to local government councils (LGCs), in Nigeria very few states honoured the provision. The failure of the constitution to articulate a clear line of authorities to both the state and local authorities and the continuing debate over the involvement of state governments in distributing local government allocation from the Federation Account has affected the capacity of local governments to provide essential services at the grassroots. Majority of the state governments made some unnecessary deductions and more often diverted the funds to other areas of personal interest while the money is meant for development of local government areas, and this has contributed significantly to the abysmal performance of local governments in providing good governance for the community. In some states, the state government used to award contracts on behalf of local governments via State Joint Local Government Account whether the project has a direct impact on the local populace or not.
One of the problems facing local governments in Nigeria today is the problem of not being autonomous.  This research work intends to investigate this problem with a view to fashion out solutions to the problem.
    Local government autonomy is needed for grassroots development in Nigeria, but, there have not been much meaningful development at the local government levels as a result of the problem of not being autonomous.  This problem stated above, drew the attention of the researcher to this subject matter.

1.3    Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine local Government Autonomy and Efficient Social services delivery at the Grassroots with reference the Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The specific objectives of the study include;
1.    To evaluate the extent of autonomy granted to Nigeria local government.
2.    To examine the extent to which local government autonomy is needed for grassroots development in Nigeria.
3.    To investigate the factors militating against local government autonomy in Nigeria in this fourth republic.
4.    To examine whether lack of local government autonomy is responsible for the low level of development of grassroots in Nigeria.
5.    To identify the measures to make local government autonomy in Nigeria a reality.
1.4    Research Questions
1.    To what extent is Nigeria local government autonomous?
2.    To what extent is local government autonomy needed for grassroots development in Ezeagu   local government.
3.    What are the factors militating against local government autonomy in Nigeria?
4.    To what extent is lack of local government autonomy responsible for the low level of development of grassroots in Ezeagu   local government?
5.    What are the measures to make local government autonomy in Nigeria a reality?

1.5    Significance of the Study
The study of the imperative of local government autonomy in grassroots development in Nigeria is very necessary especially now that the country’s constitution is undergoing review and amendment process.  When the study is successfully carried out, it will strengthen the inevitability of local government autonomy in Nigeria.
    The study will help the Nigerian law makers to perceive local government autonomy as a tool for meaningful development at the grassroots.  It will therefore, help them to see the need to end the unnecessary and undue state government interference and control over local government in Nigeria.
    The study will as well be vital to the higher levels of government, especially the state government who continued to agitate against local government autonomy through their state governor’s forum meeting.  The findings of the study will help them to see the need for local council autonomy and end their selfish and baseless agreements.
    The study will help the people of Ezeagu   Local Government Area in particular and the general people of Enugu State to see the need for local government autonomy as a panacea for rapid grassroots development.
    The study will serve as a reference material, for further research into this area, for this study exposed new and current thoughts as regards the imperative of local government autonomy in grassroots development in Nigeria.

1.6    Scope of the Study
The study focused primarily on the imperative of local government autonomy in Nigeria, a case study of Ezeagu   local Government Area of Enugu state.
    The study focused on the extent at which local government autonomy is crucial in grassroot development in Nigeria.  It also investigated the factors militating against local government autonomy in Nigeria in this fourth republic.
    The study covered only Ezeagu   local government area of Enugu state.  The researcher however, believes that the findings made from the local government could be applied generally to appreciate better the inevitability of local government autonomy in grassroots development in Nigeria.

1.7    Limitations of the Study
This study like every other human academics quest is faced with constraints which to a large extent limits the geographically coverage of the study.
    Finance was among the factors that actually hindered a wider coverage of this research work.  Some of the areas needed to carryout this study was not actually visited to the satisfaction of the researcher as a result of finance.  The researcher also has to finance other aspects of the study such as questionnaire printing, typing of the work and other academic activities as students.
    Another problem that hindered the process of this study was the scarcity of relevant materials and the signs of disappointment showed by the people of Ezeagu   local government area by not cooperating well with the researcher, they showed a high level of unhappiness as regards the state interference and control over local government in Nigeria.
    Above all, the researcher was subjected to a stipulated time limit which the study is to be completed.  The time given was not enough to meet with the requirements of the study and other academic activities as student.
    Notwithstanding these problems, the study still recorded a huge success as the efforts of the researcher yielded a reasonable and rewarding project.

1.8    Definition of Terms / Acronyms
Some major concepts and terms used in this study were defined in accordance to their usage in the work as shown below;
-    Autonomy; Autonomy can simply be defined here as the enjoyment of self-govern status. In other words, it refers to the right or freedom of a body to set the parameters of its operations.
-    Local Government Autonomy: - This means the right or freedom of a Local Government to set the parameters of its operations. It refers also to the right of a Local Government to exist independently of other levels.
-    Local Government: - Broadly define here as the third tier of government. It is government at the minimal stage, called grassroots government in Nigeria.
-    Development:  Development here covers a positive change over all social goods and services which can hardly be effectively and efficiently provided by the private business sector since they cannot recoup the investment made in it from other users.  Such goods and services include; roads, national security, public parks, good environmental condition, electricity etc.  
-    Democracy:  In this study, democracy means government of the people by the people and for the people.  A government in which the views and aspirations of the people are aired.
-    Inter-governmental Relations:  Inter-governmental relations in this study means, the interactions that take place among the different levels of government within a country. Usually, the concept is associated with states having administrative system where the relationship between the central government and the major units are formally spelt out in the constitution.
-    Grassroots: Grassroots are ordinary people in society or in an organization, rather than the leaders or people who make decisions.  It could also mean the agricultural and rural areas of a country, the people inhabiting these areas, especially as a political, social or economic group.

References
Abonyi, N. N. (2016), Intergovernmental Relations in Democratic     Federations, Enugu: John Jacobs Classic Publishers.

Aliyu, A. Y. (2015), “Local Government Reforms in Nigeria: An Overview” in
Suleiman, K. and Aliyu, A. Y. (eds) Local     Government Reforms in Nigeria, Zaria: Institute of     Administration Press Unit.

Elekwa, N. N. (2017), “Local Government Autonomy: Myth or Reality “Nigeria Journal of Public Administration and Local Government (NJPALG) Vol. III No.

Nwatu, R. (2016), Inter-Governmental Relations: An Introduction, Enugu: Majesty International Limited.

Obasi, I. N. (2016), Local Government Autonomy and Implication for
Public Accountability” In Ozor, Ebonyi (ed), Public Accountability: Financial Management in Local Governments in Nigeria, Lagos: Lizzibon Printing and Publishing Company.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTONOMY AND EFFICIENT SOCIAL SERVICES DELIVERY AT THE GRASSROOTS (A STUDY OF EZEAGU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE 2015-2019)

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Type Project
Department Public Administration
Project ID PUB0775
Price ₦3,000 ($20)
Chapters 5 Chapters
No of Pages 83 Pages
Methodology Simple Percentage
Reference YES
Format Microsoft Word

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    Details

    Type Project
    Department Public Administration
    Project ID PUB0775
    Price ₦3,000 ($20)
    Chapters 5 Chapters
    No of Pages 83 Pages
    Methodology Simple Percentage
    Reference YES
    Format Microsoft Word

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