INTRODUCTION/ BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.1THE NEED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN PUBLIC SECTOR
At, the onset of the oil boom in the 1970’s, many were convinced that the era of scarcity has given way to abundant resources. A major problem was how to plan for the societies to be confronted with the vast increases in material wealth and leisure. The national priorities shifted rapidly as Nigerians embrace the increased material wealth with poor planning and abundant waste. The cost of running the government enlarged bureaucracy and social programme increased tremendously as money realized from the oil boom was squandered with impurity. Inflation, affluence and ostentation life- style became the habits of Nigerians.
A decade later, in the 1980’s the fail i8n oil prices presented a big blow on the Nigerian Economy. The financial plight of the nations’ book on crises, inflation, lack of liquidity and unfavorable balance of payment forced the government to introduced several economic survival package such as: the economic stabilization and reconstruction of policy, by the shagari administration and numerous reforms and commissions set up to bring spending sanity on the populace to a lower level for improvement of the situation in the near future. For these reasons accountability or the demand for public offices to give account of public resources, be it funds, properties, public statement, personal behaviors, actions, performance will continue to be of great concern to government policy makers.
As the public continues to feel an increasing painful economic pinch, the management practices of public officers will be under great scruting. If government and public officers cannot account for the way they use resources, then there will be a complete loss of confidence and trust on programme, necessary resulting to general apathy and discontent among the populace and even a breakdown of law and order. Thus, the inherent problem, facing the government is to device ways and means of making public officers accountable to the taxpayers for the scarce resources under their care and for their actions while discharging their duties. In essence, accountability in public administration refers to efficient management of resources for the general welfare of the citizens. This idea will be fully developed in the proceeding discussions.
However, the modest intention of this paper is to examine several government policies aimed at inhibility accountability among public officers, determine environmental factors that militate against accountability, and postulate strategies for prudent financial management and propriety among officers. Pursuit of these objectives wills necessitates relevant discussions of accountability corruption, as a mechanism for controlling waste, property values and efficiency in the management of public of fund.
In Nigeria today, accountability has become of great concern to both the government and the taxpayers. Accountability to public administrators refers to prudent in financial or materials management of scare resources. It connotes the idea of doing more with little and being able to account for every aspect of the resources involved in the process.
To max Weber, accountability entails “mental revolution” of the workers so as to embrace every fact of the efficiency theory. Thus, accountability involves a process by which a public officer can be able to give account of his performance through a process model of input-process-output.
Accountability refers to a situation where; “a public officer takes charge of the property belonging to the public. This implies that there is a contractual agreement either by verbal or written or simply understood that a public officer must give an account of his actions in regard to the property to the owner (the public, government or his representatives).
If anything has bothered careful observers in recent times, it is the manner in which public finances and properties are wasted with impunity either by embezzlement, arson, accidents, mismanagement or inefficient application one can stop for a moment to wonder whether the abandoned machineries, equipment cars found littered all around our government house and the government ministries belonged to one person, wouldn’t the person immediately repair them and put them back into use? The view expressed by Ejimofor in his writing is similar to the above he stated thus, “that smart massagers, clerks, administrators, executives, ministers, commissioners, military, governors and even head of state were found guilty over alleged criminal, and, man over of public fund, material and resources’.
Likewise Ugwu in his own contribution said “that civil service is notable for waste and inefficiency which can be attributing to bureaucratic straight adherence to routines and procedures.”
In the past, cases of embezzlement involving millions of naira have been uncovered in various ministers in the local government, state which the attitude of public officers and government towards the offence has been luke-warm. This in effect encourages more embezzlement, as punishments methods on offending public officers are lesser than the offence committed.
Most Nigerian have grown to accept and conceive public offices as a “money making machine.” There is nothing new in public officers making one millions of naira after one year of office whereas his salary is not to two hundred thousand naira annually. The extent to which corruption has infested and infact polluted our public institution is far unimaginable. A panel constituted by the government was saying “there were 10 to 70 outstanding audit quarries inn connection with expenditure vouchers for federal non-accounting minrtines and local government covering the eight year period 1965 to 1972.” Ejiofor summarized the issue on accountability in his theory as follows:
(a)The average Nigerian is corrupt, dishonest, nepotic, tribalistic and lazy and is all the time seeking for the opportunity to defraud and cheal his employer.
(b)The Nigerian society does not reward hard work, diligence, objectivity, selflessness, patience and inventiveness; the emphasis is on shortcuts, self-satisfactory, now-now and quick quick.
(c)The environment in Nigeria is not conducive for effective and efficient running of organization(s), a pre-condition for Notional development
In this study, which is meant to show that no meaningful growth and development can take place in any Nnewi North local government of Anambra state, Nigeria? Without disciplined public officers. Who can be accountable for their actions and behaviors and also for the resources under their care?
A nations development and growth potentials are measured by the ability of its’ public officers level of accountability both while in the office and long after when they have left office.
Hence, accountability should be critically examined to provide some guide towards the transformation of the economics growth and development in our country, Nigeria.
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.1 Background of the study
1.2Statement of the study
1.3Objective of the study
1.4Significance of the study
1.5 Scope of the study
1.6Limitation of the study
1.7Brief history of Nnewi north local government
1.8Definition of terms
2.0 REIVEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1Accountability and the Nigerian societal ethics and values
2.2Evaluation of military on accountability
2.3Methods of enforcing accountability
2.4The role of accountability in Nnewi North local government of Anambara State
2.5Factors that militate against accountability in the public sector.
2.6The professional ethics of public financial management.
2.7Accounting documents and recording transactions
3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design
3.2Data Collection Method
3.3Data Presentation And Analysis
3.4Statement of Null and Alternative Hypothesis.
4.0 REPORT AND DATA ANALYSIS
4.1 Analysis Based On Objectives
4.4Data Analysis Of The Local Government
4.5Organization Of The Accounts/ Finance Department
4.6The Nnewi-North Local Government’s Accounting System.
4.7General Financial Arrangement
4.8Control And Reporting
4.9Planning And Performance Evaluation
5.0 FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
5.1 Summary Of Findings