THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND MOBILIZATION IN NIGERIA: EGOR AS CASE STUDY - Project Topics & Materials - Gross Archive
THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND MOBILIZATION
IN NIGERIA: EGOR AS CASE STUDY
The study examines the Role of Local Government in Political Participation and Mobilization in Nigeria, using Egor Local Government Area as case study. The main objectives of the study were: to examine the level of political mobilization and participation of the Egor Local Government people towards political and developmental efforts in social services. The study attempts to answer the question – Does the lack of proper political participation and mobilization of the grassroots people affects development of their localities? The methodology utilized in this study was a combination of the primary and secondary sources of data, where the primary data were obtained through the use of the questionnaire, which was administered to respondents in the study location. The study reveals the weaknesses of Local Government, and why they are unable to carry out the functions for which they were created. The findings reveals that, local government administration is not autonomous in spite of the fact that they are regarded as the tier of government. The research therefore suggests the following: that more revenue should be given or allocated to the local government to better performance. Federal statutory allocation to local government should be raised from the present 24% to 30% to enable the local government have enough fund to perform; that the State and Federal Government should given the local government complete autonomy to run its affairs as the third tier of government that provides essential social services and mobilize the people at the grassroots for participation in governance; that the consciousness and awareness of the local people be raised through various political education and enlightenment to enable them contribute and mount pressure on council officials to execute their constitutional responsibilities more effectively thereby improving the status of the local environment; that there be provision of adequate power to run the affairs of the local governance in order to bring about efficiently, effectiveness and transparency in service delivery to the grassroots people; that indiscriminate expenditure by local government functionaries should be discouraged and stopped. There should be prudent management of scare resources by avoiding ambiguous expenditures and corrupt practices; and projects that are beneficial to the majority of the people of the areas should be embarked upon and completed. Maintenance culture should be adhered to as well.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Study Background .. .. .. .. ..
1.2 Statement of the Problems .. .. ..
1.3 Objectives of the Study .. .. .. .. ..
1.4 Significances of the Research .. .. .. ..
1.5 Research Questions .. .. .. ..
1.6 Scope/Limitations of the Study .. .. ..
1.7 Conceptual Clarifications .. .. .. ..
1.8 Structure of the Study .. .. .. ..
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW/THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Literature Review .. .. .. .. .. ..
2.1.1 The Concept of Local Government .. .. ..
2.1.2 Justification of the Creation of the Local Government ..
2.1.3 Sources of Local Government Revenue and Its Functions
2.1.4 The 1976 Local Government Reforms .. .. ..
2.1.5 The Concept of Political Participation .. .. ..
2.1.6 Egor Local Government in Grassroots
Mobilization in Egor Local Government Area .. ..
2.1.7 Problems Militating against Political Participation and
Mobilization in Egor Local Government Area .. ..
2.1.8 Assessing the Performance of the Egor Local Government
Council in Grassroots Mobilization and Development ..
2.2 Theoretical Framework .. .. .. .. ..
2.2.1 Brief History of Egor Local Government Council ..
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design .. .. .. .. .. ..
3.2 Population of the Study .. .. .. .. ..
3.3 Sample Size/Sampling Technique .. .. ..
3.4 Method of Data Collection .. .. .. ..
3.5 Research Instrument/Administration of Instrument ..
3.6 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument .. ..
3.7 Method of Data Analysis .. .. .. .. ..
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Introduction .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
4.2 Data Presentation on Social Characteristics of Respondents
4.3 Data Presentation/Analysis of Responses on research
Variables .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary of Findings .. .. .. .. ..
5.2 Conclusion .. .. .. … .. .. ..
5.3 Recommendations .. .. .. .. ..
Bibliography .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Appendix .. .. .. .. .. ..
1.1 STUDY BACKGROUND
This study was aimed at examining the role of local Government in political participation and mobilization in Nigeria, using Egor Local Government Area as case study. Local Government is recognized as the third tier of Government in Nigeria and it is the closest government to the people at the grassroots providing essential services to the people. It is the most accessible to the people out of all the other tiers of government. It is a system of local administration under which rural communities and towns are organized to maintain law and order, as well as provide some limited range of social and public amenities for the development of the area. In current development programme, many third World countries now try to focus some attention on the rural areas in which majority of their population live. They are aware that the whole of the rural population is important as a focus in development efforts (oyediran, O.1984:43).
Local administration brings to the masses an awareness of the resources at their disposal and the use of their creative capabilities to transform these resources, to enhance the development of their social economic, political and cultural lives. The role of the grassroots people cannot be meaningful and properly harnessed, if they remain un-integrated into the development process. As a result of the neglect suffered by the grassroots, they experience problems, which range from hunger, diseases, squalor, poverty, ignorance and alienation. The irony of the local people is that, the essential ingredients necessary for their development abound naturally within their immediate environment, lack of awareness, lack of participation in governance, inability to secure government’s attention to their pressing problem and the absence of the appropriate organizational structure of harness resources into production. It has realized that for there to be a genuine development at the local level, the masses have to play a significant role (Heineke, 1985:738).
The performance of functions by local government has been reportedly poor. The operations, level of efficiency and effectiveness of service, mobilization of human resources and revenues, as well as management have been poor (Aghayere, 1997). The performance of functions is tilted towards wrong emphasis on physical construction, rather than service which bear more directly on the people. Even when social services are provided, little attention is paid to public conveniences, hygiene, food, sanitary conditions recreational facilities. The non-performance and provision of critical functions and services in the grassroots, poor management and inadequate mobilization of the grassroots have in some cases provided the loophole for state interference and intervention. Thus in spite of the increase funding and positive reforms, local government have been rarely been effective in achieving their purposes and objectives.
According to Tonwe (2000:78), during the period of colonial rule, local government operates as an extension of the localities as the traditional rulers control nearly all aspects of the council.
This was know as the native authority system of local administration. This system of local administration was not democratic as no effort was made to involve the people. Powers were laid in the hands of the traditional rulers who exercised judicial, religious, executive and legislative powers over their subjects. This system later metamorphosed into the different aspects of urban and local government having been reformed from time to times. The origin of local government is traceable to pre-colonial time. The colonial master on coming to Nigeria capitalized on what they met to introduce the indirect rule and native authority system in the northern territories which was a prelude modern local government. The introduction was to ensure the stabilization of the poor state of law and order, effective machinery for the collective of the much needed taxes for development as well as for apprehension of criminals.
According to Brandt (1980:122), Lord Lugard who introduced the system later extended it to other parts of the country. In trying to justify the indirect rule option, he stated “there is no desire to impose on the Nigerian people any theoretical suitable form of government but rather to evolve from their old institutions, based on their own habits of thoughts, prestige and customs, the form of government best suited for them and adapted to meet their new conditions.”
From the above statement, it is clear that Lugard gave the impression that he was in favour of self-government of some sort, for which good government cannot be a substitute. By this method, rather than for traditional rulers to generate revenue for their localities, they were generating money for the colonial government. The leadership of the localities predominantly rested on the traditional rulers who have the authority to hire and sack its employees.
The local government reform of 1976 witnessed a fundamental breakthrough in the reform process of local government, which put the local level on a sound footing for community development in all state of the federation. The reform provided for the recognition of local government as the third tier of government as well as the place of traditional rulers, local, state and federal relations. States were also empowered to create subordinate councils from large local government.
Later in 1988, the federal military government headed by general Ibrahim Babangida carried out further reforms, allowing each councils to have a number of basic development s including administration, finance, health, education, etc, and in line with the reforms, supervisory councilors were appointed by the chairmen to those various departments. Additionally, in 1991, under the same government and leadership, the local government councils were granted autonomous and their revenue allocation was increased, while more local government councils were created.
However, in order to further bring development closer to the grassroots people, the late head of state general sanni abacha in 1996 created additional local government thereby increasing the numbers of local government councils in the country 774 (Ola, R.F.,1995:306).
As an instrument of political and mobilization of the grassroots, the local government is founded upon the premise that the small unit of government stimulates popular participation in developmental activities. It elicits enthusiasm and fosters concentration of energies of the locality thereby enriching national policies and making national development plans more real for local needs and circumstances.
Egor Local Government Area has been adopted as the research area for this study. The researcher paid a visit to the Local Government secretariat at Uselu, Benin City, to obtain the population figure of the local government for proper analysis of the work.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Local government being the closet arm of government to the people, ought to carry out adequate political education of the grassroots people and therefore mobilize them for adequate participation in political and development activities, such that the people at the grassroots can feel the impact of government activities in the nation. However, despite the huge revenue allocated to local government in Nigeria, and Egor local Government council in particular, grassroots participation in political and development activities in the localities as well as the impact of the local government on the localities and contribution to national development is still a mirage.
The people still live in abject poverty, there is no clean portable water for drinking, almost all the roads in the local areas are in bad shape, most of the rural communities are not electrified, while in some communities in Egor Government in particular, there are no good school buildings, but primary and secondary school students receive classes under trees, as a result of dilapidated school buildings, no health care facilities in the localities, and where they exist, there are no health care workers to manage them. In fact, the facilities that make life worth living are totally lacking in the local government area of study.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this research is to evaluate the extent to which Local Government has performed their role in grassroots mobilization and political education to enhance participation of the people, the provision of the basic infrastructures in the local areas such as roads, schools, health-centres and portable water supply, and how they have fared in financing grassroots’ participation in development projects in Nigeria, using Egor Local Government Area as a case study. In summary therefore, the research is aimed at the following objectives:
To examine the level of political mobilization of the Egor local government people towards political and developmental efforts in social services such as motorable roads, pipe-borne water, health centres, town halls and schools in Egor Local Government Areas.
To examine the overall performance of Egor Local Government vis-à-vis political education, mobilization for participation, socio-economic and infrastructural development of the council;
To identify the major impediments militating against the local government in carrying out these functions in the grassroots; and
To make recommendations that will help policy makers in adopting policies that will enhance the grassroots political participation and mobilization towards political and developmental efforts in the council in particular and the country in general.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This study would be of immense importance to the local government managers both at the state and federal levels in suggesting proper policy implementation for progress. The study will prompt the government at various levels to put more effort in mobilizing and developing the political activities of the grassroots people. It would be of immense importance to further research on issues of local government performance as well.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In order to provide focus for this study, the following research questions are formulated:
Does the lack of proper political participation and mobilization of the grassroots people affects development of their localities?
Does the lack of the right caliber of personnel in local government affects political participation and mobilization of the grassroots people? and
Does the non-involvement of the people in local government politics and policies affect the people themselves?
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study focuses squarely on the issues of local government’s role in political participation and mobilization of the grassroots people in Nigeria, using Egor Local Government as a case study.
One of the limitations of this study is that it is impossible to reach every person in the Local Government Ares and also, not everyone would be willing to participate in this kind of academic exercise.
1.7 CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATIONS
For better understanding of basic concepts utilized in this work, the following concepts are defined as follows:
Local Government: This implies the organizations that provide public services in a particular town or area, controlled by officials chosen in local elections.
Role: This implies the purpose or influence of someone or something in a particular situation
Political Participation: It means voluntary activities shared by members of political society in the process of selecting their leaders and therefore contributes directly or indirectly in the formation of public policy.
Mobilization: It means the art of organizing, empowering and directing people towards an objective.
Political Education: This is a form of education that is concerned with the acts and process of governance in a society.
1.8 STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY
This study consists of five chapters as follows:
Chapter one: This is the introductory aspect of the work, it is involves the historical background, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of study, research hypotheses, scope/limitation of the study and conceptual clarifications.
Chapter two: This is the review of relevant literature on the works as well as the theoretical framework of the study.
Chapter Three: This chapter deals with the research methodology utilized in the study; it involves the research design, population of study, sample size and sampling method, method of data collection, instruction of data collection, administration of research instrument, validity/reliability of the research instrument and method of data analysis.
Chapter four: This chapter involves the presentation of data, analyses and discussion of findings.
Chapter Five: This chapter would summarize and conclude the work, as well as provide policy recommendations on local government’s role in political participation and mobilization in Nigeria, Egor Local Government As Case Study.
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