CHAPTER One: Introduction
The Federal Government of Nigeria,
through the 1976 Local Government Reforms, explained Local Government as follows:
“Local Government is Government at Local level exercised through representative
councils established by Law to exercise specific power within defined areas”
(Government print: 1976).
The United Nations Office for Public Administration
explained Local Government as: “A political division of a nation (in a Federal
or State system) which is constituted by Law and has substantial control of
Local affairs including the power to impose taxes to exact labor for prescribed
W. A. Robson, in the Encyclopedia of the Social
Services, defines Local Government as involving:
“The conception of a territorial, non-sovereign
community possessing the legal right and the necessary organ to regulate its
This, in turn, presupposes the existence of a Local
authority with the power to act independently of external control as well as
the participation of the local community in the administration of its affairs”.
The Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition
(1978), volume 17, defines Local Government as: “a political subdivision of
national government or in the case of Federal Systems, a subdivision of
The New Columbia Encyclopedia (4th Ed.), defines it as
the: “sub-political administration of the smallest sub-divisions of a country’s
territory and population. Ugwu (2002) defines Local Government as “the lowest
unit of administration to whose laws and regulations communities who live in a
defined geographical area and with common social and political ties are subject.
Though these definitions may tend to vary, yet they expose features
characteristic of Local Government, among which are that:
i. Local Government is government at the local level;
ii. It has its autonomous existence and endowed with a
iii. Specific powers are reserved for it;
iv. It can impose taxes and incur expenses;
v. it exists within a defined territory;
vi. It is seen as a distinct tier of Government;
vii. It must provide authority over a given
viii. It must provide avenues for the promotion of the
welfare of the members of the community;
ix. It comprises elected members, such as chairmen and
of the Study
local government, were created so as to enable the Federal and state government
exercise effective control and development of the rural communities.
among the effective role of the local government (Anaocha local government) is
the provision of two way communication
channel between the local communities and the central government
through the mobilization of human and material resources at the
implication of the above is that the concept of rural as well as national
development depends on the effective local government leaderships and
administration for its success (Ngwu 1980) It also, implies that effective
local government is required for the planning, preparation and submission
of the proposal for funding and initiation of any meaningful development
project in Nigeria, this goes a long way to validate the assertion made
by Agu (2001) that effective and efficient leadership and
administration of the local government is required for the sustenance
and utilization of development project in any nation. Hence the studies of
Ezike (1998:45) and Hassan (1999:66) revealed that effective implement of
development project are contingent on strong leadership of the local government area,
particular at the planning stage.
rural as well as national development, the understanding of the local power
structure is capable of enhancing or impeding the implementation of development
project. In addition local government (Anaocha) leadership is always required
for the genuine involvement of the people at the grass root in any development
project or activities of the government.
the local government (Anaocha) had actually in fulfilling their
roles due to both financial as well as political problem. According
to Williams (1998-50) most local government in Nigeria suffer from
inadequate financial resources, this was recently known as zero
accusation. Anaocha local government was vastly affected by this zero
allocation epidemic and this affected a great number of developmental
activities including the payment of its staff. Consequently, the available fund
was not appropriately used due to the frustrating effort of the local
government authority effort of the local government authority which was as a
result of mismanagement. The local government in some cases suffers from
over-staffing to the extent that most of its recourses are spent on the payment of
staff salaries. The research seek to appraise the role of local government in
1.2 STATEMENT OF
government is the third tier government established to bring the
presence of government nearer to the people at the grass
root, with the aim of providing some basic functions or
needs of life such as, food, shelter, job opportunities primary b
health service, primary education, by roads, market and so on. But
contrary to expectations, the local governments have noticeable failed in their
constitutional responsibilities. They are generally classified as been
unproductive (President Oluegun Obasanjo in his address to the nation on the
reasons behind the current local government reform: 2003. Stated that this
current reform is one of the major
reforms previously done on the local government system
in Nigeria, with their sole objective of reforming the local
government system to be effective and efficient , responsive
and objective. The local government is faced with a
number of problems.
The problem of lack of productivity in the local government.
The problem of unemployment and low incomes for target
Lack of improved qualities in the basic needs of life- food, shelter, job
opportunities health service, education etc.
Inability of the local government council to ensures that the
poorer section of the population has some share in the fruits of
economic activities. Lack of social services and economic growth.
Therefore the problem confronting this research is to investigate the role of
local government in economic development.
of the study
determine the nature of local government administration.
2. To determine the nature of development in
local government administration.
determine the role of local government in economic development.
1 What is the nature of Local
2 What is the nature of Economic
development in local government Administration?
3 What is the role of local
government in Economic development
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study shall provide a framework of
the nature of local government administration and its role in the determination
of economic development.
It seek to further draw attention of
all stakeholders comprising of the federal government, state government etc to
the significance of the local government with a view to Assiting it overcome
its numerous challenges towards the attainment of economic development
1.6 Statement of Hypothesis
Ho The level of Economic Development is Low
Hi The level of Economic Development is high
Ho The problem confronting local
government is low
Hi The problem confronting local government is high
Ho The role of local government
in economic development is not effective
Hi The role of local government
in economic development is effective
Scope of the Study
study focuses on the appraisal of the role of local government in economic
development a case study of local governments in Ebonyi state.
Definition of Terms
The following terms
have been defined for the purpose of this study.
. Local government: This is government at a local level
exercised through representative council established by laws toe exercise
specific functions with in a defined area
is a process by which individuals and groups gain power, access resources and gain control over their own lives.
It enables them to gain the ability to achieve their highest personal and
collective aspirations and goals. Furthermore, the methodology
of the study is logical argumentation.
Development is a multidimensional process involving a re-organizational and
re-orientation of the entire economic system in addition to improve income and
outcome. Its typically involves radical changes in institution social as well
popular attitude and sometimes even customers and belief.
. Council: This refers
to the organ the constitute representation of people either elected or
development: This economic development embraces improvement in standard of
living and per capital income but also high level of employment reducing
inflation adequate food high infrastructures stressing values rather than
Objectives: These are end result to which an
organization or government activity directed objectives are hierarchical in
nature are determined to formulate by top management of an organization after
economic social & political force affecting the organization have been
. Programmes: This consists of essentially integrated series
of development projects that spans over a length of time