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THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT (A STUDY OF IGBO-ETITI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ENUGU STATE)


Project topic for Political Science department

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The local government, were created so as to enable the central government (federal government) exercise effective.  Hence, among the effective role of the local government Igbo Etiti local government is the provision of two way communication channel between the communities and the central government through the mobilization of human and material resources at the grass root. The implication of the above is that the concept of rural as well as national development on 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. In 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 igbo- etiti local government area leadership is always required for the genuine involvement of the people at the grass root in any development project or activities of the government. However, the local government igbo etiti 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. Igbo-etiti 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 suffer from over-staffing to the extent that most of its recourses are spent on the payment of staff salaries.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Local 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. This current reform going on now 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 and responsive and objective.

 The local government is faced with a number of problems. This study is equivocally poised to investigate this problems with a view to fashion out solutions to them. Some of the problems with a view to fashion out solutions to them. Some of the problems t looks at in this study includes:

- The problem unproductively in the local government.

- The problem of unemployment and low incomes for target group.

- 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.

13 Motivation.

1. This study will be guided by the local research questions.

2. What are the major roles of igbo-etiti local government in rural development?

3. What are the Obstacles, if any that militate against the implementation of rural development programs in igbo-etiti local government.

4. What are the strategies for effective local government administration in igbo-etiti local government.

1.4 Aims and Objectives of the study

The major aims of this research is to examine the effects of local government administration on rural development using igbo-etiti local government as a case study.

Hence, the objectives of the study are as follows:

(1)   To identify the role of igbo-etiti local government in the development of its rural area.

(2)   To ascertain the effects of inefficient administration on the operations of igbo-etiti local government particularly as it relates to rural development.

(3)   To suggest the strategies for effective local government administration in Igbo-etiti local government Area.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of this research will help different categories of people to understand. This would be made possible because these problems have been earlier stated in the study to these problems.

The significance of the study those problem affecting igbo-etiti local government and their solutions for the relevant authorities to implement for effective and efficient local government administration.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This research is a survey research conducted in igbo-etiti local government Area. The study borders on the role of local government on rural development as well as the problems hindering effective local government in Nigeria.

1.7 Definitions of Terms

Rural Area: Nigeria classifies any area with a population of 20, 000 people and below as a rural area. They are those areas, which are in a state of depression, degradation and deprivation and immersed in poverty.

Community: Is derived from the latin word “Communis” Meaning “Common” Webster dictionary defined it as a small unit within a large one having interests, work etc. common. Maclver sees community as an area of social living marked by same degree of social coherence.


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