THE ADMINISTRATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND CHALLENGES OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT (A STUDY OF ANAMBRA EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE)

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Background to the Study 
The desire for creating local government anywhere in the world stems from the need to facilitate development at the grassroots level. The issue of rural development has been creating a lot of concern in most third world countries. There has been growing recognition of the importance of rural development as an instrument in the overall development of the contemporary developing world. This is because of the glaring gap between the rural and urban areas in terms of infrastructural, resources distribution, human resources development and employment, which has made rural development imperative (Ogbazi, 1982:2). This imbalance has subjected the rural areas to more disadvantaged economic position. It has induced rural – urban migration, thereby, increasing unemployment situation in the urban areas, while, simultaneously depriving the rural areas of their agricultural workforce. 

In Nigeria for instance, the recognition of the above problems, instigated the Federal Military Government in 1976, to take a bold initiative to reform the local government system in Nigeria. The essence of the reform was to bring about stable increase in rural productivity and income, diversification of rural economy and general enhancement of the quality of life in the areas (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1980:12). In the same vein, the Nigerian Constitution (1999:6) provides that every local government in the country shall participate in the economic planning and development of its own area of jurisdiction. To strengthen this great task bestowed on the local governments, General Ibrahim Babangida, reminded Nigeria‟s that local government were not created to pay salaries only, but to ensure collective participation in governance, motivate physical and economic development, creat the condition for development opportunities and provide social services which can improve the wellbeing of the rural people (Oyorbaire and Olagunju, 1998:49). 

It is pertinent to believe that, the ability of any local government to accomplish such expected tasks will depend on the availability of funds. That is to say that the survival and effectives of this grassroot tier, depend on its financial viability. Hence, Adedeji (1969:96) assertion that the success or failure of any local government will depend on the financial resources available to it. Furthermore, Adedeji (1972:110), opined that local governments in Nigeria are enmeshed in a vicious circle of poverty. The elements of that viciousness include inadequate functions and power, inadequate finance, low caliber and poorly paid staff, poor performance, and transfer of functions to state and federal governments and cumbersome structure. Adedeji stated that finance represents the points at which the vicious cycle may be broken or possibly reversed. In other words Local government administration should not retain in their pursuit for financial buoyancy so as to break the vicious cycle of poverty of the rural populace. 

1.2 Statement to the Problem 
Local government in modern day life is responsible for delivering basic goods and services to its local communities in faster, easier and more efficient manner. Local government is the level of government in Nigeria at which the momentum to sustain national development is created. The rural development initiated by local government is expected in terms of specific projects such as kilometers of rural roads constructed and maintained; borehole and deep wells sink or rehabilitated and maintained by the local government; rural electrification; and rural people empowerment programmes. This could be expressed in terms of the improved quality of life the citizenry enjoy as optimized in the primary health care programme provided, procurement and distribution of fertilizer to farmers at subsidized rate; effective and efficient management of primary education as well as the regularity and quality of public enlightment programmes provided and enjoyed by the rural populace. The effectiveness and efficient provision of these services qualifies local government as viable, instrument of rural development. These problem need to be addressed in order to redress the severity of the problem on the Nigerian rural people (Fourth National Development plan 1980 - 85). 

The merit in involving the local communities inhabitants as a focal point of good governance in the local government administration is that they serve as a point of contact between the local government and the grassroots (Okafor, 1982). Community in 

Nigeria in the past has maintained a strong tradition in the area of self-help projects (Okafor 1984). Basic infrastructural facilities such as roads, bridges, markets, health institutions, primary and post-primary institutions have been provided in different parts of the country through self-help development programmes. According to Okafor, community have the capacity to respond to specific local development plans, mobilize their resources in a collective way, adjust their organizations to the required needs and devise their own appropriate management rules to cope with the situation (Okafor 1984). 

However, beyond these reasons, the dismal failure of past regimes in Nigeria to tackle the problem of poverty and living conditions of the rural populace is traceable to the inability of the government to explore the democratic approach to governance in local government. Much attention and thought served not have been given to the fact that beyond government‟s efforts, the rural populace themselves can meaningfully contribute to the development of their welfare (Alila, 1998). Also, most rural projects are financed from external source (i.e. statutory allocation) and with emphasis on items of capital expenditures that are not masses oriented. 

Therefore, the following research questions are pertinent to be answered; thus: 

(a) To what extent have the Local government administration ensured rural development? 

(b) To what extent does poor capital funding affect local government in effort for rural development? 

(c) Does the Local government administration have the capacity for community mobilization and participation for rural development? 

(d) What are the programmes and project put in place by Local government administration for rural development? 

(e) What are the factors hindering Local government administration towards rural development? 

1.3 Objectives of the Study 
Generally, the study seeks to examine the extent to which local governments have impacted on rural development inAguata and Anaocha local government areas Anambra State. 

The studies also attempt to achieve the following specific objectives: 

i. To assess the impact of Local Government on rural development in Aguata and 

Anaocha Local Government areas. 

ii. To determine the extent to which poor capital funding affect Aguata and Anaocha Local Governments. 

iii. To find out the extent to which community mobilization and participation affect rural development in Local government administration. 

iv. To find out the number of programmes and project implemented towards rural development inSoba and Anaocha Local Government. 

v.To recommend solutions to the problems facing Local government administration towards rural development. 

1.4 Hypotheses of the Study 
Ho There is no significant relationship between the level of capital funding and the rate of rural development inAguata and Anaocha local government areas. 

H1: There is significant relation between the level of capital funding and the rate of rural development inAguata and Anaocha local government areas. 

Ho; There is no significant relation between the level of community mobilization and participation and rural development inAguata and Anaocha local government areas. 

H1: There is significant relationship between the level of community mobilization and participation and rural development in Local government administration Areas. 

1.5 Significance of the Study 
Existing literature in this field of research such as Idode (1989) and Olatunbosun (1975) only restricted themselves to the study of bureaucracy in rural development, rural neglect. This study provides a link between the local governments and their impact on rural development. The importance of this work cannot be overemphasized, because it is also unique and distinct from other studies on the ground that it assess and evaluate the impact of the programmes and projects on rural communities, it also get the views of rural dwellers and assess their level of participation and the constraining factors impeding proper policy implementation of the programmes and projects in Aguata and Anaocha local government areas of Anambra State. 

This study was embarked upon with the hope that, it will contribute to the body of knowledge on rural development and to help to proffer ways through which rural development can be enhanced in the local governments. 

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study 
It is difficult to study what challenges are faced by all the local governments in terms of rural development because of different resources constraints. Hence to make the research easy, the study focused on the Anaocha being the urban local government and Aguata being the developing rural local government areas of Anambra state between the period of 2006 – 2011. This is done with the emphasis on the social, economic and infrastructural facilities. 

Another reason for selection is that no study has been conducted on Local government administration for assessment of their impact within this period. In addition to that, though local governments have number of functions and responsibilities under its ordinance, the study focuses only rural development in terms of social, economic and infrastructural facilities. Rationales of selecting these services are because local government areas are rapidly moving towards urbanization and, the main challenge faced by the urbanized society is providing these services to their populace. For that reason, these services are more appropriate to get a clear picture of what challenges faced in the local government in terms of accelerated rural growth and development and how local governments would overcome their challenges and what innovations and strategies would work to deliver the better service to the rural populace. 

In views of these facts, Local government administration have been selected as the case study in order to get a clear picture of what challenges faced by the local governments in terms of better service delivery towards rural developments. Local government as the third tier of government is expected to be the grassroots developers and mobilizes of the local communities, but unfortunately, over the years, local government in Nigeria have not lived up to their expectations, as they have become conduit pipes for the wastage of public funds. Local communities‟ probably possess the strongest capabilities and promises for mobilizing and managing local resources. This is because they are organic units for the formation of self-managing organization which ensure collective and co-operative action in the execution of rural development projects. 

The inability of the researchers to access adequate funds to undertake the study. Inadequate record keeping by local governments councils limited the amount of information that would have been of immense help to the research. The confidentiality of some information at the Anambra State Ministry for Local Government also limited access to information. 

1.7 Definition of Basic Terms 
Operational definitions are the definition of variables which must be practical, related to the subject matter and have emphasized referents (Ogbonna, 1991 in Agetwe, 2006). It has therefore become necessary for the terms used in this study to be operationally defined. 

(a) Local Government 
The term „local government‟ as used in this study mean local government as that tier of government closer to the people expected to serve as the basis of socio-economic development in the locality to the people at grass-root level. It can also be seen as a government that has been perceived as a panacea for the diverse problems of the diverse people with diverse culture. 

(b) Development 
As used in this study, the word „Development‟ implies an advancement of rural communities toward a desirable state accompanied by improvement in basic infrastructures and the reduction in rural poverty, unemployment and inequality. It can also be seen as a process that ensures the existing deplorable rural conditions are disappearing, with the overall goal of making conditions more livable and worth living. 

(d) Rural Development 
As used in this study, the word „Rural Development‟ here connotes conscious integrated system and programmes designed to uplift and improve the general standard of living of the rural populace through the provision of basic social amenities in the rural areas by the government through the institutions which amongst other things, encourage the predication of people in the process of development with the ultimate aim of developing human potentialities which is the basis for any development. 

Community Mobilization: In this study mean howAguata and Anaocha local government areas attempt to bring both human and non-human resources together to undertake developmental activities in order to achieve the overall standard of living in the community toward rural development. 

Mobilization: This means in this study as: 

(a) Funding 
The term „funding‟ in this study means; the statutory allocation is payments which are governed by the permission of the constitution or by Act of legislation. The constitution of Nigeria made it categorically clear that certain percentage of the amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account is to be given to all the local governments of the Federation. All the local government in Nigeria is to share 20% of the federation account. And the internally generated revenue simply refers to all monies which are obtained by a local government through legislation. This includes the various sources of revenue within the resources capability of the Aguata and Anaocha Local Government. 

Community Participation: This means is this study as situation where rural communities need to actively take parts in designing implementing and shaping the project that affect them inAguata and Anaocha local government areas. 

Capital Funding: In this study, capital funding mean money spent and kept aside by Aguata and Anaocha on the purchases or improvement of fixed asset such as buildings, roads and other infrastructural facilities towards rural development.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 71 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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