- Background of the study
Local government plays a very crucial role in the delivery of services to the citizenry. The success of any local government is its ability to utilize its human and material resources to achieve the desired goals set aside for the citizens i.e. rendering needed services to the community. Local government is a government in which popular participation both in the choice of decision makers and in its recognition of a third tier of government is made possible. Prior to 1976, however, Nigerian local government has passed through various transformations. These transformations and reorganizations have affected the system financially, administratively, politically and functionally.
Local government administration in Nigeria has had a tortuous history. It is an important process of government with significant consequences for national development. It is about mobilization of human and material resources at the grassroots level for societal progress and development.
Modern local government administration in Nigeria began during the British colonial rule. But then the system was not uniform. The restructuring and provision of some level of roles, democratic existence and funding of local government administration began in 1976. The 1976 local government reform introduced a uniform system of local government administration throughout the country, recognized local government as third tier of government and granted financial and functional autonomy to local government administration in Nigeria. The reform was a major departure from the previous practice of local government administration in Nigeria (Oviasuyi, Idada&Isiraojie, 2010). During the period when the British colonized Nigeria and the mid 1970’s when a major reform initiative was launched, local government administration was essentially undemocratic and authoritarian, either directly colonial in nature, or in indirectly so, but indeed undemocratic, under various traditional governance authorities referred to as Native Administration by the British colonial rulers (Jega, 2006:1).
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FACTORS AFFECTING THE VIABILITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AS THIRD TIER OF GOVERNANCE