THE IMPACT OF 3RD TIER GOVERNMENT IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN AKWA IBOM STATE (A CASE STUDY OF UYO LOCAL GOVERNEMNT AREA CONCIL, UYO)
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The third-tier of government is the local government and presently the closet to the grassroots. The chairman or head of council is the arrowhead of community development (Akai, 2005). Local government is a tier of government possessing the three criteria of entity existence, government character and autonomy. It operates under a freed and independent circumstances. Ugwu (2007) defined local government as the third tier level of government created for the purpose of efficient and effective administration unit of the localities. It is a political and administrative unit that is empowered by law to administer any locality or community. On the other hand, Okoli (2005), sees community development as the process by which the efforts of the people are limited with those of governmental authorities to improve the economic, social and cultural condition of communities to integrate those communities into the life of the nations and to enable them to contribute fully to the national progress.
However, the broad motive of third-tier government (local government) is to ensure grassroots’ participation in government and thereby encourages the growths and development of communities. The role of third tier government in community development according to Ona (2009), was because the third tier was “bother placed or has the superior capacity to understand and conduct their local affairs”. The rationale for the assertion is that the third tier of government is the nearest government to the community dwellers and it has the capacity to identify their needs and demand than the other two tiers of governments- federal and state. Also, third tier government has abundant and human resources when fully tapped and utilized, will become valuable instruments for community development.
Community development ideally, this, is a process whereby the third tier of government, in concert with higher levels of governments, brings about comprehensive improvement in the lives of the people within its area of jurisdiction. It is believed that this two ideals relationship between community development and local government (third tier) provides an existing framework not only for decision making with respect to community but also for coordinating assistance form other agencies of the central government (State or federal) and even from international agencies.
The focus of this work is to assess the role of local government on community development using Uyo Local Government Area as a case study.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Local government was created to enhance political participation and participatory development at the grassroots level. This means that local government is an agent of community development. However, a work at communities in Uyo local government area shows that a lot of communities are lacking in the indication of development. This is the problem. What could be responsible for this?
What are community development programmes of Uyo local government? How relevant are these programmes to the development of Uyo local government? What is the extent of community development programmes on the development of the communities? What are the problems facing Uyo Local Government in its community development efforts? These and many more questions are what the work will seek to provide answers to.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this work is to assess the role of third tier government in community development. The specific objectives are to:
- To identify community development programmes in Uyo Local Government Area.
- Examine the relevance of those programmes to the development of Uyo Local Government
- Access the extents of community development programmes on the development of communities in uyo L.G.A.
- Identify the problems facing Uyo local government in Its community development
- Recommend measures that could be used to combat the problems
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study rests on the facts that the findings might help to provide a practical mechanism and a paradigm shifts for assisting the third-tier government to perform their constitutional duties as stipulated, prepare them for good governance and more responsibilities that will enable them to respond to the yearnings of grassroots. Proximity provided by 3rd-term system affords the community not just a sense of belonging and participation, but also the opportunity to assess and appraise the performance of their elected representatives. And this will be unfolded in this study and it would form an instructive note for subsequent political arrangements, with the ultimate tendency towards the much-needed good governance.
Here, it will make the 1st and 2nd tiers of governments to change or adjust policies of developing, planning and implementing/repositioning the status of third tier from its current state to entirely new position which is believed to be desirable. The impact or benefit of the work to governments is that it will aimed at preventing in efficiency and ineffectiveness.
Also, the study will help to reverse the dwindling fortunes of development and to provide a sound policy, legal, technical and administrative framework that will support excellent service delivery and operational management by the third-tier governments and portfolio agencies, in a manner that advances the ideals of effective local governance and the goals of sustainable community development. This research study is aimed at up-dating studies previously carried out on the topic and to the knowledge of practical local government administration.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Does local government as the third-tier of government play any role in community development?