Problems of Local Government in Nigeria | Challenges & Solutions
Local government may be defined as a government established through an Act at the local level and to deal with specific matters as it affects them. Under the 1963 Republican constitution, local government authorities were created mainly to deal with matters of local concern, e.g. markets, feeder roads and motor parks.
The essence of local government creation is to involve local participation inthe affairs of their country. Not only that, to bring them into the realms of politics at the grassroots.
Most modern states and governments embrace three or two tiers of government, for example, central, state and local governments, as exist have in Nigeria.
The powers of government and administration are therefore made relevant at the local level. Local government are created through a document called ‘Instrument’. They are created like corporate bodies because they had legal existence.
They could sue and be sued.
Problem of Local Government in Nigeria
- Shortage of trained personnel: Acute shortage of trained and experienced personnel affect the efficiency of local governments.
- Shortage of fund: Most local government do not have enough funds with which to operate. They have enormous responsibilities before them but they lack fund.
- Political interference: Both the military and civilian government have at different times interfered with the activities of the local government.
- Bribery and corruption: Some officials demand and even take bribe before performing their official functions.
- Embezzlement of public fund: Some of the officials involved in revenue collection embezzle part of this fund for their own selfish ends.
- Granting of undue favour: Some local government officials use their positions to give undue favour to their family and friends, for example in the award of contracts.
- Political victimization: Most lbcal government are victimised politically, and frustrated, especially if, they are not in the good books, of the ruling political party.
- Tribalism, nepotism and favouritism: These are the order of the day in terms of appointment, transfer, discipline and promotion of staff.
- Low incentive: The incentive to work is low, leading to poor attitude to work of local government staff.
Solutions to the Problems of Local Government in Nigeria
- Improvement on method of revenue generation: The method of revenue generation has to be overhauled. Honest and capable hands should be used in the collection of rates and other levies.
- In-service training: Most of the workers should be given the opportunity to further their training in local government administration.
- Provision of enough fund: Enough fund should be provided to the Local government. This would help to tackle most of the responsibilities facing them. For example in the provision of infrastructural facilities like; roads, library services and electricity.
- Allocation from federal accounts to local government: The government should increase the allocation from federal revenue accounts to local governments. This will help to boost their financial base.
- Tribalism, nepotism and favouritism: should be discouraged and recruitment of workers into local governments, to be based on merits.
- Provision of grants: Grants (from state and central governments) to local government should be enough and regular too.
- Auditing: Auditing should be done regularly in order to enhance efficient and sound financial managements.
- Access to loan: should not be made difficult for the local government.
- The activities of local government: should not be politically motivated.
- More avenues for revenue generation: They should go into more commercial ventures in order to improve on their financial base.