Local Government involves the administration of a particular district, with representatives elected by those who live there. Local government exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state. The head of a Local Government is known as The Chairman. There are 774 local governments in Nigeria.
Functions of Local Government
- Collection of rates and licenses on radio and television.
- Licensing of bicycles, trucks, canoes, wheel barrows, carts, etc.
- Establishment, maintenance and regulation of markets, motor parks, etc.
- Registration of births, deaths and marriages in their areas of authority.
- Assessment of privately owned houses or tenements for the purpose of levying such rates.
- Naming of roads, streets
Sources of Finance for Local Government Administrations
- The national assembly: They make provision for statutory allocation of public revenue.
- House of assembly of a state: They make provision for statutory allocation of public revenue to local government councils.
- Grants: They receive grants from both central and state governments for special projects.
- Collection of rates: Revenues are equally generated through collection of rates on electronics and market stalls.
- Commercial ventures: Some local government are involved in commercial ventures like transportation.
- Payment of fines: Fines are paid by those that have offended the rules and regulations.
Problems of Local Government Administration
- Acute shortage of trained personnel.
- Shortage of funds to increase operation.
- Political leaders have at different times interfered with activities of local governments.
- Some officials demand bribe before performing their functions.
- Diversion of revenue by selfish officials.
- Granting of undue favor to friends.
Features of 1976 Local Government reforms in Nigeria
- Introduction of uniform system of local government.
- Federal government became directly involved in the local government administration.
- Introduction of service board/ commission in all states.
- Appointment of full time chairmen and supervisory councilors.
- Federal and state governments were made to give grants to local governments.
- Majority of local councilors were to be elected on a three-year basis as the term of office.
- Traditional rulers were excluded from the local government council.
Role of Traditional Rulers in Local Government
- Ministerial appointment: Some of them were appointed as ministers without port folio.
- Legislation: They were also appointed into the second chamber in the regional law-making body.
- President of customary courts; Some of the traditional rulers were appointed presidents of customary courts.
- The tyranny of the first chamber: House of chiefs acted as a check to arbitrary acts of the upper chamber.
- Representation of the grassroots: The traditional rulers were seen as the representatives of the people at the grassroots.
- Acted as a link:They are seen as a link between the people and the government.