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ABSTRACT

This study examined the challenges of local government autonomy in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study interrogates the following questions: 1. Does federalism guarantee local government autonomy? 2. Does the financial dependence of local governments on statutory allocation from federal government undermine provision of social amenities in
Kolokuma/Opokuma Bayelsa State? The study adopted the analytic framework of the structural functional theory as expounded by Gabriel Almond, among other scholars. The central focus of structural functionalism is intended to explain the basis for the maintenance of order and stability in society and the relevant arrangement within the society which maintain the system. Thus, every political system has structures that are there to perform certain functions. Qualitative method based on secondary data sourced from books, official documents, journals, articles and other documents was adopted. The data analysis was based on qualitative descriptive analysis and the ex-post facto design was adopted as the research design. The study contends among others that the overbearing powers of state governments over the local councils have had significant negative impact on the backwardness of the local government councils in terms of meaningful and enduring development at the grassroots localities. The major finding of the study include that Local Governments under the Nigerian federalism does not have full autonomy due to interference from the higher governments’ especially state government and this at times, is due to some constitutional provisions. Hence, we recommended among others that the Local governments in Nigeria need adequate autonomy that can facilitate their operations and development of communities. This should emanate from institutionalized democratic process of elections for representative local government councils as and when due.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page – – – – – – – –
Approval Page – – – – – – – – –
Dedication – – – – – – – – –
Acknowledgements – – – – – – –
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures – – – – – – – –
Abstract – – – – – – – – –
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Background to the Study – – – – – – – – 1
1.2. Statement of the Problem – – – – – – – – 5
1.3. Objectives of the Study – – – – – – – – 8
1.4. Significance of the Study – – – – – – – – 8
CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review
2.1. Federalism – – – – – – – – – 10
2.2. Local Government Autonomy – – – – – – 16
2.3. Financial Dependence of Local Governments on Statutory Allocation 20
2.4. Provision of Social Amenities and Infrastructure – – – – 23
CHAPTER THREE: Methodology
3.1. Theoretical Framework – – – – – – – – 27
3.2. Hypotheses – – – – – – – – – – 33
3.3. Research Design – – – – – – – – – 33
3.4. Methods of Data Collection – – – – – – – 36
3.5. Method of Data Analysis- – – – – – – – 37
CHAPTER FOUR: Federalism and Local Government Autonomy
4.1. Fiscal Policy – – – – – – – – – 39
4.2. The State Joint Local Government Account (SJLGA) – – – 44
4.3. Personnel – – – – – – – – – 47
4.4. Financial Autonomy – – – – – – – – 51
4.5. Authority Relationship- – – – – – – – 53
CHAPTER FIVE: Financial Dependence of Local Governments on Statutory
Allocation and Provision of Social Amenities
5.1. Over bearing Powers of State Governments over
Local Government in Nigeria – – – – – – 58
5.2. Non-adherence to the Provisions of the Model Financial Memoranda – – 65
5.3. Popular Areas of Fraudulent Activities in the Local Government – – 73
5.4. Health and Hospital Provision – – – – – – – 75
5.5. Education Development – – – – – – – 83
CHAPTER SIX: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
6.1. Summary – – – – – – – – – – 86
6.2. Conclusion – – – – – – – – – – 90
6.3. Recommendations – – – – – – – – – 91
Bibliography – – – – – – – – – 93

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