THE IMPACT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE ON GRASSROOT LEVEL IN NIGERIA( A CASE STUDY OF ADO ODO LOCAL GOVERNMENT OGUN STATE)

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ABSTRACT

This research work attempts to assess the impact of local government performance on grassroot level in Nigeria, a case study of Ado Odo local government Ogun state. Local Governments were primarily designed to meet the basic needs and aspirations of the rural communities. Fundamentally, government needs to place rural development at the top of the agenda of National Development in realization of the fact that enhanced rural development is a prerequisite for meaningful and sustainable overall national development policies and programmes through the local government. However, rural communities in Nigeria, specifically Ado Odo local government are still facing numerous difficulties in terms of infrastructural deficiency, poor human development, which has made rural development imperative. This imbalance has subjected the rural areas to more disadvantaged economic position. With this, the study tries to examine the level of capital funding and community mobilization and participation in effort of rural development. The research work covered the period of 2006 and 2019. Data for the study were collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary source comprises the used of questionnaire, interview and observation, while the secondary source consists of text books, journals, thesis, manuals and other unpublished papers. Descriptive and inferential statistical tools were used for data presentation and analysis. The Spear man rank coefficient correlation of non parametric tool was used for the analysis of data that leads to the testing of the two hypotheses. It was discovered that inadequate funding has been the bane of rural development in study areas. This is attributable to a lot of draw – backs arising from untold interruptions and control by the higher tiers of governments. It was recommended that, to bring about a more realistic rural development in Nigeria, specifically Ado Odo local governments, the local government should minimize their total dependence on the federal allocation, and increase their effort towards generating more revenue through the diversification of their internal revenue sources.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study
It is generally acknowledged that no central government can effectively conduct administration from the centre through the civil servants based at the headquarters. This has naturally necessitated the need for some forms of decentralization to enable the central government reach out to the people at the local level. This underscores the rationale for the creation of local governments to provide services aimed at meeting the peculiar needs of people at the most basic level of society. In other words, the major reason for the existence of local government in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world is to facilitate grassroots development. The objectives of grassroots development in Nigeria include the following: Reducing the level of rural poverty and rural unemployment; Integration of the grassroots communities into the national socio-economic and political development through effective participation in their own affairs; Improve incomes of the rural people whose major economic activity is agriculture and non-farm activities such as craft, petty trading, among others; and Improve the quality of life of the people through the provision of basic necessities such as food, potable water, electricity supply, health-care services, schools, etc.
The local governments are therefore, saddled with the responsibility of raising rural productivity and income, diversify rural economy and enhance the welfare of rural dwellers. Since agriculture is the main economic activity in the rural areas, the most effective instrument for the realization of grassroots development has been agricultural programmes. As Olayide (in Zoaka, 2010) noted:
The spatial structure of the rural environment and the skills of its inhabitants indicate that agriculture constitutes the dominant activities of the population considering that the only readily available resources are land, water and labour.
In the light of this, successive governments in Nigeria have shown much interest in agricultural development through a number of programmes such as Operation Feed the Nation (OFN); Green Revolution; River Basin Development Authority (RBDA); among others. The policy documents of these programmes came out clean on what government planned to do for the people without indication of their participation. However, a strategy of grassroots development must place the mobilization of rural communities as the centre piece of development through an integrated approach.
According to Egwemi and Odo (2013), the wide range of activities in an integrated rural development approach must be centrally planned and co-ordinated with the active involvement of the people to ensure that the objective of programme sustainability is achieved. The integrated approach is gravitated on the need for actions to be taken on several fronts simultaneously in a manner that will break the vicious cycle of poverty and underdevelopment of the rural people.
The application of the approach to grassroots development will entail programmes of agricultural productivity; health-delivery services; investment in rural non-farm activities; nutrition; education and training; electrification; co-operatives; water supply; rural credit facilities; roads construction and maintenance; etc to be planned and implemented in an integrated manner.
Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) in its strategy of developing the rural areas, recognized the centrality of people’s participation in their own development. The Decree No. 4 of 6th February, 1986, which set-up the agency stressed the mobilization of rural community organizations as the centre-piece of the strategy for rural development. Section 5(9) of the Decree quoted in Zoaka et al. (2010) stated thus:
The Directorate shall be charged with among other things to identify; involve and support viable local community organizations in the effective mobilization of the rural population for sustained rural development activities, bearing in mind the need for promoting greater community participation and economic selfreliance of the rural community.
On this premise, the pivotal role of local governments in grassroots development cannot be over emphasized. They are better positioned than other levels of government (state and federal) to engender grassroots development due to their closeness to the people at the local level. Also, given their limited areas of coverage, it is easier for local governments to plan and execute programmes that can impact directly on every member of their communities. Furthermore, the Honourable members of the local government councils, which is the policy-making body for the local governments are part and parcel of their local communities with intimate knowledge of the needs, aspirations and preferences of the people. Thus, to all intents and purposes, the local governments are the most effective agents of development at the local or grassroots level.
However, despite these obvious advantages, many local governments have failed to perform to expectations in the socio-economic and political development of their areas.
1.2 Statement to the Problem
Local government in modern day life is responsible for delivering basic goods and services to its local communities in faster, easier and more efficient manner. Local government is the level of government in Nigeria at which the momentum to sustain national development is created. The rural development initiated by local government is expected in terms of specific projects such as kilometers of rural roads constructed and maintained; borehole and deep wells sink or rehabilitated and maintained by the local government; rural electrification; and rural people empowerment programmes. This could be expressed in terms of the improved quality of life the citizenry enjoy as optimized in the primary health care programme provided, procurement and distribution of fertilizer to farmers at subsidized rate; effective and efficient management of primary education as well as the regularity and quality of public enlightment programmes provided and enjoyed by the rural populace. The effectiveness and efficient provision of these services qualifies local government as viable, instrument of rural development. These problem need to be addressed in order to redress the severity of the problem on the Nigerian rural people (Fourth National Development plan 1980 – 85).
The merit in involving the local communities inhabitants as a focal point of good governance in the local government administration is that they serve as a point of contact between the local government and the grassroots (Okafor, 1982). Community in Nigeria in the past has maintained a strong tradition in the area of self-help projects (Okafor 1984). Basic infrastructural facilities such as roads, bridges, markets, health institutions, primary and post-primary institutions have been provided in different parts of the country through self-help development programmes. According to Okafor, community have the capacity to respond to specific local development plans, mobilize their resources in a collective way, adjust their organizations to the required needs and devise their own appropriate management rules to cope with the situation (Okafor 1984).
Unfortunately, rural communities in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local government areas are still facing numerous difficulties regarding availability and accessibility to basic necessities of life, such as inadequate programme design, poor management implementation, corruption, lack of commitment by government, and inadequate development support institutions for this segment of the society, specifically Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State.
However, beyond these reasons, the dismal failure of past regimes in Nigeria to tackle the problem of poverty and living conditions of the rural populace is traceable to the inability of the government to explore the democratic approach to governance in local government. Much attention and thought served not have been given to the fact that beyond government‟s efforts, the rural populace themselves can meaningfully contribute to the development of their welfare (Alila, 1998). Also, most rural projects are financed from external source (i.e. statutory allocation) and with emphasis on items of capital expenditures that are not masses oriented.
Therefore, the following research questions are pertinent to be answered; thus:
(a) To what extent have the Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State ensured rural development?
(b) To what extent does poor capital funding affect Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State in effort for rural development?
(c) Do the Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State have the capacity for community mobilization and participation for rural development?
(d) What are the programmes and project put in place by Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State for rural development?
(e) What are the factors hindering Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State towards rural development?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Generally, the study seeks to examine the extent to which local governments have impacted on rural development in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State areas Kaduna State. The studies also attempt to achieve the following specific objectives:
i. To assess the impact of Local Government on rural development in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State
ii. To determine the extent to which poor capital funding affect Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State.
iii. To find out the extent to which community mobilization and participation affect rural development in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State nment.
iv. To find out the number of programmes and project implemented towards rural development in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State.
v. To recommend solutions to the problems facing Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State towards rural development.
1.4 Hypotheses of the Study
Ho There is no significant relationship between the level of capital funding and the rate of rural development in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State.
H1: There is significant relation between the level of capital funding and the rate of rural development in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State.
Ho: There is no significant relation between the level of community mobilization and participation and rural development in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State.
H1: There is significant relationship between the level of community mobilization and participation and rural development in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Existing literature in this field of research such as Idode (1989) and Olatunbosun (1975) only restricted themselves to the study of bureaucracy in rural development, rural neglect. This study provides a link between the local governments and their impact on grassroot level. The importance of this work cannot be overemphasized, because it is also unique and distinct from other studies on the ground that it assess and evaluate the impact of the programmes and projects on rural communities, it also get the views of rural dwellers and assess their level of participation and the constraining factors impeding proper policy implementation of the programmes and projects in Ado Odo Local Government Ogun State.
This study was embarked upon with the hope that, it will contribute to the body of knowledge on rural development and to help to proffer ways through which rural development can be enhanced in the local governments.
1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
It is difficult to study what challenges are faced by all the local governments in terms of rural development because of different resources constraints. Hence to make the research easy, the study focused on the Ado Odo Local Government being the developing rural local government areas of Ogun State state between the period of 2006 – 2019. This is done with the emphasis on the social, economic and infrastructural facilities.
Another reason for selection is that no study has been conducted on Ogun State for assessment of their impact within this period. In addition to that, though local governments have number of functions and responsibilities under its ordinance, the study focuses only rural development in terms of social, economic and infrastructural facilities. Rationales of selecting these services are because local government areas are rapidly moving towards urbanization and, the main challenge faced by the urbanized society is providing these services to their populace. For that reason, these services are more appropriate to get a clear picture of what challenges faced in the local government in terms of accelerated rural growth and development and how local governments would overcome their challenges and what innovations and strategies would work to deliver the better service to the rural populace. In views of these facts, Ogun State have been selected as the case study in order to get a clear picture of what challenges faced by the local governments in terms of better service delivery towards rural developments. Local government as the third tier of government is expected to be the grassroots developers and mobilizes of the local communities, but unfortunately, over the years, local government in Nigeria have not lived up to their expectations, as they have become conduit pipes for the wastage of public funds. Local communities‟ probably possess the strongest capabilities and promises for mobilizing and managing local resources. This is because they are organic units for the formation of self-managing organization which ensure collective and co-operative action in the execution of rural development projects.
The inability of the researchers to access adequate funds to undertake the study. Inadequate record keeping by local governments councils limited the amount of information that would have been of immense help to the research. The confidentiality of some information at the Ogun State Ministry for Local Government also limited access to information.
1.7 Definition of Basic Terms
Operational definitions are the definition of variables which must be practical, related to the subject matter and have emphasized referents (Ogbonna, 1991 in Agetwe, 2006). It has therefore become necessary for the terms used in this study to be operationally defined.
(a) Local Government
The term “local government” as used in this study mean local government as that tier of government closer to the people expected to serve as the basis of socio-economic development in the locality to the people at grass-root level. It can also be seen as a government that has been perceived as a panacea for the diverse problems of the diverse people with diverse culture.
(b) Development
As used in this study, the word “Development” implies an advancement of rural communities toward a desirable state accompanied by improvement in basic infrastructures and the reduction in rural poverty, unemployment and inequality. It can also be seen as a process that ensures the existing deplorable rural conditions are disappearing, with the overall goal of making conditions more livable and worth living.
(d) Rural Development
As used in this study, the word “Rural Development” here connotes conscious integrated system and programmes designed to uplift and improve the general standard of living of the rural populace through the provision of basic social amenities in the rural areas by the government through the institutions which amongst other things, encourage the predication of people in the process of development with the ultimate aim of developing human potentialities which is the basis for any development.
Community Mobilization: In this study mean how Ado Odo Local Government areas attempt to bring both human and non-human resources together to undertake developmental activities in order to achieve the overall standard of living in the community toward rural development.
Mobilization: This means in this study as:
(a) Funding
The term “funding” in this study means; the statutory allocation is payments which are governed by the permission of the constitution or by Act of legislation. The constitution of Nigeria made it categorically clear that certain percentage of the amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account is to be given to all the local governments of the Federation. All the local government in Nigeria is to share 20% of the federation account. And the internally generated revenue simply refers to all monies which are obtained by a local government through legislation. This includes the various sources of revenue within the resources capability of the Ado Odo Local Government.
Community Participation: This means is this study as situation where rural communities need to actively take parts in designing implementing and shaping the project that affect them in Ado Odo Local Government Areas.
Capital Funding: In this study, capital funding mean money spent and kept aside by Ado Odo on the purchases or improvement of fixed asset such as buildings, roads and other infrastructural facilities towards rural development.

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