Local Government And Urban Development In Nigeria Case Study Of Oshodi Isolo LGA, Lagos State


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Nigeria operates a federal system of government with a Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), 36 states and 774 local governments. As creatures of the federal government, local governments are constitutionally mandated to perform four basic functions: to provide a machinery for the discussion of local needs and for the provisions of corresponding services within the competence and capability of the local area; to provide machinery for the execution at the local level of regional or federal government policy; to provide a consensus mechanism for the resolution of conflicts of interest at the local level; and to provide a training ground for political participation and articulation (Okoli,2000).This implies that Nigerian local governments are to render cutting edge services that will foster urban development of the urban people which can be otherwise described as socio-economic development. If properly managed, local governments are viable instrument for urban transformation, development and the delivery of social services to urban communities in their jurisdiction (Sanda, 1988).

Historically speaking, local governments have been assigned different functions. In colonial time, native authorities were primarily established for maintenance of law and order. With the emergence of independence, emphasis shifted from laws enforcement to the provision of social services (Adeyemo, 2005). How well Nigerian local governments have carried out their constitutionally mandated functions of urban development have become a subject of national debate, among scholars and practitioners. To say the least, their operations have come under serious and severe criticisms with some persons calling for the scrapping of the third tier of government. Local government service delivery has continued to dwindle and epileptic in nature despite financial allocations, local government reforms like the 1976.

In Nigeria, the urban people, thoroughly marginalized into a vacuous existence, make up the other Nigerians-forgotten and always forgotten. The line is like a perpetually recurring bad dram, a tale of extreme want in the midst of abundance.There has been an administration upsurge of interest in the literature on development administration and in planning circles on the positive role local government could play in national development. Usually the emphasis is in terms of using local government as a strategic instrument for fostering, promoting and implementing urban development. In Nigeria, local government as the tier of government nearest to the urban, has since the colonial era been recognized as an institution capable of transforming the live of the urban inhabitants either to create new local governments or to revamp the existing ones in the country with the objectives of utilizing them as fulcrums of urban development. The continuous emphasis on urban development is understandable for it is there that the great mass of the people are,: it is there that most indigenous resources of men and land are underused, there that nutrition can be tackled; there that success would be done most to slow the migration to major cities and finally, it is there that some redress of gross inequality in income distribution can be started.

Urban growth and renewal, which is an essential element of sustainable urban development, is inevitably influenced by general conditions including globalization and demographic change. Urban development initiatives also face changing demands on infrastructure generally and towns and cities expectedly undergo phases of growth, stagnation, decline and revitalization. As a consequence, the tasks of urban renewal, urban expansion is an uphill and a daunting one. This study therefore examines the potency of public/private partnership as a strategy/for accelerating the implementation of high quality urban development and renewal projects. This is expedient because the public/private partnership option is expected to play a complimentary role in meeting the challenges posed by urban development and renewal, especially given the peculiarity of the Nigerian climate that is typified by lack of commitment by government to infrastructural development and maintenance and the accompanying urban decay that has become common place. This study which utilized relevant secondary sources of data argues that the low level of public/private partnership in Nigeria is largely a product of the existing climate of poor collaboration. This study subsequently posits that the efficacy of public/private partnership initiatives in Nigeria is constrained by the existing climate of poor commitment by government to urban development and renewal issues that has engineered an unfavourable predisposition by the private sector in this regard. The study resultantly hinged the workability of the public/private partnership option vis-à-vis the urban development and renewal dilemma in Nigeria on the dismantling of the permeating climate.

The problem of this study is the ineffectiveness of the local government system in Nigeria stems from the urban structure of the society which natures an urban development strategy is hailed by foreign experts who have on numerous occasions advised our leaders and who still do so. As previous researchers rightly pointed out, to asset that the lock off attention to the urban sector has been merely because of the short sightedness of Africa leaders would be to overdose the urban and industrial bias of the majority of foreign economists and technicians who have advised African governments and institutions over the past decrees.  Moreover, the neglect of urban areas stems mainly from the fact that modern African political leaders are creatures of the tours. In the light of the above, the researcher is examining local government administration as an instrument of urban development in Nigeria.

The following are the objectives of this study:

  • To examine local government administration as an instrument of urban development.
  • To examine the factors limiting local government administration in the purpose of urban development.
  • To determine the measures to promote urban development through the local government

The research question are:

  • Is local government administration as an instrument of urban development?
  • What are the factors limiting local government administration in the purpose of urban development?
  • What are the measures to promote urban development through the local government?

The following are the significance of this study:

  • Outcome of this study will provide an overview for the general public on the role of the local government administration as the instrument of urban development in Nigeria
  • This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of local government administration and urban development in Nigeria and beyond, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.

This study will cover local government administration as the instrument of urban development in Nigeria using Oshodi Isolo LGA of Lagos state

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