APPRAISAL OF THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AS AN INSTRUMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA (A Case Study of Chikun Local Government of Kaduna State)
This research work was undertaken with a view to ascertaining “The Role of Local Government as an Instrument of Community Development in Nigeria” with a focus on Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State as a case study. The work looked critically (in question) towards local government and community development in Nigeria within its area of jurisdiction. In doing this, the researcher based his study on the provision of the 1976 Local Government Reform in Nigeria which made local government and community development in Nigeria one of the explicit functions of the local government. In carrying out the research, primary and secondary data were used. Related literatures were reviewed and questionnaire were equally prepared and administered to local government functionaries. The findings of the research were reached using the result of the tested hypothesis. From the research findings, the hypothesis that “the role of local government in community development is low” is rejected. The researcher therefore concluded by making a sense of recommendations among which are the co-ordination of the development efforts of the various formal and informal organizations in the overall local government and community development in Nigeria programmes, and procurement of adequately trained personnel for the organizational and educational processes associated with local government and community development in Nigeria.
1.1 Background of the Study
This chapter one presents the background of the study, aims and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, research questions, statement of hypothesis as well as definition of concepts
Local government has and will continue to be of the prime of development in different parts of the world and their importance and impact on the daily activities of citizens cannot be over emphasized.
The terms local government refers to a political authority set up by a nation as a subordinate authority for the purpose of dispensing or decentralizing (political) power in the English souse, it means local self-government.
Local government is a political sub-division of a national government or in federal system, a sub-division of regional government. In fact local government administration in connection with community development involves bringing development to the community at the grass-roots.
Community development is with a new ideology. It is defined as a process by which the efforts of the people themselves are lived with those of government authorities to improve the economic, social and cultural conditions of the communities, to integrate into the life of native and to enable them to fully contribute to the national progress.
Also the role of local government at the local level is clearly recognized as one of the underlying basis of the 1976 local government reformed which emphasizes that one of the principle objective of local government is to mobilize human and material resources through the involvement of members of the public in the promotion of local government. Many communities had built schools constructed roads bridges and organized higher education, scholarship schemes for linear children etc.
Community development as we recognize today is based on and has grown out of experience of the past. What is new is that these principles are now becoming more widely recognized than ever before the principles of community development are not new, but it is the emphasis which makes it almost a revolutionary. The concept of community development is based on the faith in the ability of people to learn to help them attain improved standard of living building better communities taking one step at a time. Rural development has thus remained one of the priority items of the programmes of any administration. In drawing up the blue print for rural development, the government of Kaduna State aims primarily at sensitizing and mobilizing the people at the grass-root level and deliberately and actively involving them in effective community development encouraging integrated and multi-dimension approach community development. For the government to achieve the grass*-roots development it must get closer to the people community development groups and local government should work very closely because for instance a service project such as maternity dispensary or school which is built without the relevant main tenancy expense of such service are usually too heavy to be borne unaided to such.
1.2 Aims and Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to find out the roles of local government in community development in Chikun Local Government.
The following are the specific objective of this study.
- To determine the impact of funding on community development.
- To determine the impact of corruption on rural development in Nigeria.
- To establish the use of trained and professional workers in community development.
- To ascertain the impact of local government authority on rural development in Nigeria.
1.3 Significance of the Study
The study being “The Role of Local Government as an Instrument of Community Development in Nigeria” will enable readers and future researcher to have a clear view of the role of local government in community development.
The researcher will assist reader and students who might want to carry out research work on the subject matter and will also serve as reference material for them.
This work is expected to assist our policy makers who have taken upon themselves to sensitize the rural dwellers in Chikun local government. This is because through the finding of this work, they would then appreciate the importance of identifying the needs of communities before embarking on any project in a community.
1.4 Scope and Limitation of the Study
It is obvious that Nigeria is a country that has 774 local governments. The study is in “Appraisal of the Roles of Local Government as an Instrument of Community Development in Nigeria”. But due to the fact that there are many local governments in Nigeria, the researcher decided to center the research in Chikun Local Government using it as the case study. The study covers the period between 2015-2017.
The researcher met with some problems in undertaking this study, notably in some areas of data collecting, time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage, and insufficient financial resources to execute the work more effectively.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide the study.
- What impact does funding have on the development of rural areas in Nigeria?
- To what extent does corruption affect rural development in Chikun local government?
- How does lack of trained and professional personnel affect the standardization of project in community development?
- What impact will local government authority have on rural development in Nigeria?
1.6 Statement of Hypothesis
Research hypothesis is a tentative and predictive answer to a question which is subjected to the power of verification and its formulation can be expressed in:
- Null Hypothesis (Ho)
- Alternative Hypothesis (H1)
Since hypothesis is statistical method of testing the attributes of predictive condition, we can test the study under the following hypotheses.
(i) Ho = Roles of Local Government in community development is low
(ii) H1 = Roles of Local Government in community development is high
1.7 Definition of Concepts
The key terms in the work are the local government role in community development.
Local Government: Nworje (2004) local government is an organ of the state put in place to peddle the development activities of a particular place or district with the view of making the impact of government being felt at grass-root level. Also Eyiyee (1999) see local government as the smallest government body created to take care of all local interest that requires government attention.
Role: The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary puts role as “the function that a person expected to have or the function a person has”.
Community: According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, community means the people living in one place district or country considered as a whole.
Development: It means a programme, change gear towards the equipment and sustain ability of the value of life development entails that is continuously taking in man and his physical environment.
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