STATE JOINT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNT AND ITS EFFECTS ON STATE LOCAL RELATIONS IN SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA
The study evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of the State Joint Local Government Account in Southwestern Nigeria. It also assessed the impact of the State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria. It further examined the challenges of the State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria. These were with a view to contributing to the understanding of the impact of State Joint Local Government Account on the State Local relations. The study utilized primary and secondary sources of data. Primary data were sourced through interviews and administration of questionnaires. Using stratified random technique, one hundred and seventy (170) copies of questionnaires were administered on the senior and management staff of relevant ministries in the three selected States of public service and ministries, Lagos, Oyo and Osun State and three selected Local Governments each from the selected States. Out of the One hundred and ninety questionnaire distributed, 90 % (170) of the questionnaires were returned properly filled and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software to generate frequency and percentages. In addition, inferential statistics such as Pearson Correlation, Chi-square Test and Kruskal Wallis (Annova) were used to infer significance and relationship among the variables. Secondary data were collected from textbooks, journals and publication from the library and internet. The results revealed that State Local Government Joint Account has helped to reduced wasteful spending and corruption in the Local Government in South Western Nigeria (72.4%). The result also shows that State Joint Local Government Account has resulted in effective monitoring of Local Government expenditure in South Western Nigeria (70.6%). The result also shows that State Joint Local Government Account has led to reduction in mismanagement and corruption at the Local Government in the South Western Nigeria (67%). The result also shows that State Local Government Joint Account has impeded on the autonomy and expenditure responsibilities of the Local Government in South Western Nigeria (82.3%). The result also shows that the State Joint Local Government Account has resulted in continual interference in the activities of Local Government by the State Government in South Western Nigeria (82.4%). The result also shows that the State Joint Local Government Account causes interference in the function of the local government by the state government in the Southwestern Nigeria (80.5%). Furthermore, the result shows that State Joint Local Government Account brings about to lack of transparency and accountability by state government on actual revenue to be released to the local government in Southwestern Nigeria (63%). The study concluded that State-Joint Local Government Account has not enhanced the State-Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria.
1.1 Background to the study
As a result of the complicated nature in the population, ethno-religious and large geographical nature of land mass in Nigeria and some other countries, it is necessary for such country to operate a federal system. Federalism is the one in which there is a central authority that represent the whole and act on behalf of the whole in external affairs and in such internal affair as held to become of interest; and in which there are provincial or state authorities with power of legislation and administration within the sphere allocated to them by the constitution. Federalism is also used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units such as states or provinces.
Crystal clear that Nigeria is operating on a three tiers of government (Federal, State and Local Government), there is need for intergovernmental relations to promote peace, unity and harmony among the levels of government. This is to accelerate the achievement of self-reliant economy, cut out duplications and wastage and to ensure greater efficiency in the delivery of services and also enhance efficient and effective human and material resources among the tiers of government. In this case, intergovernmental relations will help to minimize inter-jurisdictional conflicts among the various levels of government (Nwofor, 2009).
The achievement of the intergovernmental relations is dependent on some social factors within the Nigerian social system. The social factors include the political setting and state of economy in the nation. In the political setting, the intergovernmental relation is based on the three (3) levels of government that is, federal, state and local government. Here, there is supremacy in the autonomy of the levels of government, the Federal and the State is said to have more autonomy than the Local Government because it is the last level (tier). That is the reason why Local Government is not given full autonomy on the activities of its own despite been backed by the constitution. The weaknesses of the autonomy of the local government become glaring in the State-Local Government intergovernmental relations in their political, judicial, administrative and financial aspect of their governance.
In most federal countries in the world, the most difficult aspect of intergovernmental relation is the issue of fiscal relation. As it was made clearer by Okeke (2004), the distribution of resources among the various levels of government has never been easy and smooth. The complexity begins from who has the right to collect what and spend what. This simply means which level of government has the right and jurisdiction to generate revenue (collect a particular tax) and also make expenditure in a particular area. The various levels of government have its jurisdiction on a particular tax or the other.
According to Section 162, Subsection 1, these taxes collected are transferred to the Federation Account (FA) which serves as an account for store of Federation Fund. The issue now has been the allocation of this fund among the various tiers of government (vertically) and between States (horizontally). The vertical allocation could be either Federal-State or State-Local Government. Between 1960 and 1970, the basis of fiscal relations between the Federal, State and Local government were richer and more powerful but now local government is nowhere to be found which make the intergovernmental relation that exist between it and the state to be rather domineering rather than complementing which is rightly showcased by the joint account been operated by the state and local government called State-Local Government Joint Account (Okafor, 2010).
The issue of State-Local Government Joint account is associated with Nigeria. According to Sec. 162(6) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is a special account maintained by each state government ‘into which shall be paid allocations to the local government councils of the state from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State’.
The emergency of State-Local Government Joint Account implies that the revenue allocated to the local government areas of a state from the Federation Account should be pooled together and shared among the local government areas, which will be coordinated by the state government. To this end, this joint account has create serious conflict on the amount been credited to it by federal government and amount released to the Local Government by the State government, which has handicapped the local government from discharging most of their statutory responsibility. This has been the reasons that instigate the researcher to carry out study on how this has been affecting the relationship between State and Local Government.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
To comprehend the depth of controversy in the state local government intergovernmental relation, one have to follow the trend of this serious conflict between the Federal and State governments over the exercise of control of revenue resources of local government not to have assumed the undue prominence given to it as a constitutional question of Nigeria leaders, particularly the federal level had adhere strictly to the features and values of federalism and also followed the precedents established by the past democratic government in Nigerian Federation.
In a normal federal structure, each tier of government should have separate and independent functions, authority, power and limitations. This also included the financial or fiscal aspect (revenue and expenditure). But in Nigerian Federal Structure, it is only the federal government that has its own separate and independent account while the state and local government have a merged account, State local government joint account.
This study therefore intends to access the impact of state-local government joint Account on the State Local relation in Southwestern Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
On the basis of the foregoing, a number of questions become more pertinent which are:
- What are the ways that the State Joint Local Government Account has promoted efficiency and effectiveness of State Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria?
- What are the impacts of the State Joint Local Government Account on State-local relation in Southwestern Nigeria?
- What are the challenges of State Joint Local Government Account on state-local relations in southwestern Nigeria?
These are some of the questions posed to guide this project.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the impact of State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in the South Western Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are to
- Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the State Joint Local Government Account in Southwestern Nigeria.
- Assess the impact of the State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria.
- Examine the challenges of the State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses guided this study:
Ho: There is no significant impact of State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in South Western Nigeria.
Hi: There is significant impact of State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in South Western Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study.
The significance of this study is not over emphasized as it attempt, among other things, to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the State Joint local Government Account on State Local relations in the southwestern States in Nigeria. It also intends as well as to determine the impact of the State Joint local Government Account on State-Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria. Lastly, to determine the challenges of State-Joint Local Government Account on State-Local relations.
The study therefore will be useful in policy matters of the State and Local government level on harmonious relationship as regards the management of State Joint Local Government Account.
This study will also help to expand and further advance the knowledge of researchers, political philosophers, political scientists, public administrators as well as lecturers. This will also help to educate and also expand the knowledge of students of public administrations as well as political science on State-local government Joint Account vis-a-vis intergovernmental relations.
This study will also be useful to the government on policy and decision making on problems Local Government are facing with the state-local Government Joint Account. In addition, this study will also help to enlighten the citizens especially those at the grassroots who are mostly been affected by this policy. Conclusively, this study will serve as a basis for further study for those interested in this area of work or related study in future.
1.7 Scope of Study
This research work focused on the State-Local Government Joint Account on intergovernmental relations in Southwestern Nigeria. And the scope of the work will cover Ife East Local Government in Osun State, Ibadan North Local Government in Oyo state, Shomolu Local Government in Lagos State and their respective State ministries and departments all in the South-Western Nigeria.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Government: This is the political direction and control exercised over the actions of members, citizens or inhabitants of the communities, societies and states. It is also the regulation, restraint, supervision, or control which is exercised upon the individual members of an organized society by those invested with the supreme political power or control.
State Government: This is the government of a country subdivision in a federal form of government, which states political power with the federal or national government. State governments are institutional units existing at the local level, they are institutional units whose fiscal, legislative and executive authority extends only over the individual states into which the country as whole may be divided.
Local Government: This is the government at the grassroot level. It is also a form of administration which in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of government within a given sate. Local Government generally acts within powers delegated to them by legislation or directives of the highest level of government.
State-Local Government Joint Account: This is the account jointly owned and managed by both State and Local Governments. This is an account where the revenue allocated to the Local Government Areas (LGA) of a state from the federation account should be pooled together and shared among the LGAs. This account is been managed by the State Government.
Intergovernmental Relations: This is commonly used to refer to relationship among the central, regional and local government as well as government between various levels that facilitate the attainment of common goals through cooperation. It also refers to as means of interaction between the different levels of government within a state (country). In Nigeria, is the relationship among the three levels of government (Federal, State and Local Government).