Local Government Administration in Nigeria, A Toothless Bull Dog that can Bark but can not Bite
– By Musa Omachoko Matthew
Over the years while we were younger, the Local Government as the last line of the Institution of Governance closer to the people was highly up and running and effectively up to the very task and responsibilities that is due and accorded of a Local Government relieving The state Government of functions which do not fall into their jurisdictions.
The functions of Local Governments are detailed in the Nigerian Constitution and include:
Collection of taxes and fees, Establishment, maintenance and regulation of markets, motor parks and public conveniences; Construction and maintenance of roads, streets, drains and other public highways, parks, and open spaces; Provision and maintenance of public transportation and refuse disposal among others.
This above functions were Judiciously and Tenaciously carried out by the Local Government and was able to maintain the local government from The Revenue accrued from its Activities.
Then Local government chairman were elected after various campaigns and presentations of manifestos from across all party line. They were Never selected.
Also Then, the Governor could be from a different party while the local government Chairmen of some of the the local government Were in The opposition party.
Then the Local Government receives their allocation directly from the Federal Government without the interference of the State Government.
But now it has all changed. The institution of the Local Government is more or less a charade as they are now toothless bull dog that can bark but cannot bite..
First, the State joint Single account where by the Federal Government pays the Local Government allocation into the joint account handled by the State Government has been part of the issues Cos the State Government most time do not release this allocations to Local Government Chairmen if They do not share the same ideology with the Governor or The party at the state or a perceived Lack of loyalty To the state State Government.
The recent practice of Appointing Local Government Chairmen or Administrator by the State Government without Election has also further made the last tiers of Government powerless. This also contributed to the fact that these appointed Local Government Administrator have become mere puppet Subdued under the wings and caprices Of the State Government as they are willing to do anything to retain their seats at any Cost.
How bout the Direct Allocation promised by the Buhari Next Level Administration!, till today it has yet to take proper effect where by the local Government can enjoy full financial Autonomy.
It is until this above issues ranging from appointment of Local Government Administrator instead of conducting elections for every body Across all party lines to test their acceptability by the Local community People, Disengaging the local government from the state joint account And allowing the local government to enjoy its full financial autonomy and other salient issues, until then, local government in Nigeria will remain to be a toothless bull dog that can bark but cannot bite.