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How to Improve Local Government Administration in Nigeria

Here in this post, we are going to discuss ways on how to improve local government administration in Nigeria. We hope you find this article informative.

As we all know, and as it is generally acknowledged world over, local government is considered the grass-root government, and the nearest to the people living in the rural communities.

Being the grassroots government, local government supposed to be the kind of government that is run by the people. When we talk about democracy, its picture supposed to be shown in the local government administration.

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How to Improve Local Government Administration in Nigeria
Local Government Administration in Nigeria – Photo Source:

The local government is known as the third tire of government, and it is the most neglected level of government in Nigeria, as well as the least developed and undemocratized.

Having said that, it is glaring that, out of the three presidential constitutions we had witnessed in Nigeria, I mean, the 1979, and the 1989 and the 1999 constitutions. By observation, it is only that of the 1989 Presidential Constitution, which is unutilized, that has much detailed about the local government administration.

Others, going by all the amendments that have been done so far, have made just a skirmish in making provision for the local government administration.

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Taking a close look at the provisions of the 1979 and 1999 constitution, I will say that, the two constitutions are nothing but hypocritical and therefore, cannot be acceptable as far as, the democratic principles and norms supposed to define the operations in that tier of government is concerns.

However, if you ask me, in my opinion, I will say that, there is need to overhaul the local government administration in Nigeria.

As we speak, it is unfortunate that not every state in the federation has been able to actually conduct local government elections since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999.

It is unfortunate too, that even some of the states that conducted local government elections, the state governors of these areas are using the instruments of State Independent Electoral Commission to install those party men they have selected and empowered to run the affairs of the local governments administration in Nigeria.

At some other time, the state governors will unconstitutionally constituted ‘caretaker committees’ and appointed party loyalists to man those committees at the local government level.

I tell you, the local government administration in this country is to say the least, nothing to made mention of. The local government administration in Nigeria needs a total reform or transformation, by that, I mean a radical transformation of local government administration in Nigeria because it is the government that is close to the masses, and it is the foundational government. Nigeria cannot continue to build on foundation that is faulty.

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How Then Can Government At These Level Be Improved?

My focus in this article is to concentrate on those areas that will help improve local government administration in Nigeria. Below are some of the ways:

1. Unutilized 1989 Constitution Should Be Used As Guide In The Constitution Amendment

This is my humble opinion, my suggestion is that, there should be constitution amendment, and when the authority decide to amend the Nigerian constitution, the unutilized 1989 constitution, which has a detailed issues and information about the local government administration in Nigeria should be used as a guide.

2. Local Government Election Should Be Conducted With State And National Assembly

If local government administration must be improved, most of my suggestions ought to be bought. For instance, anytime there is elections in the country, the local government election should be conducted alongside the election of the State House of Assembly and that of the National Assembly elections. Nigeria must endeavour to avoid any trace of lacuna anytime there is democratization process through elections.

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3. Radical Transformation Or Reform Of Local Government Administration

Through radical transformation and reform in the local government administration, government at that level is likely to be improved. I therefore, suggest a reform of the local government administration. I hinged my argument on one principle regarding this.

For example, the royal fathers, I mean the traditional rulers in the state, should be allowed to involved directly and as well, positively in the administration of the local government at least to a level, since they are the custodians of the state cultural heritage.

If this suggestion is adopt, we will discover that, the problem of security challenges Nigeria is facing today will be drastically reduced.

I can be quoted right. For instance, the little freedom Nigeria is enjoying today in this country is not as a result of the sophistication of the Nigerian Army neither that of the Nigerian Police, rather it is absolutely as a result of some contributions by the rural dwellers.

Nigeria must not forget that Nigerian society is comprises of our friends and our relations who are living with and around us.

4. Removal Of Stringent Procedures For Local Government Creation

Another of my suggestion is the removal of the stringent procedures, when it comes to local government creation from the Nigerian constitution.

The issue of local government creation supposed to be entirely the prerogative of the State House of Assembly, at least, to reduce the state creation demand, as well as,   bringing the government closest and nearest to every Nigerian citizenry.

5. Provisions In Nigerian Constitution Related To Local Government Administration That Are Ambiguous Be Expunged

I strongly dare to say that, there are some sections in the Nigerian constitution, where some provisions of laws that have to do with the local government administration are found ambiguous, and unclear as well as vague, for example,  the Sub-Section 2 of Section 7 of the Constitution.

section is confusing, and I beg to ask what was in the author’s mind. Besides that, there are other provisions of laws that relates to local government administration, that are quite uncertain.

I am suggesting that, such sections of the provisions of laws that relates to the local government administration be expunged and let the 1989 Unutilized Constitution be administered.

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However, if you ask me, in my opinion, I will say that, there is need to overhaul the local government administration in Nigeria.

As we speak, it is unfortunate that not every state in the federation has been able to actually conduct local government elections since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999.

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Joseph Athanasius

Joseph Athanasius is a Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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