Local government autonomy and development of localities in Nigeria: issues, problems and suggestions
The topical issue of local government (LG) autonomy in Nigeria in relation to the development of the localities, the raison d’etre of LGs, has been examined in this paper. Proceeding from theoretical framework and conceptualizations for clearer understanding, the paper discusses some dominant autonomy issues. These include representative LGs, the size of LGs, revenue, and personnel. The paper found that inadequate handling of virtually all the above issues has posed some challenges for LGs’ developmental efforts in the localities. Inadequate autonomy has been found to be the independent variable in the challenges. Other challenges include inadequate finances, weak intergovernmental relations, fledging democracy and grand corruption. These must be adequately tackled for LGs to make more positive impact in the localities. Some pertinent recommendations are as follows. LGs need adequate autonomy, hard work rather than verbal institutionalization, democratic consolidation, reduced corruption, increased discipline and application of the rule of law.