The Dilemma of Local Government at Work in Nigeria
This paper attempts a scan of local government at work in Nigeria in the critical areas of revenue generation, budgeting, development planning, provision of services, and community mobilization. The study reveals that the third tier of government in Nigeria is still characterised by low revenue generation ability, inability to provide adequate services and amenities both in quantitative and qualitative terms, tendency to prepare ambitious budgets, inability to avail of the benefits of development planning and to live up to the expectations of their clientele. For the citizenry at large, especially the illiterate and rural communities that form the bulk of the population of the local governments in many cases, there is a great deal of frustration arising from the poor performance of local governments in the country over the years. This situation is not peculiar to Nigeria alone. Similar scenario is witnessed in other developing countries. The Nigerian case however provides us facts which when analysed provide us pathological clues to the maladies afflicting local governments in less developed countries.
Key words: local government; revenue generation; budgeting, development planning; community mobilization