- BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Local Government system in Nigeria has been characterized by instability and disruptions emanating from one form of crisis or the other. These crisis that were often promoted by the activities of central government usually led to complete dissolution and take over the functions of the local government by the state government.
In other words, local government in this country has always subjected to the whims and caprices of the state government. They were never firmly established to make any contribution to the construction of a stable and deeply rooted polity as the “Panchayata ray, institution seem to have done in India”.
The Various Local Government reforms and particularly the (1976) reform were thus Interalia aimed at stabilizing sand rationalizing government at the local level. Unfortunately, however the chosen implementation strategies seem to have resulted in unanticipated policy out comes.
As this matter of fact, by the end of 1983 it was clear to all that the aims of the 1976 reforms to create autonomous and viable Local Government system in the country had not and couldn’t be realized. It is our belief that this was mainly due to the inability of the local government system to effectively handle the forms of crises that affected it during this period.
It is against this background that the topic “An Appraisal of Crisis management in Local Government system in Nigeria was chosen.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Every crisis has four main stages and allowing each crisis to pass through the four stage has been the bane of effective Local Government administration in Nigeria. The four stages of crisis includes:
- prodromal stage (early warning stage)
- Acute stage
- Chronic stage
- Resolution stage
Crisis management aims to avoid the acute and chronic stage of crisis. A crisis is said to be effectively managed if it moves from the prodromal to resolution stages. We are aware that this has not been the case in the Local Government.
If we look at the second republic, 1979 to 1983, and the last civilian local government administration 1988 to 1989, there were various crises which include;
- Financial crisis
- Power crisis
- Man power crisis
- Political crisis
- Crisis of confidence etc.
The entire above crisis were unfortunately allowed to go through the four stages and had their unpleasant effects on Local Government administration in the country.
Enugu North Local Government, our case study, is a very good example; of the effect of allowing a crisis go through the four stages.
The Local Government particularly during the1988 to 1989 Local Government administration was affiliated by crisis. This case went through the full cycle and the effect was intervention by both the Federal and the State government.
There were also case of polarization of the council in many Local Government, which in some cases ended with chairman removing their supervisory councilors. The peculiar circumstance of the creation and existence of Local Government coupled with the unpredictability of its political and administration environment in Nigeria largely accounts for the appeal of this topic.
“Crisis management in Nigeria Local Government administration to the author. Unfortunately, it is clear from the prevailing literature that only very little work if any has been done by scholars and practitioners.
In view of the lapses identified, an inquiry into crisis management in Nigeria Local Government has become most imperative. It is hoped that this inquiry will stimulate new dimension and direction of crisis management.
Above all, it overall objectives could be the search for an effective and efficient Local Government ministration in Nigeria while the specific will focus on evolving new strategies for building administrative base for Local Government in the country.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
The basis research question are:
- What are factors that influence management’s attitude to crisis?
- How do workers perceive crisis?
- What are the roles of the Federal and State Government in Nigeria Local Government crisis?
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study include:
- To identify the factors that influence management’s attitude to crisis?
- To examine workers perceive crisis?
- To know the roles of the Federal and State Government in Nigeria Local Government crisis?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Local Government system are established for political administrative and service provision purpose, which are further discussed below.
POLITICAL: The establishment of Local Government is often linked with the desire to promote democracy. The first consideration in this regard must be into participation which if offers. Democracy in a simple sense is a system of self-rule institute to provide: the authority or council of the Local Government, which is popularly selected.
Participation at this level is not merely an end in itself. It also serves to provide political training for local leaders and inculcate in the local populace democratic tenants to protect liberty; which is endangered through excessive centralization of power.
ADMINISTRATION: Modern states are geographically expensive and are also called upon to perform a large variety of functions and services. The size and complexity of modern governments compile one forms decentralization or the other if the central government is not to collapse out of excessive over leading, or if many important functions and services are not suffer neglect. Local government is one of the most preferred forms decentralization because it allows for genuine decongestion of the central government as decision making powers and control of necessary resources are transferred to localities where they are expeditiously exercised to deal with local problems.
Secondly, local government is likely to promote greater efficiency in the provision of service merely by breaking the bulk of government workload, local government reduced it to manageable proportions, but above all it can harass local knowledge resources and expertise behind the administration of local affairs. Many local factors like demography customs and tradition, socio-economic conditions and the local power structure constrain the usefulness of national solutions local problem.
SERVICES: Local Government are impaired to provide certain services in their areas of jurisdiction. As a matter of fact, without the service provision role, there might be no point at all to the existence of local government.
The government in Nigeria was guided by three main criteria under the 1979 Local Government reforms. The functions developed to Local Government are those:
- Which require detailed knowledge for efficient performance.
- In which success depends on community responsiveness and participation.
- Which are of personal native requiring provision close to where the individual affected line, and in which significant use of discretion or under standing of individual is needed. The big question now is, to what extent had the local government achieve these purposes for its establishment, it was clear that before the 1976 reforms, Local Government were established and abolished with reckless abandon, their functions and abolished needlessly eroded and their reduced to achieve political purpose. By the time the first republic was terminated the Local Government had not fulfilled the purpose for which they were established. Matters were not better after the 1976 reforms. The reasons are traceable to the crisis and instability that had characterized the Local Government.
In view of the above, the signification of this study, which is aimed at developing an effective crisis management tool and this creating a relatively stable environment become clear to make reasonable progress towards actively the purposes for their creation, Local Governments require relatively stable environment tool which is what this study is all about.
1.6 SCOPES OF THE STUDY:
The study is an appraisal of crisis management in Nigeria local government system (a study of Enugu North LGA council) 2014-2016.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
In the course of writing and carrying out this project work, the research encountered many difficulties; some errors in the results of the research and from external sources of data collection. These are factors standing as constraints thereby limiting the effect of the research result.
Among these are, time finance , scope and use of wrong statistics in data analysis, due to time limit, the research work is a time consuming one. A lot of time is taken to observe the subjects.
Most times the behaviour of the staff changes even when they are aware that they are being observed by the researcher, this is by taking their behavior. The researcher also observed that these senior staff some time give true and false information in order to cover their branches.
At sometime the research work lasted over two months due to large scope of area of the study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In the course of this study, certain key concepts are metalong the line which may be given different interpretation. For the purpose of this study therefore, the following working /operational definitions are given to such concepts thus:
- CRISIS: This is an unusually situation the out come of which is uncertain or capable of generating conflicts.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT: This is government at local exercise through representative council established by law to exercise specific power within defined areas.
- CRISIS MANAGEMENT: Any measure that plan in advance for a crisis for tuning point any measure that removes the risk and uncertainly from a given situation, and thereby allows one to be more in control of one’s is named a form of crisis management.
- RURAL DEVELOPMENT: This is the process of providing in habitants of the rural areas with basis infrastructure and amenities which would enhance their standard of living; it means the same thing as developing rural areas.
- CENTRAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENT: These mean’s the same thing as federal and state government respectively.
- GOVERNMENT: This can be defined as an academic field of study or political science. As a political science it looks into the functions and relationship of the organs concerned or state.
- PRODROMAL: This simply mean’s initial take off stage of the crisis. When it is not noted by the management, prodromal is the early time were the crisis has been emanate.
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter. Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design, area of the study, population of the study, sample and sampling techniques, methods of data collection, instruments for data collection, reliability of the instruments, validity of the instruments, distribution and retrieval of instruments and methods of data analysis. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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