Page Length: 138

Size: 529 KB

Format: PDF & Word


Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study
Federalism, according to K.C Wheare, is the method of dividing powers so
that the central and regional governments are each, within a sphere, coordinate and independent. He said that the characteristics of this Federal
Principle are the division of powers among levels of government, a written
constitution showing this division of powers and co-ordinate not subordinate supremacy of the two levels of government with respect to their
functions (K.C Wheare, 1953: 10).The practice of federalism in Nigeria is
one of the legacies the British colonial masters bequeathed to Nigeria. Local
government is born out of federalism because federalism has to do with the
division of power between the central and the component units local
government is a component in a federal system, it is recognized as a third
tier of government which is charged with the responsibility at the grass root.
The local government performs certain functions assigned to it by the
constitution and the local government is to be autonomous in its own to
carry out all its responsibilities without interference from the central
government. The local government should do precisely the word
government in its own sphere. The evolution of local government in Nigeria
has undergone a lot of changes and all these are geared towards making the
local government a system that could serve the purpose for its creation. But
specifically in 1976, under General Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime introduced
the 1976 local government reform. The reform recognized the local
government as the third tier of government in the Nation and it is expected
to do precisely what the word local government implies that is, governing at
the local level. The reforms also intend to stimulate democratic self
government, encourage initiative and leadership potential and entrain the
principle of this reform for the local government to be autonomous having
the freedom to recruit and manage its own staff, raise and manage its own
finances, make policies, laws and provide services within the limits of its
resources and functions without interference, the local government system in
Nigeria still have some constraints that have impeded it’s autonomy. (Okoli,
2005: 107). This research work puts in focus, Ofu local government area in
Kogi state. It will investigate the autonomous nature of the local government
area and see the level of services that has been delivered in the area. Ofu
local government area of Kogi state was created out of Idah local
Government Area In May, 1989 in the then Benue state by the Federal
Military Administration of Nigeria led by General Ibrahim Badamasi
Babangida. It has nine districts. They are; Ugwolawo, Itobe, Igalaogba,
Ojokogbe, Aloji, Ejule, Ogbonicha, Igo, Omache and Ofoke. The handquarter of the goo-political entity is Ugwolawo, the historical town that
provides haven for the only Federal Government College in the Kogi Eastern
Senatorial district. Graphically, the local government share boundaries with
Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi state to the North while also
sharing boundary with Ankpa local government to the south. Ofu local
government equally shares boundary with Olamaboro local government area
to the South East and also sharing boundary with Ajaokuta local government
area to the west. The local government area occupies a landmass of almost
8,747.5 square kilometer and a perimeter of 252.5 kilometers. The 1991
census figure of National population commission puts the population of the
people at 112,697. The people are predominantly Farmers. The Land is
fertile for large scale production of crops like maize, beans, groundnuts, rice,
cassava, melon, guinea corn, Barbara nuts and so on while mangoes,
cashew, palm trees, cocoa e.t.c yield in abundance for commercialization.
The place is equally endowed with mineral resources like caoline, lime,
marble, galena, fieldpars e.t.c lie beneath the earth there in large quantity for
exploration. As it is the characteristic that is always endemic of the countries
of the Sub-Saharan Africa, cultural activities are of paramount importance to
the people of Ofu. Their tourist delights include Uloko Amo Waterfalls at
Ofokopi, Ugbakoji hills in Itobe, Egane Waterfalls, Ofakete Natural Bridge
and Ala Natural funnel.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
Local government Autonomy is meant the Freedom of the local government
to recruit and manage its own staff, raise and manage its own Finances,
make policies, laws and provide services within the limits of its resources
and functions without interference. Before the 1976 Local Government
Reform, Local Governments were under the direct tutelage of the state
government which vested with the exclusive powers to make and unmake
them. As a result, Local Governments were subjected to excessive controls
by their respective state governments. These controls by their respective
state governments were carried out through such mediums as approval of
bye-laws and major contracts, appointment of certain categories of
professional and administrative staff, approval of annual estimates and loan
proposals and funding through grants-in-aid. These control measures posed
negative consequences as they culminated into delays which in turn
frustrated many important policies and programmes in the local government
area. In addition, state governments created, modified, dissolved and
suspended local government councils at will. The states had the power to
abolish their local government system. In fact, local government existed at
the mercy of the state.
The autonomy of local government in Africa countries such as Nigeria is
more in theory than in practice. As Olowu (1988:71) succinctly puts it:
Most government has opted for the direct
control by central government of their local
governments through a battery of legal,
financial and administrative controls… So
called “local government” units of central
governments or worse still, exist as parallel
institutions to the government’s field
administration controlled by both the
central and field units.
The heavy dependence of local governments in Nigeria for instance on
statutory allocation from the Federal government whittles down the
autonomy of the former. It puts local government at the mercy of the federal
government. Furthermore, successive Nigerian governments (both federal
and state) have interfered in the actual functioning of the local government.
For instance, between 1984 and late 1987, local government councils were
abolished and the administration of the affairs of the local government were
placed entirely on the sole administrator. Again, in 1994, the elected local
government council were disbanded by the military government of General
Abacha and replaced with caretaker committees (Ezeani, 2004). Also the
financial autonomy of local governments has on many occasions been
tempered with by the state governments. This is currently the case in Nigeria
were some state governments confisiticate federal allocations to the local
government and give whatever amount they like to the chairman to run the
local government. (Ezeani, 2004:86). Despite these for reaching measures
as recommended by the 1976 local government reform thereby making it the
bedrock of modern local government system in Nigeria, One can safely
assert that the local government still has some constraints that have actually
impeded its success. These in the view of Olugbemi (1986) can be
summarized as;
– Continued jurisdiction of state government over the most important
functions allocated to local government in the guidelines and as
stipulated in the fourth schedule of 1999 constitution of the federal
republic of Nigeria.
– Continued imposition of various central government, it controls the
selection of councilors, in budgeting and budget control, in policy
determination including the determination of fiscal policies, in personnel
management etc which tend to diminish the value of government in local
Therefore, the study will seek to provide empirical and verifiable answers to
these problems based on the following questions.
– Does Federalism guarantee local government autonomy?
– Is Nigeria local government system (Ofu Local Government)
– Does the granting of full autonomy to the local government enhance its
service delivery?
1.3 Objectives of the study
Every research work encapsulates and embodies diverse objectives to be
achieved at the end of the research. Thus, the broad objective of this research
work is to assess “the Nigerian Federalism and local government autonomy
specifically Ofu local government area of Kogi state. Specifically however,
the study attempts to:
– To ascertain if federalism guarantees local government autonomy.
– To investigate if Nigeria local government system (Ofu local
government) is fully autonomous.
– To explain if full autonomy is given to Nigeria local government system
(Ofu local government) will enhance its service delivery.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study is divided into two viz: Theoretical and
At the theoretical level, it will add to the frontier of knowledge of Nigerian
Federalism and local government autonomy. This research will serve as a
resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out
further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to
provide new explanation to the topic. At the practical level, the study will
help our policy makers and those in power to see the negative effect of lack
of local government autonomy, and in a way make the leaders see reasons or
how effective the government at the grass root (local government) will
become if given full autonomy.


DISCLAIMER: All project works, files and documents posted on this website, are the property/copyright of their respective owners. They are for research reference/guidance purposes only and some of the works may be crowd-sourced. Please don’t submit someone’s work as your own to avoid plagiarism and its consequences. Use it as a reference/citation/guidance purpose only and not copy the work word for word (verbatim). The paper should be used as a guide or framework for your own paper. The contents of this paper should be able to help you in generating new ideas and thoughts for your own study. is a repository of research works where works are uploaded for research guidance. Our aim of providing this work is to help you eradicate the stress of going from one school library to another in search of research materials. This is a legal service because all tertiary institutions permit their students to read previous works, projects, books, articles, journals or papers while developing their own works. This is where the need for literature review comes in. “What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. The paid subscription on is a means by which the website is maintained to support Open Education. If you see your work posted here by any means, and you want it to be removed/credited, please contact us with the web address link to the work. We will reply to and honour every request. Please notice it may take up to 24 – 48 hours to process your request.

WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Administrator (Online)
Hello and welcome. I am online and ready to help you via WhatsApp chat. Let me know if you need my assistance.