The main aim of the research is bordered on “Policy Implementation and national development.” Administration is seen as a situation where effort is combined to achieve or accomplish a common goal. Local government is the third tier of government in Nigeria, and is aimed at accelerating rural and community development. The literatures reviewed that policy making and implementation seem to be the most important phase in rural development. Policy implementation gap, lack of policy implementation evaluation etc were seen as challenges to implementation in the local government. Both primary and secondary sources of data collections were used and the population of the research study was determined through the use of chi-square formular, and the data were analyzed via the use of simple percentage and table. The study revealed that policy implementation is a vital tool for development at local government; the study further revealed that policy at the local government are either not implemented or implemented haphazardly. Based on the finding, the study recommended that there should be a good communication network between the politicians and the people, and also that government should always endeavour to implement policies, for smooth local government operation.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
One of the problems facing African Governments is how to increase the standard of living and the general well being of their people, especially the rural poor. Commenting on these, Adewumi (1993:42) argues that the local government plays an important role in the training and acceleration of rural development in no smaller measure for the citizen to take on intelligent and efficient experience in dealing with local affairs which assist in the social political an economic development of the area.
The involvement of rural dwellers in making decision for the development activities as well as the implementation of the decisions has been one of the major factors that gave birth to the local government administration in most of the advanced countries, like USA. Various regimes and government in the country has rolled out policies and programmes aimed at promoting and accelerating development in the rural areas.
According to Odenigwe, (1998:17) the desire to empower the rural dwellers for maximum development and political participation, at the grass-root level has been responsible for the continuous evaluation of the local government structure in Nigeria, and the implementation of policies made for the development of the area. The transformation exercise at the local government area’s are as a result of the policies made and implement for the smooth running of the local affairs.
The situation of public policy implementation in Nigeria is best described by George Honadle and Rudi Klauss, (cited from Egonmwan, 2009) “Implementation is the nemesis of designers, it conjures up images of plans gone awry and of social carpenters and masons who fail to build to specifications and thereby distort the beautiful blue prints for progress which were handled to them. It provokes memories of good ideas that did not work and places the blame on the second (and Second Class) member of the administration team”
This is a typical situation in Nigeria, where the intention of designers of Policies are often underline by constellation of powerful forces of politics and administration coupled with prevalence of high level corruption.
The resulting short-comings, difficulties and failures that have attended major policies in developing countries have help to direct attention to the need for planning explicitly, management of policy implementation in which adequate attention is paid to such factors as political variable and institutional capacity to execute and operate development projects. It also led to the emergence of theories and models particularly during the period of the United Nations second development plan decade in 1970, when emphasis shifted from plan formulation to plan feasibility. These theoretical constructs have been designed to help policy makers, especially toward better understanding of the problems of policy implementation. (Egonmwan 2009)
However, in Nigeria, political history local government has an origin, which dates back to the colonial era. It was initially introduced as a result of British policy of indirect rule, whereby Lord Lugard used traditional rulers as native authorities to administer colonial taxes and rates after the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Niger in 1914. This later transformed into the modern system of local government. For the purpose of community development and this was later copied into other parts of the country, and was practiced in various forms, although the structure and organization varied in the various local government system, as at then (Ademola 1989:21).
Since 1976 reforms of local government system in Nigeria, succeeding regimes have made several attempts in implementing policies that were made for the improvement of local government administration. This policy are geared towards improving the living standard of the people in the rural area, and also in strengthening development in the rural areas, since the local government occupies the third tier of government in Nigeria political structure.
In encouraging Local Government Administration in Nigeria, the Military Administration in 70’s look a decision by recognizing the local government as the third tier of government in Nigeria, and this decision was implemented by incorporating the local government as a tier of government in the 1979 constitution of Nigeria. This led to the recognition of Udi local Government Area, as one of the local government areas in Nigeria, the uniqueness of the local government is that it consist of urban, semi urban and rural communities.
- STATE OF THE PROBLEM
In Nigeria, local government is seen as the government nearest to the people and has been recognized as an institution capable of transforming the lives of the rural dwellers for good.
However, local government has not been able to meet up with this demand saddled on it, due to lack of formulation of policies for the rural dwellers, even the policies formulated, they are faced with the challenges of implementation of policies and this some times is cased by lack of continuity. The emphasis of using the local government as a strategy for fostering, promoting, and implementing rural development has not really been achieved because the policies made sometimes are not for the good interest of the people, and the people are not carried along in the policy making process, so as to know what their needs and challenges are and external interference by the state and federal government has largely affected government administration in Nigeria, in terms of policy making and implementations. The research study is geared towards providing solutions to these challenges facing the local government administration in Nigeria.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated for the purpose of the research study, so as to assist in generating data for the research study.
- Does the rural dwellers benefit from policy implementation of the local government as vehicle for national development.
- Can policy implementation in the local government be used as an instrument in meeting the welfare needs of the rural dwellers?
- Are there factors militating against policy implementation in the local government?
- PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The aim of the research study is to examine policy implementation and national development and how it can assist in fostering national development in the rural area, and also bring government closer to the people. However, the specific objectives are as follows:
- To ascertain the benefits of policy implementation in the local government as a vehicle for national development.
- To find out the factors militating against policy implementations in the local government.
- Examine the factors militating against policy implementation in the local government
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significance for the following reason
- The study will be relevant in highlighting the importance of policy implementation in the local government administration in Nigeria.
- The study will be significance in revealing the factors militating against policy implementation and development in the rural, and the study will suggest possible ways of solving this problems.
- The study will reveal the ways through which the study can improve policy implementation towards the growth, development and smooth local government administration in Nigeria. And finally the study will recommend to the government and on how to improve their policy making and implementation and suggest ways for further studies on this area of study.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research study intends to critically examine, policy implementation and national development, and the study will be restricted to Udi Local Government are of Enugu State.
- LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In course of carrying out the research study, many challenges slammed up, among which are:
Financial Constraints: As a student the era was not enough fund in executing the project work, in terms of transportation and sourcing of relevant research materials.
Time Constraints: Time was another challenge the researcher hard, as the work came up at a point when the researcher was preparing for her final year examination and also considering other academic activities lined up for the researcher to attend to.
Lack of Co-operation: Most of the respondents did not co-operate as was expected, most of them were reluctant in filling the questionnaires given to them, while many did not provide answers to the oral questions projected to them.
However, with all these problems put together the researcher went ahead with the research project.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Policy: Is a plan of action agreed or chosen by a group of people or political party for the development of the group or institution concern.
Implementation: In these contents of the research study, implementation means putting to work formulated policies in other to achieve rural development in the rural areas, through the instrument of local government administration.
Local Government: This is government at a local level exercised through representative councils established by laws to exercise specific functions within a defined area.
Development: Development is a multi-dimensional process involving a re-organizational and re-orientation of the entire economic and social system, in addition to improve income and outcome.
Council: This refers to the organ that constitutes representation of people either elected or nominated.
1.10 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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