What is Local Government Administration?

Local Administration refers to the administration of a community by a body which is not responsible to the local people but to those who appoint them to govern the community. Usually, such officers are appointed by the central government, and are seen as representatives of central government.

However, local government is seen as government by local inhabitants freely elected to carryout programmes to improve the well-being of the people at the grass root. Local government administration is classified as the third tier of government while several problems have been its recurring decimal and various reforms since 1976 have not been able to make the system effective and responsible to developmental challenges. No Nation can boast of excellent performance within the public sector at the grass root if a large percentage of her rural inhabitants are facing uncontrollable abject poverty, needs/wants, socio-economic dilemma and basic social amenities. 

Problems  facing Local Government Administration:

  1.            Corruption

Corruption is the greatest bane of local government administration in a country. At the grassroots level, corruption has been canonically accommodated, entertained, and celebrated within the system. In the local government setting corruption is misnomerlabelled and euphemistically referred to as “Egunje” (a slogan which means “illegal offer” in a state) and a major hindrance to good government. It has been identified as one of the problems confronting effective local government administration. also non-adherence to provisions of the financial memorandum (FM), conspicuous consumption of the part of the local officials, lifestyles that are not commensurate with official sources of income, imposition of leaders on the local government through corrupted political process and low wages of local government officials.

 2.       Granting of Undue Favor

Some local government officials use their positions to give undue favour to their friends, for example in the award of contracts.

 3.       Lack of Autonomy (Independence)

Autonomy simply refers to freedom, independent, free from external and remote control but in some states the reverse is the case, Local Government are totally independent, they are managed by the federal and state governments who dominate over the local government administration through the state government offices of local government affairs, the ministry of local government, and the local government service commission. All these government agencies are denying the autonomy of self-dependent administration of Local Government in world.

  4.       Leadership Problem

In most states, the ruling party appoints and blesses the candidate who must run for election at the local government level. Without their blessings, such candidates cannot win an election. The various state governments also appoint caretaker chairmen for the Local Government Council, who are mostly stooges and appendages of the state governor. Even when elections are held, the ruling party in the state and the state government, in particular, rigs and manipulates the election process to favor their preferred candidates. It is a clear case of who pays the piper dictates the tune. This again creates inefficiency of administrative performance and diversion of local government functions, as well as oriented programs for the local people.


5.       Diversion of Public Fund

Some officials involves in revenue collection embezzle part of the funds for their own selfish ends.

 6.       Unskilled Workers

Local government in the state are faced with the problem of inadequate skilled workers such as engineers, accountants, medical doctors, town planners, statisticians, etc. Reasons for this unfortunate development are that, there is a very low image of local government in the minds of these professionals. Most skilled and qualified personnel’s and professionals prepare to gamble their luck either in private organizations or establish their own firms rather than risk staying at the local government where there are no incentives, and they may be wasted away. This has forced local governments to depend on unskilled labor. For example, some are diploma and certificate holders who cannot defend the certificates they hold. These circumstances are a great confront to local government efficiency. People who do not know their left from their right in what they do can hardly be productive and effective.

 7.       Inadequate and Poor Budgetary Allocation

Local governments are known to suffer from inadequate and poor budgetary allocation. This is done by purposeful cut-offs of budgetary allocation to the local government by some States Governors either for political reasons or absolute corruption. The siphoning of funds through frivolous activities and fictitious contracts to their party members and friends greatly affects the financial needs of local governments. This is one of the major reasons why local government in Nigeria usually performs below expectation, thereby making the third tiers of government meaningless and lacking the diffidence of democracy.

 8.       Political interference

Political leaders have at different times interfered with the activities of local governments.

 6.       Administrative Inefficiency

Local governments are also suffer from administrative inefficiency and ineffectiveness resulting from low educational qualifications of staff, poor motivation, autocratic leadership, poor work environment, etc. The management and control of finances is a central factor in the management of local governments. The quality and promptness/effectiveness of local government services depend on the quality and quantity of workers in the system. Politically, politicians divert from their campaign promises through scheming of ways to remain in office and swell their private financial bank accounts with public funds from the local government. They abandon principles of good governance and democratic ideals that are fundamental in promoting administrative efficiency in order to satisfy their selfish desires.

 7.       Lack of provision of Basic Social Amenities

The decline in delivery of social services for the people at the grassroots is perhaps, felt more by common people. This revealed that the local government administration has failed in meeting the basic needs of the people – good roads, metro-transport, potable water, regular electricity supply, sanitations and rehabilitation of local road under their local jurisdiction, qualitative healthcare delivery and education. Close on the heels of this is poor or non-maintenance of existing social services. Local Governments appear to have failed in this respect thereby leading to strong voice for the cancellation or eradication of the third tiers of government which is Local Government Administration.

 8.       Tribalism, nepotism and favoritism

These are mainly observed in the areas of appointment, transfer, discipline and promotion of staff.



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