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Exam focus – Keypoint on Public administration (Local government, reasons, functions, sources and problems)
Local government: A local government is a government at a local level established by law to perform a specific function within defined areas.
Reasons why local governments are established
- To bring government nearer the people at the grassroots
- They allow indigenes of different local areas to govern themselves
- To give people in the rural areas a sense of belonging.
- To allay feelings of insecurity and fear of ethnic domination
- To avoid too much concentration of power in one authority
- To mobilize both human and materials resources in the local areas.
- To achieve rapid development of the local areas.
- To lessen the governmental burden of the central government
- To preserve the traditional institutions in the local areas.
- To serve as a link between the people at the grassroots and the central government.
Powers and functions of local government
- Provision and maintenances of markets
- Collection of taxes and rates.
- Issuance offences
- Construction and maintenance of roads.
- Provision of recreational facilities
- Provision of schools and libraries
- Provision of customary courts.
- Development of agriculture
- Maintenance of law and order
- Registration of births deaths etc
- Provision of public conveniences
- Provision of health facilities
- Provision of urban transportation
- Provision and maintenance of public building
- Making recommendations
- Constructions of roads, motor parks etc.
Sources of local government revenue
- Local rates
- License fees
- Court fees
- Special levies
- Commercial ventures
- Federal government grants
- Grants from states government
Control and supervision of local governments
- Legislative control
- Judicial control
- Financial control
- Press control
- Audit control
- Control by Pressure group
- Public control
- Ministerial or executive control.
Problems facing local governments
- Financial problem
- Partisan Policies
- Political interference
- Lack of infrastructure
- Illiteracy among councillors
- Bribery and corruption
- Shortage of trained personnel
- Constant interference by traditional rulers
- The size of local government councils
- Favouritism and nepotism
- Lack of political education
- Poor method of collection of taxes
- Poor communication system.
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