Exam Focus: Local government, reasons, functions, sources

Exam focus – Keypoint on Public administration (Local government, reasons, functions, sources  and problems)

Public administration: 
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
  • Investments
  • Federal government grants
  • Grants from states government
  • Taxes

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
  • Embezzlement
  • 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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