Are These Cracks Foundational? Situating Local Government Performance in Nigeria within the Context of Its Legal Framework (Published)
The obvious bellow-the-mark performance of Nigeria’s 774 local governments is a key reason for the call from various quarters of the Nigerian society that it be scraped. Today this third tier of government in Nigeria is synonymous with wanton corruption and gross underperformance. This paper attempts a pathology of these glaring cracks and discovers that they are only mild manifestations of a foundational defect, as key provision of the constitution upon which the local government system is premised are faulty, and ties the local government to the whims and caprices of the state that most times uses it as an avenue for political manipulations, embezzlement and the outright misappropriation of funds. Nigeria local governments are therefore weak, lack funds and bereft of the needed autonomy to perform optimally, as wells as meet the development intent for their establishment. This paper among others recommendations calls for broad and far-reaching constitutional amendments/local government reforms that would re-craft and reposition this vital tier of government to meet up with the development challenge of the 21st century.