LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN NIGERIA 1999-2021
Effective local government administration plays a crucial role in ensuring efficient provision of public goods to vast rural dwellers. In Nigeria huge percent of the population lives in the rural areas, where it is the constitutional responsibility of the local government to provide basic social and public services. The non-performance of the 774 local governments in Nigeria has continued to generate concerns and attract reactions in the recent time. This study examines the challenges confronting local government administration in effective service delivery at the grassroots level. The study relies on secondary sources of data collection and personal observations. Data was collected through a comprehensive review of relevant literature on local government administration; descriptive qualitative technique of data analysis was adopted. The study identified lack of autonomy, mismanagement of available funds, corruption, lack of transparency and accountability and lack of competent man power among others as the challenges to effective service delivery by the local government administration in Nigeria. In view of this, the study provides some measures that could ensure effective service delivery at the local government level. Such measures include, constitution review to ensure the autonomy of local government, improve human capacity and institutional building, viable sources of revenue and leadership recruitment process that is merit driven, that will produce leaders of unquestionable character and integrity that will improve service delivery at the local government level. Local government leadership must be elected by the rural dwellers and not imposed by the higher authority. This study concludes that, if the above measures are not adopted, there will be improvement in local government service delivery among the rural dwellers in Nigeria.