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GRASS ROOT AUTHORITIES AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

 

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

 

 

1.1     INTRODUCTION

 

 

In the past two decades, the potential importance of local government’s institutions has increased throughout Nigeria, as the demand for local development and improved services has grown. One of the reasons for this has been the confirmed growths and greater congestions of towns which in its turn, have accentuated such urban problems and crowded roads, inadequate water supplies and absolute sanitary facilities, in both rural and urban areas, the rising expectations and demands on the part of people for more better local public services.

 

However, local government is a system of administration under which communities and towns are organized to maintain law and order, provide some limited range of social services and public amenities and encourage the cooperation and participation of inhabitants in joint endeavours towards the improvement of their condition of living. It provides the communities with a formal organizational framework which enables them to conduct their affairs effectively and regulate the actions of their members for the general public good. The brief statement on the nature, of local government is relevant only at a stage in the evolution of developing

societies Local government all over the world have been described as government at the local (grassroots) exercised through the decentralization of state, central government through representative councils which are established by law to perform specific duties within restricted geographical areas Ademolokun 1979).

 

According to the 1976 local government reforms, local government has been defined as:

 

“Government         at          local           level

 

exercised   through     representative

 

councils,   established   by   law   to

 

exercise   specific    powers      within

 

defined areas, these powers should

 

give the council substantial control

 

over    local    affairs    as    well    as

 

institutional and financial powers

 

to initiate and direct the, provision

 

of services and determine the type

 

of projects to be executed, so as to

 

complement  the  activities  of  the

 

states  and  federal  government  in

the areas and ensure through active

 

participation  of  their  people  and

 

their  traditional   institutions   that

 

local initiative are response to local

 

needs           and           conditions            are

 

maximized (Ademolokun 1979).

 

 

On the other hand, local government cannot provide adequate essential services to its rural people without their participation in developing their areas: one of the important contributions of people in developing the areas is by means of constituting community development project.

 

Community development is essentially the deliberate attempt for communities to work together to guide the future of their communities development, of a corresponding set up techniques for assisting community people in such process” as we all know, community development activities are undertaken voluntarily with or without financial support from the government or other agencies Ademolokun (1979).

 

The facts that the government has placed high premium on cooperative efforts of rural development, like execution of community development,

self-help projects, encourage communities to undertake such viable projects in order to supplement government effort”.

 

In addition, in its effort to develop rural areas the federal government of Nigeria established some agencies to complement communities’ effort in rural development such agencies are: National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and community Banks, Family Economic. Advancement programmed, National Community Development Board, IFAD, FADAMA III Programme e.t.c.

 

However, emphasis given to rural development is manifested when introduced community” development board that would help the local government in the areas of community development.

 

According to Aliyu (1971), the main objectives behind local governments

 

 

“is to facilitate even development of services at the grassroots level, making available necessary services and development activities response to local wishes and initiate bodies as well as mobilizing both human and material resources through the

involvement of members of the public into local affairs so as to bring the government closer to them” Aliyu (1975).

 

1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

 

 

Grassroots authorities is concern with initiation and execution of programmed geared towards endangering social and economic development of their area. This can be achieved through involvement in the implementation of socio-economic programmes that attempt to reconstruct the infrastructures necessary to improve way of life. For instance, the provision of good drinking water, rural electrification, and public recreation centers etc. Grassroots authorities also led to encourage the citizen to involve and participate in rural development which are organized and coordinated by grassroots authorities. This research is an attempt to answer the following research questions:

 

1.      Has the creation of grassroots authorities solve some of the basic and immediate problems of people in the areas.

 

2.     Has creation of grassroots authorities solved the problem of community development?

3. What is the role of grassroots authorities in national development?

 

 

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