LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AND THE CHALLENGES OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria is regarded as a developing country and this informs, the ideas that her rural communities, which are part of the entire political system is struggling, to facilitate socio-economic growth. Idemili South Local Government Area in Anambra State, which represents a good sample of rural administration in Nigeria reflects a number of rural development concerns.
According to Dike, V. (2006), Local Government Area’s are supposed to be engines of national development. A rural community, grows into a bustling city and the local leader makes this possible. Idemili South Local Government Area was created out of Idemili Local Government Area in 1989. It is bounded on the north by Idemili Local Government Area, on the east, by Anaocha Local Government Area, on the South by Nnewi North and Ekwusigo Local Government Areas and on the west by Ogbaru Local Government Area. However Idemili South Local Government Area is not immune to the challenges of rural development in Nigeria. According to Arowolo, D. (2008), as important as this tier of government, there seems to be some impediments, that have been infringing on its performance and functions in recent times. These impediments range from political to include, interference by the higher levels of Government i.e federal and state governments, bribery and corruption, embezzlement and gross inadequacy of well-trained and qualified personnel to mention a few.
This study therefore is an investigation of the perceived challenges in rural administration, using Idemili South Local Government as a case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite the justification of Local Government and its importance to the people at the grassroots level, this tier of government, in practice seems not to have justified the reasons for which it was established. The questions that summarily come to one’s mind are: why has local government administration not lived up to its expectation such as in Idemili South Local Government Area? What are the causes of this seemingly conspicuous weakness? What are the challenges of the local government? And how can this weaknesses be corrected and the challenges overcome?
The problem of Idemili South Local Government Area seems multifarious and it is the preoccupation of this study, to explain them in details.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study, is to examine the perceived challenges of rural administration in Idemili South Local Government Area in Anambra State.
Other specific objectives include determining if government revenue is appropriately and sufficiently utilized.
To determine whether these perceived challenges are actually, the main elements that forestall rural development in Idemili South Local Government Area.
To ascertain whether the administration of Idemili South Local Government has lived up to the expectation for the establishment of the local government area.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would provide an improved and proper guide for stakeholders of rural administration in Nigeria to among other things, pinpoint the major challenges to rural development in Nigeria.
The result of this study would provide the basis for developing variety of ways for reducing the challenges to rural administration.
This study would also reveal, whether the revenue accrued and generated for development in Idemili South Local Government is sufficient and properly utilized by the government.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
This study focuses on finding out the challenges of rural development in Idemili South Local Government Area. It will attempt to see how these problems hinder economic development at the grassroot.
This study limits itself to the development challenges of the Idemili South Local Government people. Due to the nature of social science research, it is expected that a study of this nature, would be met by certain limitations and this is evident, as this study suffers, from inadequate finances, to make for proper investigation.
Another important limitation to this study is improper documentation of administrative activities in the local government. This study is also limited by the researcher’s inability to access Local Government Offices.
Finally this study is limited by the high level of illiteracy at the grass root in Idemili South Local Government Area.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
This study adopts two hypotheses as follows:
There are significant administrative challenges to rural development in Idemili South Local Government.
There are significant improvements in rural administration in Idemili South Local Government Area.
1.7 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one gives an introduction to the study, while chapter two gives a in-depth literature review and provides a theoretical foundation for the study. Chapter three deals with the adopted methodology of study, while chapter four deals with data presentation and analysis. Chapter five provides the summary and conclusion of the study and also makes vital recommendations.
1.8 CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION
For the purpose of this study, a few but important terms have been selected for proper clarifications. They include; Grassroots, Political system, Rural area and Underdevelopment.
Grassroots: The ordinary people in an organization or society.
Political system: The political arrangement of a society, embracing all factors influencing collective decisions,
Rural area: refers to that part of a county that is considered less developed. Especially in the African Parlance, it is characterized by low cost houses, Agro-based economy and less sophisticated socio-economic system.
Underdevelopment: This refers to the state of growth in society that is associated with poor/non infrastructural facilities, weak economy and poor level of technological and industrial capacity.