THE IMPACT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN AKWA IBOM STATE (A CASE STUDY OF ITU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA COUNCIL ITU)
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.0 General Introduction
The local government is the third tier of government and closes to the grassroots. The chairman or head of council is the grow head of the community development (Akai, 2005). Local government is a tier of government character and autonomy. It operates under a freed and independent circumstances. Ngwu (2007) defined local government as the third tier level of government created for the purpose of efficient and effective administration unit of the localities.
It is a political and administrative unit that is empowered by law to administer any locality or community. On the other hand, Okoli (2005), sees community development as the process by which the efforts of the people are limited with those of government authorities to improve the economic, social and cultural conditions of communities into the life of the nations and to enable them to contribute fully to the national progress.
However, the broad motive of local government is to ensure grassroots’ participation in the government and thereby encourages the growth and development of communities. The role of local government in community development according to Ona (2009), was because the local government was “both in place or has the superior capacity to understand and conduct their local affairs” the rationale for the assertion is that the local government is the nearest government to the community dwellers and it has the capacity to identify their needs and demand that the other two tiers of governments (federal and state). Also, local government has abundant and human resources when fully tapped and utilized will become valuable instrument for community development.
Community development ideally, is a process whereby the local government in consent with higher levels of governments, brings about comprehensive improvement in the lives of the people within its area of jurisdiction. It is believed that these two ideal relationship between community development and local government provides an existing framework not only for decision making with respect to community but also for coordinating assistance from other agencies of the central government (state and federal) and even from international agencies. The focus of this work is to assess the role of local government on community development using Itu Local Government Area as a case study.
- Statement of the Problem
Local government was creates to enhance political participation and participatory development at the grassroots level. This means that local government is an agent of community development.