This study focuses on the policy making and implementation in Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State. The objectives of this work are to ascertain the quality of policies made and implemented in Oji River Local Government Area, To find out the impact of the policies made and implemented, To discover the challenges facing the policy making and implementation and identify the possible way of enhancing the policy making and implementations. This work adopted descriptive survey and the researcher selected a sample of respondents from the population and administered structured questionnaire. The questionnaire took the form of three point formula scales. The researcher used stratified random sampling technique and the sample size was found out using Taro Yamane formula. Through the respondents, the researcher was able to find out that though there are quality policies made in Oji River Local Government Area they were unable to implement them due to inadequate resources; that policy making in the local government is facing a problem of interference from other levels of government; and that the staff are not paid promptly to enable them discharge their duties well. The researcher recommends that State Government should not in any form interfere in policy making and implementation in the local government; Efforts should be made to provide adequate funds needed for policy implementation; the Local Government staff should be disciplined and committed to their duties; and the Local Government Authority should device various ways to motivate the staff, increase their salaries and pay them promptly.
1.1 Background of the study
The need of localizing governance in the modern setting is on the need to bring governance closer to the people. This even as its functions and relevance sometimes overlap with those of other levels of government, it is still seen as a way of making governance more efficient and effective in a democratic system of government. Local government is the government at the grassroots near enough and with the people, and therefore better able to articulate and tackle the problems of the citizenry. In the words of Chukwuemeka (2013) ‘local government is a government department and essential organ or arm of the bureaucracy at the lowest level. Technically, it is a public organization authorized to achieve and administer a limited range of public policy in a relatively smaller territory, which is a sub division of the national government.’ The existence of local government recognizes the capacity of the local people to understand and conduct their own local affairs. The people themselves are more able to secure a closer adaptation of public services to local needs than the central or state governments, looking at the locality from afar. The continuous emphasis on policy making and implementation in the local government is understandable as Chukwuemeka (2013) said that ‘local government is in a far better position than the national or state government to stimulate initiatives, inculcate that feeling of national consciousness and encourage drive and experimentation in the people. Public policy involves development of formal policy statements that are viewed as legitimate. (Denhardt and Denhardt, (2009) Public policy making process is an attempt to examine and diagnose what a problem means, how an issue can be made out of the problem and solutions found for such social problems. (Ugwu, 2006) Nigeria is faced with so many problems, and these problems could be in the area of policies, commerce, education, agriculture, communication, housing, transportation, health, and other many problems such as terrorism; unemployment, kidnapping, and government make policies to help reduce these problems. Ugwu (2006) also posited that policy implementation is concerned with the process of giving effect to policy so that the objectives of the policy can be achieved. The implementation problem facing developing countries is the problem of a widening gap between policy intentions and outcomes. According to Dialoke, Ukah, and Maduagwuna (2017) Implementation gap begins with distances between formulated policy goals and the achieving of such planned goals. It is also vital to consider policy questions in the particular context in which they arise, both in terms of the general politics of the problem and the value and powers of the policy-makers. The importance of local government administration cannot be over emphasized especially in less developed country such as Nigeria. The existence of local government remains a sine-qua-non for grass root development through effective and efficient policy making and implementation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Government has failed in recent times to achieve important tasks of ensuring the development of the economy due mainly to poor policy making and implementation process. The importance of well articulated policy can never be over emphasized in the growth of any economy. One of the major problems of most government policies is the lack of adequate and well informed policy makers who possess the technical know-how needed for the job. Other problems include: lack of financial resources, government attitude, ethnicity and favoritism, poor leadership. Moreover, some policies end up not achieving the main reason for which they were instituted. The policy makers tend to divert funds meant for pursuing policies for selfish interests. However, policy implementation is the greatest problem facing policy process especially in developing countries, there is always a wide gap between policy formulation and policy implementation, in developing countries such as Nigeria, there are several brilliant policies formulated, but such policies have been rubbished by poor implementation. (Ugwu, 2006) Despite recommendations made by many reforms, the problems remained unresolved. The need to find the causes and solutions to the challenges gave rise to this research.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine policy making and implementation particularly in Orji River Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The specific objectives are as follows:
- To investigate the quality of policies made and implemented in Oji River Local Government Area.
- To find out the impact of policies made and implemented in Oji River Local Government Area.
- To investigate the challenges of policy making and implementation in Oji River Local Government Area.
- To identify alternative measures for enhancing effective policy making and implementation in Orji River Local Government Area.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
- What is the quality of policies made and implemented in Orji River Local Government Area?
- What are the impacts of policies made and implemented in Oji River Local Government Area?
- What are the challenges facing policy making and implementation in Orji River Local Government Area?
- What alternative measures could be used for enhancing effective policy making and implementations in Orji River Local Government Area?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will add to the body of knowledge and increase the existing literature in the area of policy making and implementation generally in Nigeria and particularly in Orji River Local Government Area of Enugu State. It will also be beneficial to students and other researchers as information in this work will help to widen their knowledge for further research. This work will also help policy makers to modify the ways and approaches used in policy making and implementation. It will also help them in the improvement and management of resources in public sector.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covered policy making and implementation. It particularly focused on Orji River Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
TIME: One of the major problems encountered by the researcher was time because the researcher had to combine research work with other activities. The research was able to draft a timetable that helped her managed her time properly.
FINANCE: the unavailability of money posed a great problem to the researcher, especially in acquiring the necessary materials for the research. The researcher had to take a student loan which will be paid back upon graduation. Furthermore, most of the personnel in local government offices were reluctant in answering the questions addressed to them. The researcher was able to gather information from the personnel who were able to respond to the question addressed to them.
LACK OF REGULARITY OF THE CIVIL SERVANTS: a good number of civil servants do not always come to work to enable the researcher get the information needed for the work, that results in time and finance wasting. But the researcher was able to overcome by constantly visiting the local government until the information needed was obtained.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Policy-Making is the formulation of ideas or plans that are used by an organization or government as a basis for making decisions.
Impact / Policy Impact are the effect that government policy and its administrative practices can have on something.
Public Policy is the principled guide to action taken by the administrative executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues, in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs.
Policy Evaluation is a principles and methods to examine the content, implementation or impact of a policy. It is also the activity through which we develop an understanding of the merit, worth, and utility of a policy.
Policy Implementation is the third stage of policy cycle its means the stage of the policy process immediately after the passage of a law, or the action that will be taken to put the law into effect or that the problem will be so.