- Background to the study
As a result of the complicated nature in the population, ethno-religious and large geographical nature of land mass in Nigeria and some other countries, it is necessary for such country to operate a federal system. Federalism is the one in which there is a central authority that represent the whole and act on behalf of the whole in external affairs and in such internal affair as held to become of interest; and in which there are provincial or state authorities with power of legislation and administration within the sphere allocated to them by the constitution. Federalism is also used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units such as states or provinces.
Crystal clear that Nigeria is operating on a three tiers of government (Federal, State and Local Government), there is need for intergovernmental relations to promote peace, unity and harmony among the levels of government. This is to accelerate the achievement of self-reliant economy, cut out duplications and wastage and to ensure greater efficiency in the delivery of services and also enhance efficient and effective human and material resources among the tiers of government. In this case, intergovernmental relations will help to minimize inter-jurisdictional conflicts among the various levels of government (Nwofor, 2009).
The achievement of the intergovernmental relations is dependent on some social factors within the Nigerian social system. The social factors include the political setting and state of economy in the nation. In the political setting, the intergovernmental relation is based on the three (3) levels of government that is, federal, state and local government. Here, there is supremacy in the autonomy of the levels of government, the Federal and the State is said to have more autonomy than the Local Government because it is the last level (tier). That is the reason why Local Government is not given full autonomy on the activities of its own despite been backed by the constitution. The weaknesses of the autonomy of the local government become glaring in the State-Local Government intergovernmental relations in their political, judicial, administrative and financial aspect of their governance.
In most federal countries in the world, the most difficult aspect of intergovernmental relation is the issue of fiscal relation. As it was made clearer by Okeke (2004), the distribution of resources among the various levels of government has never been easy and smooth. The complexity begins from who has the right to collect what and spend what. This simply means which level of government has the right and jurisdiction to generate revenue (collect a particular tax) and also make expenditure in a particular area. The various levels of government have its jurisdiction on a particular tax or the other.
According to Section 162, Subsection 1, these taxes collected are transferred to the Federation Account (FA) which serves as an account for store of Federation Fund. The issue now has been the allocation of this fund among the various tiers of government (vertically) and between States (horizontally). The vertical allocation could be either Federal-State or State-Local Government. Between 1960 and 1970, the basis of fiscal relations between the Federal, State and Local government were richer and more powerful but now local government is nowhere to be found which make the intergovernmental relation that exist between it and the state to be rather domineering rather than complementing which is rightly showcased by the joint account been operated by the state and local government called State-Local Government Joint Account (Okafor, 2010).
The issue of State-Local Government Joint account is associated with Nigeria. According to Sec. 162(6) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is a special account maintained by each state government ‘into which shall be paid allocations to the local government councils of the state from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State’.
The emergency of State-Local Government Joint Account implies that the revenue allocated to the local government areas of a state from the Federation Account should be pooled together and shared among the local government areas, which will be coordinated by the state government. To this end, this joint account has create serious conflict on the amount been credited to it by federal government and amount released to the Local Government by the State government, which has handicapped the local government from discharging most of their statutory responsibility. This has been the reasons that instigate the researcher to carry out study on how this has been affecting the relationship between State and Local Government.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
To comprehend the depth of controversy in the state local government intergovernmental relation, one have to follow the trend of this serious conflict between the Federal and State governments over the exercise of control of revenue resources of local government not to have assumed the undue prominence given to it as a constitutional question of Nigeria leaders, particularly the federal level had adhere strictly to the features and values of federalism and also followed the precedents established by the past democratic government in Nigerian Federation.
In a normal federal structure, each tier of government should have separate and independent functions, authority, power and limitations. This also included the financial or fiscal aspect (revenue and expenditure). But in Nigerian Federal Structure, it is only the federal government that has its own separate and independent account while the state and local government have a merged account, State local government joint account.
This study therefore intends to access the impact of state-local government joint Account on the State Local relation in Southwestern Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
On the basis of the foregoing, a number of questions become more pertinent which are:
- What are the ways that the State Joint Local Government Account has promoted efficiency and effectiveness of State Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria?
- What are the impacts of the State Joint Local Government Account on State-local relation in Southwestern Nigeria?
- What are the challenges of State Joint Local Government Account on state-local relations in southwestern Nigeria?
These are some of the questions posed to guide this project.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the impact of State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in the South Western Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are to
- Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the State Joint Local Government Account in Southwestern Nigeria.
- Assess the impact of the State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria.
- Examine the challenges of the State Joint Local Government Account on State Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses guided this study:
Ho: There is no significant impact of State Joint Local Government Account on State
Local relations in South Western Nigeria.
Hi: There is significant impact of State Joint Local Government Account on State
Local relations in South Western Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study.
The significance of this study is not over emphasized as it attempt, among other things, to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the State Joint local Government Account on State Local relations in the southwestern States in Nigeria. It also intends as well as to determine the impact of the State Joint local Government Account on State-Local relations in Southwestern Nigeria. Lastly, to determine the challenges of State-Joint Local Government Account on State-Local relations.
The study therefore will be useful in policy matters of the State and Local government level on harmonious relationship as regards the management of State Joint Local Government Account.
This study will also help to expand and further advance the knowledge of researchers, political philosophers, political scientists, public administrators as well as lecturers. This will also help to educate and also expand the knowledge of students of public administrations as well as political science on State-local government Joint Account vis-a-vis intergovernmental relations.
This study will also be useful to the government on policy and decision making on problems Local Government are facing with the state-local Government Joint Account. In addition, this study will also help to enlighten the citizens especially those at the grassroots who are mostly been affected by this policy. Conclus