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1.1       Background to the study

The term Local Government in Nigeria has attracted serious attention both nationally and internationally since the local government reform of 1976. What the local governments have in common, either in federal or unitary system of government, is responsibility for the most immediate needs of their citizens without any other body between them and the individual. In other words, it is the order of government closest to the people (Chukwuemeka, Ugwanyi, Ndubuisi-Okolo and Onuoha, 2017).Local government is the closest tier of government to the people of Nigeria, yet the resident population in it is denied the benefits of its existence. The failure of local government in the area of service delivery over the years as made the citizens to lose faith and trust in Local Government as an institution in Nigeria. Recently, local government council in Nigeria have become the focus of constant debate as stakeholders express their dissatisfaction over the performances of these councils (Usang and Salim, 2016).

In Nigeria, local governments have a varied list of stakeholders who make demand on her services. These stakeholders include communities, state and federal governments, and other non­governmental organizations, each demanding a transparent account of stewardship on the management and uses of resources in the local government. Local government was set up to enable grass-root development and well-being of communities through the effective channelling of available resources (Lawal, 2017). Local government in Nigeria are statutorily expected to provide service such as health, education, sanitation, rural infrastructure and undertake other

developmental projects for administrative convenience. Dwindling infrastructure, poor services delivery, corruption, mismanagement of financial resources which has resulted in debt and inability to pay workers’ salaries have been reported (Acllimugu, Stephen and Agborni, 2013:Emmanuel, Ajanyan and Audu, 2013)

The efficient and effective provision of basic amenities and social infrastructure for people at the grass-roots is a key factor to the existence of any government. Local government in modern day life is responsible for delivering basic services to the grass-roots (its local communities) in efficient and effective manner but its inefficiency and ineffectiveness in addressing the primary needs and wants of the people at the grass-roots has made the third tier of government irrelevance in the administration of the country lowest tier of government to the people (Bolatito and Ibrahim, 2014; Ibok, 2014). Nevertheless, local government are viable instrument for rural transformation, development and delivery of social services to rural communities in their jurisdiction. Local governments have been struggling especially in the face of dwindling economic resources of the country. In order to address these problems, this study is proposed to find out the relationship between Local Government and grass-root development in Ifelodun rural communities of Kwara state.

 1.2       Statement of the problem

The performance of Local Government in Nigeria has been on the decline as service delivery to communities has become a challenge due to mismanagement and widespread corruption and lack of social amenities in rural communities. Local government have been known to exhibit their inability to have proper infrastructure such as good roads, good schools, healthcare centres and well trained staff. Another major problem of the three-tier system in the country is the dwindling revenue generation as characterised by annual deficits and insufficient funds for meaningful growth of community development. All these problems serve as obstacle to the smooth running of Local Government.

1.3       Aim and objectives of the study

The aim of this study is to critically assess the role of Local government Administration in the development of rural area  with reference to Ifelodun local government. The objectives of the study are:

  1. To find out how Local Government have impacted the lives of rural dwellers, especially in Ifelodun local government.
  2. To analyse the relationship between Local Government and community development.
  3. To examine the challenges facing Local Government and community development in Kwara state

1.4       Relevant Research Questions

The following are the general research questions for the purpose of this research.

  • What are the impact of Local Government and community development in Ifelodun local government?
  • What is the relationship between Local Government and grass-root development?
  • What are the challenges facing Local Government and grass root development in Kwara state.
  • In your opinion what can the local government do to develop the grassroots?

1.5       Relevant Research Hypotheses

The following are statement of the research hypothesis:

Hypothesis I

Ho:      Local Governments have no impact on the lives of rural dwellers

Hi:       Local Governments have impact on the lives of rural dwellers.

Hypothesis II

Ho:      There is no significant relationship between Local Government and grass root development.

Hi:       There is significant relationship between local government ad administration and community development


Hypothesis III

Ho:      Local government are not faced with infrastructural development challenges.

Hi:       Local government are faced with infrastructural challenges.


1.6       Significance of the study

The significance of this study is aimed at assessing the role of Local government Administration in the development of rural area  using Ifelodun local government as a case study. The finding of this study would help Local Government to identify the problems associated with Local Government and its consequences on grass-root development. It is the belief of the researcher that this study would help to alert the government and all stakeholders on constraints of Local Government in achieving grass-root development. The result of this research would therefore be generalised as the representative of the whole local government authorities in Nigeria with regard to problems and prospect of Local Government in Nigeria

1.7       Scope of the study

The scope of the study is based on The role of Local government Administration in the development of rural area . Due to the large number of rural communities, the researcher based the research work on Ifelodun Local Government as a case study.

Some of the research limitation (constraints) of the study include time, finance, access to relevant data etc. The time frame given to carry out this research work is so limited in terms of coping with this research and other academic activities and other financial limitation.

1.8       Definition of terms

Operational definitions are the definition of variables which must be practically related to the subject matter and have emphasised reference (Ogbonna, 1991). It has therefore become necessary for the terms used in this study to be operationally defined.

Infrastructure: These physical or basic amenities provided by Government to change the fortune or status of a place as defined by Akinyosoye (2010) Local Government

Autonomy: Adeyemo (2005) defined Local Government Autonomy as a subordinate Government which derive its existence and power from law enacted by a superior Government.

Grass-Root Development: Grass-Root development is also viewed as a self-generating process of socio-economic and political development in which the rural inhabitants themselves are actively involved and share in the cost and benefits of such ‘development.

Ibrahim (1980) defined grass-root development(rural development) as the process by which the standard of living at the grassroots level is enhanced politically, socially and economically This definition views grass-root development as a multi-dimensional process involving important changes in social structure condition of life, as well as the involvement of the rural dwellers in decisions that affect their lives.

Local Government: It is a Government at the local level exercised through representative council establish by law to exercise specific power within defined area Chukwuemeka Ugwnanyi, Ndubuisi. O. and Onuoha (2017) defined local Government as the order of Government closest to the people.

Remunerations: This is a reward of employment in the form of pay, salary or wage, Akintoye (2000) asserts that remuneration remains the most significant motivational strategy.

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