AN APPRAISAL OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS EFFORTS TOWARDS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
This research work was undertaken with a view to ascertaining the community development in Enugu state of Nigeria with a focus on Enugu North local government Area- as a case study. The work looked critically (in question) towards community development within its area of jurisdiction. In doing this, the researcher based his study on the provision of the 10976 local government reform in Nigeria which made community development one of the explicit functions of the local government councils. In carrying out the research, primary and secondary data were used. Related literature were reviewed (secondary data chapter 2) and questionnaire were equally prepared and administered to local government functionaries (primary data chapter 4). The technique use in analyzing the primary data is the chi-square (x2). The finding of the research was reached using the result of the tested hypothesis. For the analysis, it was found that many factors act as stumbling blocks on the way of community development in Enugu North local. Government area and the state general. Such factors include: Lack of adequate organization frame work and orientation. Lack of dedication and commitment on the part of the local government councils to the cause of community development. Misplacement of organization priorities and consequently, misdirection of funds. Lack of executive capacity arising from lack of adequately trained, motivated and dedicated staff for effective and efficient implementation of council decision. The unhealthy political atmosphere existing in the local government councils and finally, the unreliable external funding and inability to generate revenue for development purposes. From the above findings, the researcher concluded by making a sense of recommendations among which are the co-ordination of the development efforts of the various formal and informal organizations in the overall community development programmes, and procurement of adequately trained personnel for the organizational and educational processes associated with community development.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Local governments have and will continue to be one of the prime mores of development in different parts of the world and their importance and impact on daily activities of citizens cannot be over emphasized.The terms local government refers to a political authority set up by a nation or state as a subordinate authority for the purposes of dispensing or decentralizing polities power. In the English sense, it means local self government.Local government is a political sub-division of a national government, or in federal system, a sub-division of regional government in fact, local government administration is so intentioned with community development that any discussion on one out of necessity involves the other.
This is because local government in essence, was created solely to bring development to the communities at the grass root.Community development is not a new ideology. It is defined as a process by which the efforts of the people themselves are linked with those of governmental authorities to improve the economic, social and cultural conditions of communities, to integrate them into life of the action, and to enable them to contribute fully to the national progress. Also the role of local government in the promotion of development at the local level is clearly recognized as one of the underlying basis of the 1976 local government reforms which emphasized that none of the principal objectives of local government is to mobilize human and material resources through the involvement of members of the public in the promotion of local governmentMany communities had built school, constructed roads and bridges, and organized higher education, scholarship schemes for their children etc. community development as we recognize today is based on and has grown out of experience of the past. What is new is that these principles are now becoming more widely recognize than ever before.
The principles of community development are not new, but it is the emphasis which makes almost a revolutionary. The concept of community development is based on the faith. In the ability of people to learn how to help themselves attain an improved standard of living building better communities taking one step at a time.Rural development has thus remained op the priority item o the programmes of the administration. In drawing up the blue print for rural development, government of Enugu state aims primary at sensitizing and mobilizing the people at the grass roots level and deliberately and actively involving them in effective community development, encouraging, integrated and multi-dimension approach to community development for the government to achieve the grass roots development, it must get closer to the people.
Community development groups and local government should work very closely, because for instance, a service project such as maternity dispensary or school which is built without the full support of the relevant local government, has very lean chances of survival, since the running and main tenancy expenses of such services are usually too heavy to be borne unaided by such community.
– LOCAL GOVT. SERVICE COMMISSION
– CHAIRMAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE ORGANIZATION OF ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT
– SECRETARY/DIRECTOR OF PERSONNEL
– INTERNAL AUDITOR SUP.FOR AGRIC
– SUP. FOR HEALTH
– H.O.D AGRIC
– H.O.D HEALTH
– SUP. WORKS & TRANSDPORT
– SUP.FOR EDUCATION COMMUNITY
– H.O.D EDUCATION COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
– H.O.D WORKS PERSONNEL
Enugu Urban council was created in 1976. then in 991 Enugu North and south localgovernment was carried out of the main/former Enugu local government area.The council is consist of six (6) major departments personnel; health; works; financial; agriculture; and education and development. The council is made up of two sets of staff.The executive and the carrier officers. At the apex of the organization, the chairman is the chief executive and the controller of both men and materials including finances.Below him is the vice chairman who assists and co-ordinate the activities delegated to him from time to time. Below their levels are the four line supervisors charged of agric, health, education, community development and works respectively. Both the chairman and the supervisors are the policy maker as far as the council is concerned.On the other hand, the local government service commission is the employer of all carrier officers civil servants) under this local government system. At the apex of the carrier officers is the secretary director of personnel who is in charged of the day to day administration.
Below him is a deputy secretary who co-ordinate the activities of both senior and the junior staff including other functions in his schedule. The internal auditor occupies a central position midway between the carrier officers and the executive chairman.He is the alarm clock of the council especially when the envisages that anything goes wrong with the expenditure of government fund. He may raise an audit alarm. Below this levels are the line carrier staff known as heads of department.
Each occupying specific department such as agric, 1-6 above. Each H.O.D maintains discipline within his area, check the attendant and roll call and distribute functions amongst the rank and file senior and junior staff under him.
STATUTORY / COMMTTEE: In local government there are some operative statutory committee charged with specific functions:
a. The junior staff management committee with a chairman and secretary. This organ is charged with discipline, promotion, transfer and conversion of junior staff under grade level 01-06.
b. F and a: This is an organ responsible for monetary approval and expenditure above to N500,000.00 to N1m. The executive chairman acts as the chairman while the local government secretary acts as his secretary. Community development is a department solely charged with co-ordination development activities in various community between the councils area of jurisdiction.
However, the department cannot carryout or execute its functions departments or units within the council for example, community development as a department