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A STUDY ON THE LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAURITY IN NIGERIA: A FIGHT AGAINST IT

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Every state in Nigeria has more than one local government areas though they operate on another type of government but still under the management of the state government. Local governance includes the diverse objectives of vibrant, living, working, and environmentally preserved self-governing communities. Good local governance is not just about providing a range of local services but also about preserving the life and liberty of residents, creating space for democratic participation and civic dialogue, supporting market-led and environmentally sustainable local development, and facilitating outcomes that enrich the quality of life of residents. Although the concept of local governance is as old as the history of humanity, only recently has it entered the broad discourse in the academic and practice literature. Globalization and the information revolution are forcing a reexamination of citizen-state relations and roles and the relationships of various orders of government with entities beyond government and thereby an enhanced focus on local governance. The concept, however, has yet to be embraced fully by the literature on development economics, because of the longstanding tradition in the development assistance community of focusing on either local governments or community organizations while neglecting the overall institutional environment that facilitates or retards interconnectivity, cooperation, or competition among organizations, groups, norms, and networks that serve public interest at the local level. Several writers (Bailey 1999; Dollery and Wallis 2001; Rhodes 1997; Stoker 1999) have recently argued that the presence of a vast network of entities beyond government that are engaged in local services delivery or quality of life issues makes it unrealistic to treat local government as a single entity (see also Goss 2001). Analytical recognition of this broader concept of local governance is critical to developing a framework for local governance that is responsive (doing the right thing delivering services that are consistent with citizens’ preferences or are citizen focused); responsible (doing the right thing the right way working better but costing less and benchmarking with the best); and accountable (to citizens, through a rights-based approach). Such analysis is important because the role of local government in such a setting contrasts sharply with its traditional role. But for the purpose of this research work we shall use Egbeda local as a case study.

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