CHALLENGES OF EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF UYO LGA)
BACK GROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria as a sovereign nation operates a federal system of government i.e the federal government, state government and the local government councils.
Onwo (1992) Observed that each level of the three tiers of government derive its powers not from the magnanimity of the central government but from the constitution; each level of government has defined responsibilities assigned to it by the constitution. The implication of this is that the three segments of governments are mutually interrelated in a unified effort to make life worth – while for the masses.
Indigenes of the local government are desirous of enjoying modern facilities, improved means of transportation, such as good road network and mass transit transport services. These desires are in line with stated objectives of the local government such as construction and maintenance of roads, provision of health services such as maternity homes, health centers, sanitization, provision of primary education and many others – as sponsored by the federal military government. The federation (Nigeria) years book of 1983, outlined the aims of the local government system in the country. According to that document, one of the cardinal aims of the local government system is to make appropriate services and development activities, responses to local wishes and needs by delegating authority to local representative bodies.
The citizens expect the council to excel in developmental activities. They would like to please the community or communities in the local government area through the provision of functional feeder roads and public utilizations.
The council administration in the other hand complains of inadequate finance to meet up with the numerous responsibilities yearning for attention. According to the guidelines for local government reforms or 1976, “it must be recognized that if meaningful local government is to be expected in Nigeria, much larger financial resources are needed” they also complain that staff salaries alone drain a high percentage of the monthly allocation. Financial experts postulates that money is at the center of developmental projects. Acquisition and proper accountability of funs are the pivot upon revolves. Adedeji (1979) capped it all when he declared that the success or failure and the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of local government depend on the financial resources available to the individual local government and the way these resources are utilized.
From the foregoing, it seems that an empirical study into the revenue base of the local government system at this harsh economic period is not only useful but very vital.
It is therefore against this background that this project work is being undertaken with a view to discovering the problems of Effective Utilization of Revenue Available to Local Governments with particular reference to Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom state.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The relevance of the local government councils as the government at the grassroot level is measured by the quality and quantity services rendered to the rural dwellers.
For the council to render meaningful services, in form of provision of basic amenities, construction and maintenance of roads, creation of employment opportunities for the citizens and pay staff salaries as and when due, money is undoubtedly required.
Without the availability of revenue, a local government council will not only be incapable of serving the people but will undoubtedly crumble. It therefore, follows that for the local government to discharge its statutory functions effectively, it should not only be adequately funded but such fund should be efficiently applied.
- One of the fundamental problems in local government financial administration is the issue of Effective Utilization of Revenue Available to the Local Government. Aninri local government council may have tits unique problems that militate against its financial administration.
- The problem of delay in payment of federal/state government grants to the local authorities.
- The problems of accountability in the local government council.
- Another problem is that of ineffective financial control and management both internally and externally.
- Fifthly, the problem of financial mismanagement and embezzlement of available funds in local government council.
Finally, the problem of corruption as stated by Oluwale (2000) militate against the utilization of local government revenue.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The central focus of the study is to critically analyze the problems of effective utilization of revenue available to Uyo local government area as a case study.
- The study is meant to identity the major revenue sources available to local government .
- To ascertain the problems that confront the council’s administration in utilizing revenue for their services.
- To find out whether or not the revenue is adequate for the council’s expenditure.