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Lesson Note

Subject: Government

Topic: The Local Government

Learning Objectives: By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. Define the term local government;
  2. Give reasons for creation of local government;
  3. State the functions of the local government;
  4. Identify the sources of local government revenue.

Lesson Discussion

Local government

Local government can be defined as a semi-autonomous body established by law to perform specific functions within a defined area. Local government is the closest level of government to the people. it takes care of the affairs of local people and it is called government at the grassroots.

Reasons For The Creation Of Local Government

    1. Local government are created in order to bring government closer to the people.
    2. They are also created in order to facilitate the practice and sustenance of participatory democracy. It is to enable indigenes of local areas to govern themselves based on their cherished customs and traditions.
    3. Local government are created to enhance decentralization of powers which helps to reduce the administrative burden of Central government.
    4. The creation of local government is meant to speed up the rate of social economic development of rural areas.
    5. Local authorities are to serve as veritable institutions through which human and material resources of local areas can be properly harnessed and utilised.
    6. Creating awareness about local government activities among the masses is also another reason for creating local government. Local government help to enlighten people in local areas especially in the implementation of government policies and programmes.
    7. Local governments are also created to groom effective and efficient political administrative leaders that can bring national development.
    8. Local authorities are created to maintain peace and security among local people.
    9. Local governments are also created to facilitate the provision of essential services to the people in local areas.

Functions Of Local Government

  1. Local government to maintain peace and order in local area. They perform this function through the making of by-laws.
  2. Local government issues licences for bicycles, dogs, vehicles etc. This is to ensure the security of the properties.
  3. The collection of taxes rates for market stores water bills is also another function performed by local government.
  4. Local government carry out the function of registering birth death marriages and important events that occur among the people of the locality.
  5. Local government provide recreational facilities like stadia amusement parks and open places where people can exercise their bodies at their leisure time.
  6. Customary courts which are under the control of local government help to settle disputes and misunderstanding among local inhabitants.
  7. Provision of social amenities. Local government provide and maintain burial ground ground refuse disposal system slaughterhouses local government also create and maintain health care centres and facilities like maternity homes dispensaries.
  8. Naming of streets and building of public horse: location of intra and inter urban transport services for the citizens in their local domain is another function of local government.
  9. Local government make genuine input and recommendation to federal and state government on how to formulate and execute national economic policies.

Sources Of Local Government Revenue

  • Statutory allocation: this is the major source of local government revenue. this refers to the fund which the Federal government is compelled by law to give to local governments from federally derived revenue.
  • It is also called Federal grants. Grant may be specific or general. the former is given to local government for the execution of special projects while the latter is an entitlement of all local government. Ecological grants is an example of such a grant.
  • Grant from state government: this refers to a certain proportion which the states in the federation are mandated to give to local government from state generated revenue. This is to enable local government function effectively.
  • Commercial ventures: local rates: rates collected on water supply market stalls motor parks, capitation are genuine sources of local government revenue.
  • Commercial ventures: local government invest in companies through buying of shares establishment of poultry farms, plantation farms, transport services, etc. Profits and dividends from such investment from the major sources of local government revenue.
  • Taxes: local government collect taxes from the people under their domain. This form of tax could be levied on non salary earners as income tax. Tax can also be collected on property and livestock. For example cattle owners in the northern part of Nigeria pay this form of tax often referred to as jangali.
  • Special levies local government can raise revenue through special levels after it must have been approved by the state government.
  • Loans: local government can raise loans from financial institutions to execute special projects however raising of huge amount of money requires approval or state government.
  • Donations: financial assistance from well-to-do sons and daughters of a local government or philanthropist could also be another source of local government revenue.

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