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Local government autonomy and rural development: imperative issues and challenges bedeviling local governments in southeast geopolitical zone, Nigeria

Author: 
Chioke, Stephen Chinedu, Umeokafor, Chibuike Chris and Mbamalu, Kingsley Uchenna
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

South-East geopolitical zone in Nigeria comprises of Abia State, Anambra State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State and Imo State. Local governments in these States are maniacally demonized by several ugly ordeals, which include the problem of lack of autonomy in practical terms and absence of rural development. The remote cause of this problem is the undue and excess unjustifiable concentration of political power at the State level through the instrumentality of Nigeria’s grundnorm. The study thus examined whether LGAs in South-East geopolitical zone have contributed to the rural development of the areas that make up those local governments and why Local Government has not lived up to expectations despite its relative autonomy. Being a Survey research, it employed Development theory as its theoretical framework of analysis. The study reveals that LGAs in South-East geopolitical zone have no iota of autonomy in practical terms and as such have not contributed to the rural development of the areas that make up LGAs of South-East geopolitical zone. The study concluded that, if local governments in Nigeria enjoy autonomy (discretion) in practical terms than what is obtainable now, the gains of democracy in terms of rural development will be delivered to the rural dwellers here and there. It recommended that LGAs should be practically autonomous to meet the yearnings of the local people in the area of rural development/transformation.

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