I am a Nigerian citizen, from one of the 36 states of the country and I hail from a particular Local government in Nigeria. I also come from a family, a family I run to first as they are the closest to me.
If you’re looking for detailed information on Local government in Nigeria, you’re reading the best piece with all the information you need.
Let’s start with a very important question..
What Is Local Government In Nigeria
Local government in Nigeria is the closest government to us. It is easier to reach the Local government than it is to the State governments, talk less of the Federal government. (Are you still here? You don’t get me. Okay.).
The Federal government could not cover all areas in Nigeria considering how big our country is, so states were created but alas! The states could not cover all areas within themselves, as population is ever growing and so there is occupancy of more land surfaces; and so unto us Local government in Nigeria was born.
The Local Government Service Commission was established under the Local Government Service Commission Act 1975 and came into operation on the 18th of August 1983
The local government areas in Nigeria are subdivisions of the states created to bring the government benefits closer to the people, also to ensure for effective administration of resources.
You should know that the local government in Nigeria is the third level of government in the Nigerian government structure.
It is the level of government that is closer to the people and is within the people. Just as there is division of power in other tiers, so there is at this tier.
Obviously, I’m sure you know that each of the 36 states in Nigeria has its local government areas which it is divided into.
Also Read Interesting History: List of all Nigerian Presidents Since 1960
How Many Local Government Do We Have In Nigeria
Besides, looking at the whole thing, we do not just have a country, we have states, and we have towns and villages isn’t it?
So tell me, how do you think the state government can reach that corner from where you hail? Talk less of the Federal government. This led to the creation of 774 local government in Nigeria.
These 774 local government areas, extended unevenly across the 36 states, are further divided into wards.
The minimum number of wards per local government in Nigeria is 10 and the maximum number is 15. Report says there are 12, 001 wards in Nigeria.
List of States & Number of Local Government Areas In Nigeria
The list below shows states and the number of local government in Nigeria.
- Abia 17
- Adamawa 21
- Anambra 21
- Akwa Ibom 31
- Bauchi 20
- Bayelsa 9
- Benue 22
- Borno 27
- Cross River 18
- Delta 25
- Ebonyi 13
- Enugu 17
- Edo 19
- Ekiti 16
- Gombe 11
- Imo 27
- Jigawa 27
- Kaduna 23
- Kano 44
- Katsina 34
- Kebbi 22
- Kogi 20
- Kwara 16
- Lagos 20
- Nassarawa 13
- Niger 24
- Ogun 20
- Ondo 18
- Osun 30
- Oyo 34
- Plateau 17
- Rivers 23
- Sokoto 22
- Taraba 16
- Yobe 17
- Zamfara 14
Which State Has the Largest Local Government In Nigeria?
Kano state has the largest local government area in Nigeria while Bayelsa state has the least. Obio akpor, one of the local government areas in Rivers state, has been reported to be the richest local government in Nigeria.
Abuja – the Federal Capital Territory has 6 local government areas. Read the History of Abuja, and learn how it was created and chosen as Nigeria’s capital.
Administration and Structure of Local Government
The arms of government in Nigeria operate at every level starting from the top level (federal government level) to the last level (local government level) of the government.
The 3 tiers of government is not complete without mentioning local government in Nigeria and I’m sure you’ll want to read the relationship between the three tiers of government in Nigeria.
So, how is local government in Nigeria structured and administered? Let’s talk about the executive arms and the legislative arms.
THE EXECUTIVE ARM
The executive arm comprises of the local government chairman, his vice chairman, supervisors, and secretary.
The Local Government Chairman
The chairman is the chief executive officer of the local government in Nigeria he presides over. Just like the chairman of every political parties in Nigeria, he is held accountable for some actions when he is in the office.
- He is also the accounts officer of the local government which he presides over.
- He has to authorize payments before they can be made but he is not authorized to sign cheques nor vouchers.
- He liaises with the legislative arm of the local government.
- He prepares and presents monthly statements of income, expenditures, and annual reports to the Local Government Council.
- He also renders quarterly returns of the income and expenditure of the local government to the state government.
- He is the director of affairs of the local government.
- He is responsible for the preparation and presentation of annual budget to the Local Government Council, at the beginning of the year, for consideration, hence, approval.
- He conducts the Local Government Executive Committee (made up of the local government chairman, vice chairman, supervisors, and the secretary) meetings, and also meets with the Local Government Council, at least once a year, to report achievements, and problems encountered in the year.
Quick Interesting Post: The History and Impacts of Military Rule in Nigeria
Let’s talk about another officer – The Vice chairman.
The Vice Chairman
The Vice chairman of any Local government in Nigeria acts as the chairman in the absence of the Chairman.
He also carries out the responsibilities assigned to him by the chairman. He is also responsible for managing departments of the local government.
The secretary keeps record of the meetings, and liaises with the local Government Council and other appropriate officers of the state government.
Also, he carries out other responsibilities assigned to him by the local government chairman.
Supervisors are each assigned wards which they preside over. They assist the local government chairman in supervising the execution of local government projects in their wards.
They also carry out the other local government duties assigned to them by the chairman. Now, let’s talk about the legislative arm.
THE LEGISLATIVE ARM
The legislative arm of local government in Nigeria is called the Local Government Council. It is made up of elected councillors.
The leader and deputy leader of the council are chosen from the elected councillors. The council is responsible for the following:
- Correction and approval of the annual budget presented, to them, by the local government chairman.
- Studying of monthly reports submitted by the local government.
- Consultation and working with local government chairmen.
- Controlling fulfilment of projects and programs considered in the annual budget.
- Approval of adopted laws (these laws are called bye-laws and are not effective until the local government chairman approves them).
Now, the functions of local governments in Nigeria.
Functions of Local Government In Nigeria
Don’t get it twisted; the local governments in Nigeria are there to serve their various communities.
Yes, you heard right. There are times some of us mix up the duties of the state government with that of local government in Nigeria (wait na, no vex leave na. I no sabi sef till recently, make i shine na).
How about I tell you some of their functions (I just found out myself) as described by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
The local government in Nigeria, in any state within Nigeria, is responsible for the following:
- Registration of birth, death, and marriage certificates (take a look at your birth certificate, now you understand, right?).
- Construction and maintenance of roads, street drains, parks, open spaces, and other public highways.
- Establishment, maintenance, and regulation of markets, motor parks, etc.
- Naming of roads, streets, and numbering of houses.
- Provision and maintenance of public conveniences sewages, public transportation, and refuse disposal.
- Control and regulation of outdoor advertising, shops, restaurants, kiosks, other venues for sales of food, bakeries, and movement and keeping of pets (imagine, I wonder why I still see stray pets terrorizing someone on the road especially them local dogs).
- Establishment and maintenance of cemeteries, burial grounds, and homes for the infirm or destitute.
- Collection of taxes and fees.
- Licensing of bicycles, canoes, wheel barrows, carts, and trucks that are not mechanically propelled.
- Assessment of privately owned houses for the purpose of levying rates that may be prescribed by the State House of Assembly.
Local Government In Nigeria (Summary)
Without the careful structuring of the Nigerian government and having local government in the lowest level, the government will never be able to reach the masses.
When we say the Nigerian government is for the people and by the people, the existence of Local government in Nigeria is a proof because it is the closest government to the people and it is within the people.
Local government In Nigeria also assist the state government in providing primary education and health services to the citizens; including developing agricultural and natural resources other than exploitation of minerals.
Whew! So I got it off my chest. Thank you for reading this piece of information I couldn’t wait to share with you.
Found this to be helpful? Please like, share and drop your comments below.