Decentralisation And Local Government Autonomy: Implications For Grassroots Development In Nigeria’s Fourth Republic

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Jide Ifedayo Ibietan Okey Ikeanyibe


The paper argues that local government autonomy in Nigeria is attainable on the platforms of democratic imperative (local self-governance); legal/administrative competence; financial innovativeness and responsibility. This paper interrogates and affirms the nexus between decentralisation and local government, zeroing-in on devolution as the taxonomy for guaranteeing autonomy, and ultimately leading to grassroots development. As a qualitative study with reliance on secondary sources of data, the utilisation of Development Theory (in Local Government Studies) as framework for textual analysis of issues/themes, illuminated the discussion, conclusion and recommendations. Findings reveal that constitutional ambivalence, defective federal practice, intergovernmental relations and institutional weaknesses have in several ways stymied local government autonomy and inhibited the developmental roles of local governments in Nigeria. The suggestions proffered are capable of addressing the gaps and problems identified.

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