Local Governments are created with the ultimate goal of bringing government closer to the people at the grassroots. But unfortunately, in Nigeria, Local Governments are getting distant from the people, thus negatively influencing the delivery of the dividends of democracy to the people.
According to a new report on local government performance in Abia State by YMonitor, an accountability project under The Future Project (TFP) with supports from the National Endowment for Democracy, Abians are unaware of the activities of their LG official and are dissatisfied with their performance.
“LG public officials are getting relegated and are being treated as an appendage and arm of the state government,” said Olamilekan Omidiji, YMonitor Team Lead. “This has dire consequences on the delivery of governance. Moreover, since LG officials are appointed by state governments, they tend to owe their mandate to the state government rather than the people.”
The report indicated that Abians have a slightly low awareness of the projects or actions of their LGs. However, despite their low awareness of LG officials’ projects, Abians call for improved performance from their officials. According to the survey, the Net Promoter Score for local government chairpersons in Abia was negative, which suggests that residents are unlikely to recommend their chairpersons for promotion.
Local governments in Nigeria are unnecessarily undervalued; if they function effectively, they could meet the people’s basic needs and strengthen their resilience to everyday life’s challenges. Local advocates and stakeholders are joining together to call for restructuring and independence of the local governments.
“To make Nigerian local government officials perform effectively, this report contains crucial recommendations that will be useful in making LG reach its potential,” added Olamilekan Omidiji.
The report recommends that Abians should be sensitised on the significance of local government to grassroots development and approaches to holding local administrators accountable. It also urged the need for institutional and human capacity building for local government councils of Abia State to adapt modern tools of local governance that are being used worldwide.
YMonitor and its partners continue to seek longer-term change to governance in Nigeria through strategies that prioritise engagement with the grassroots and officials. To access the full report on the performance of local government officials in Abia State, visit https://bit.ly/LGSurveyAS