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This study focuses on projects administration in the Idemili North and South Local Governments of Anambra State. The problem that attracted this study is poor projects administration/implementation in the two categories of Local Government in Nigeria. Most urban local governments are over crowded, dirty and noisy and the rural ones lack basic facilities. These unwanted elements are not unconnected with the careless way and manner projects are implemented in these local bureaucracies. The survey research method was adopted in eliciting information through questionnaire. The population of the study comprised junior, senior and managerial staff of the Idemili North and South Local Government Areas of Anambra State. The multi-stage (2-stage) sampling technique was used in selecting groups that fell into the sample. Three research questions and three null hypothesis guided this study, and the statistical instrument chi-square (X2) was used to analyze the data. The findings showed that irregular and inadequate funding, political interference and lack of extrinsic motivational factors are seriously working against effective projects implementation in the local governments. Sequel to these findings the researcher hereby recommends that the well to do community people should be sensitized to help in projects implementation of their area, zerobase budgeting system to be adopted to check abandonment of projects, as well as adopting external projects implementation monitoring.
1.1 Background of the Study
It is a truism that every organization has in its entirety a combination of people, working together with a view to achieving common organizational goals and objectives.
As a matter of fact, since people of various tribes and different age brackets are involved, it becomes obviously clear that administration of human and material resources must also be involved.
Administration must exist in any organization set-up for a defined purpose. According to Nwosu (1980.31), administration generally takes place in the context of organization which means in the context of a planned system of Cooperative effort in which individuals have assigned functions. In other words, local government administration is concerned with the management of the affairs of her areas.
One of the major problems that confront urban areas is poor execution of projects in their area, which essentially hinges on how to deployed the available human and material resources to meet the welfare needs of the local populace.
However, like in many other third-world countries, local government administration has been described as inefficient and incapable of accomplishing the goals and objectives of the communities under their care.
The explanation for this are discerned from:
1. Weak financial base of the local government
2. Influence of politics
3. Lack of effective political leadership
4. Lack of Skilled Personnel
5. Lean motivational packages
6. Financial mismanagement
Orewa and Adewumi (1983:99-100) indicated that even in the early 1950s, during the colonial era that Nigerian Local Governments have been unable to efficiently and effectively perform their statutory functions and this was attributed to lack of financial resources and maladministration.
This situation eventually led to the take-over of some local government functions by the Federal Government starting from the period of the tier system of local government (1950).
This loss of functions which increased with the creation of states in 1967, continued until the far reaching Local Government Reforms of 1976.
As a matter of fact, in its bid to make for uniformity in both structure and organization, the 1976 local government reforms in Nigeria made no distinction between small and large local government areas, and also between rural and urban local governments.
It only noted differences in their sizes caused by population and individual resources (human and material) and recognized the possibility of dividing one local government unit into lower tiers called Administrative and Development Areas, etc. But they would not be accorded Federal Governments recognition or fiscal allocation (Reform Guide lines 1976:5).
It is actually true that project administration which involves planning and implementation is an after-math of the Pyramidal tradition of bureaucratic organization, which failed to achieve the set objectives at the end of the targeted period of time. So project administration or management emerged as a “Panacea” to the multifarious problems of the traditional bureaucratic organizations. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a project as an undertaking requiring concentrated effect. Harrison (1945) on his own part defines a project as a non-routine, non-repetitive undertaking normally with discrete time, financially and technical performance goals.
From the foregoing, project administration or management must be within both time and estimates, as well as standard specifications.
Project administration or project implementation strategies starts with planning. But in most local governments in Nigeria implementation precedes planning. This is an aberration with failure as its resultant effects. It is these problems arising from poor or non implementation of projects at the local government level that this study is set to address.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
A number of reforms has been put in place in the local government system in Nigeria. The most prominent of all of them being the 1976 reforms.
The reason for the reforms, is that there is problem of nonperformance with respect to provision and general low standard of living. The principal aim has been to give local governments definite and precise functions and strategies of implementing the projects which were designed to promote development at the grassroots.
Most public organization have been unable to attain the organizational objectives for which they were set up. Local government structure is not an exception in this case. Constitutionally, local governments are charged with the responsibility of bringing governance closer to the rural dwellers. This appears far from being attained due to frequent fraudulent practices in the country. What is responsible for the dysfunctional of this structure of governance? Is this shortcoming traceable to the poor funding of the system?
However, inefficiency, low productivity and bureaucratic redtapism are common characteristics of public service especially local governments. Since local governments are unable to satisfy their statutory functions they are seen by many as conveyor belts and draining pipes of government scare resources. They are busy doing something but at the end achieving nothing. They have large workforce and no records of application of extrinsic motivational factors that would make them viable.
Despite the fact that the 1976 reform of the local government system by the federal government was very clear on the statutory functions that ought to be executed by the local governments, yet the general public still continued to complain about the unproductiveness of the local government due to various factors. Management of most local governments in Anambra State, of which Idemili North and South Local Governments are no exceptions are finding it difficult to cater for the employees, pay their salaries and promote them as and when due as is done in other establishments of both Federal and State Governments.
As a result, there is a luke-worm attitude to duty, low morale, lack of dedication and commitment, low productivity and other negative work attitudes among the employees of the local government.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is on effective projects administration in Idemili North and South Local Government.
The specific objectives are
a. To find out the factors that are impinging on effective projects implementation in the two local government.
b. To examine the effect of political interference on the projects and programmes of the local governments.
c. To find out factors (intrinsic or extrinsic) that impact on workers performance on projects implementation in the two local government.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study has both empirical and theoretical significances and they are as detailed below:
Empirically, the outcome of this research will be of great importance to all the tiers of government in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and employers of labour both in the private and public sector organization. If all things are equal then managers who shall adopt the recommendations of the study shall go a long way in checking threats to industrial peace and harmony. The study will also reveal the various ways of enhancing morale, dedication and sense of commitment in the local government system.
Theoretically, it will constitute a contribution in the field of public administration. This would also serve as another source of knowledge in the management of human and material resources of various establishments and organizations.
Finally, the study would help the future researchers who would like to do a research in issues pertaining to local governments in Nigeria.
1.5 Research Questions
These research questions guided the study.
a. What are the foundation and nature of local government in
b. What factors are impinging on effective project implementation in Idemili North and South Local
c. Does political interference in the projects and programmes of the local governments affect their productivity?
d. Which motivational factors (intrinsic or extrinsic) impact on workers performance on projects implementation in the two local governments?
e. How far have the Local Government reforms helped matters?
f. What relationship does the factor that led to the collapse of National Assembly have with Nigerian Local Government?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
Based on the research questions, the following hypotheses guided the study.
1. Ho:- Irregular or non availability of funds does not affect project implementation in Idemili North and
South Local Governments
HI:- Irregular or non availability of funds affect project implementation in Idemili North and South Local Government
2. Ho:- Political interference on the projects of the local governments does not undermine the achievement of the projects objectives.
Hi:- Political interference on the projects of the local governments undermine the achievement of the projects objectives
3. Ho:- Non-effective external supervision makes workers in these local governments responsive to their duties in projects implementation.
Hi:- Non-effective external supervision does not make workers in these local governments responsive to their duties in projects implementation
1.7 Scope and Limitations of Study
This study is restricted to six communities in Idemili North and South local governments out of the Seventeen Communities of the Local Governments. A certain population of the workers in both local governments were also considered. The communities are Ogidi, Oraukwu, Nkpor, Ojoto, Alor and Oba.
As a result of lean finances of the researcher and unfavourable terrain, it was not possible for consistent visitation of the communities while the research lasts.
Due to the education background of rural dwellers, filling of the questionnaire proved to be a major problem to the researcher.
Consequently, the sample size was slightly affected.
Questionnaires were administered to only people with some measure of literacy and residing in the selected areas, so as to achieve reasonable responsiveness. It was also discovered that there was general unwillingness and apathy with which the people of the area viewed at academic work of this nature. Some people were hesitant to freely give out information for this type of research. The above hindrances not withstanding the research were carried out successfully.
1.8 Definition of Key Terms
Local Government Policy: This involves decision making apparatus that is being used by Local Government in the administration and implementation of its community development projects or plans as appropriate.
Community Development: This is a form of development that is restricted to a defined community /rural areas, planned and executed separately or jointly between government officials and the rural/community people. Community development is not very different from other types of development, all of which aim at bringing about an improved conditions and standards. It is always advised that people of the area in which the project is being executed should be involved in decision-making starting from the beginning.
Local Government: This is the system of administration of districts by selected representatives of the people who live there. In Nigeria, this is the third tier of government with the ultimate aim of enhancing the development of the rural communities.
Rural Areas: These are local government areas that are lacking in many infrastructural amenities like electricity, pipe-borne water, roads and telecommunications, health facilities, educational structures etc.
Urban Areas: These are areas that have most of essential infrastructural facilities like electricity industries, pipe-borne water, good health services centers like well equipped hospitals etc.
Rural- Urban Migration: There is a difference between rural and urban areas in Nigeria, whereas, urban areas have essential infrastructural facilities rural areas have little or non thus ths drift from rural to urban areas and this christened Rural-urban migration or drift.
Poor-Policy Making and Implementation: After enacting a policy, it is incorporated in the financial plan to enable implementation be carried out. However, as a result of omission or commission but more of commission and perverted social values and political over tune, policies are badly conceived and misdirected.
Urban-Congestion: Congestion in Nigerian Urban Local Governments, finds its explanation in the congestion of housing, roads, road traffic and space and is directly related to over population and land-use abuses.
Over-Population: This is one major human factor of urban environmental problem in Nigeria. It is explained as the unrestricted influx of people to the urban centers beyond the capacity of urban municipal infrastructure to accommodate.