CONFRONTING THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT QUESTION
…can this nation be anchored on variety?
Governor of Enugu State
August 5th, 2003
CITATION ON CHIMAROKE NNAMANI
Chimaroke Nnamani, born in 1960 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, hails from Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State.
He attended the Methodist Primary School, Agbani Road, Enugu and the College of Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu and graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Enugu Campus) Medical School.
He had a specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynecology, State University of New York. Super Specialization in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Loma Linda University in Southern California. Basic Science training and research in division of Perinatal Biology, Loma Linda University.
Clinical interest: Fetal Medicine, Fetal Surgery, and inverse Fetal Ultra-sound and high risk pregnancy.
Basic Science interest: Parturition, uterine smooth muscle physiology, cell-to-cell communication, molecular biology, and tissue cytology.
He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Subsection: Maternal Fetal Medicine.
He is also a member of American Society for Cell biology amongst other associations.
Past faculty: Loma Linda University; College of Medicine, University of South Floria.
Publications: In many international journals including Journal of Biology of reproduction, Journal of cell and nature.
Presently, Governor of Enugu State, member of PDP.
Social interest: Poverty alleviation, Mass Mobilization, Constitutional Federalism and Critical Consciousness.
It may sound so simple to claim that the abilities of Governor Chimaroke Nnamani in the area of governance and lately in engendering critical consciousness have their roots in his professional development. I say this because it is not every well developed professional that can expand into the challenging battle of the mind.
But if we take into consideration the body of thought he has developed in the past six months, we can be sure we are dealing with an emerging leader who imbibed the values of indepth research as demanded of a true academic.
He started out actually with his pre-governorship blueprint on the health system in Nigeria. In that massive and air stirring work for the vision 2010 committee, Chimaroke brought into the country’s evolving polity, a consciousness on diffused health system which would lead the country out of the repeated failure of national health programmes. It was in that work that he gave a hint of the current policy of health districts in Enugu. Actually, the evolution of the health district system in the state and its graduated delivery system deeply represent the true value of inverted pyramidal approach to perfection. A unique system of proceeding from the basic to the general.
Well, that was a descriptive work in the professional areas of Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani. He soon showed he could go into areas outside his professional enclave when he gave the opening speech at the Southern Governors’ Conference in Enugu, January 10, 2001. Before Enugu, the Southern Governors’ Conference was like a jamboree which never exhibited any abilities for focus. Nnamani upturned that in his thesis which gave the conference a sense, a focus and the teeth. That fire has long caught. It was an exhibition of rare intellect as he took the issues of southern interests resource control, true federalism, state police, et al – to unprecedented levels.
In the same month of January, Chimaroke went to the Igbo Summit at the Hotel Presidential, Enugu. Under the topic: Ndigbo; Let Us Be Frank With Ourselves, he jolted his kinsmen whom he believed were not adequately vigilant in the way Nigeria has run.
But whereas he held the view that Ndigbo had lost so much in their badly developed national consciousness, he still hoped for a re-awakening which could lift the people. Ndigbo, Taa bu gboo, echi di ime (Let the Future Begin Now).
This emerging national conscious“nist” could not have been more apt in his admonition of his great Igbo race.
He took them down to their side of old values, reminding them of the great attributes which sustained the fore-bears of Ndigbo in their pristine time.
On May 15, 2001, Chimaroke was on the intellectual road again. It was a timely move to arrest a national restiveness, which grew from people’s bloated expectation framework against the overwhelming impediments on the path of national recovery. In that topic: The Press and our Democracy, the part not trodden, Nnamani woke the nation up from the wrong framework being propped by sentimental media analysis which tilted the people’s interpretation of their leaders efforts within this two years old democracy. “Things were too bad in the military era. Nigeria was left to decay. So, time must be allowed for revival”. He was blunt and daring.
Then came the Post Express Inaugural Lecture which came July 2, 2001 at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Its title was Transition Politics and Nigeria’s Search for Sustainable Democracy. Under this topic Nnamani laid bare the pretension and deception of the national political elite on elections, particularly the needless apprehension over election 2003.
By his summation, Nigerians should begin to see elections as mere points in democracy and not the only value of democracy. He likened it to the process of procreation labour which begins with conception through pregnancy, culminating in the delivery of the Fetus (baby). “Democracy is not limited to elections as labour is not limited to delivery of the Fetus (baby).”
Soon, he was to travel to Kaduna where he worked the topic: The Nigeria Idea … Can The Press Sustain The Nation’s Interest? In it he lamented the abandonment of the true nationalist struggles by self-seeking politicians and soldiers who reduced the values of true nationalism to ethnicism and subsequently to the base individual. These he said had hardly been unmasked by the press which ought to be the watch dog and the conscience of the nation.
At Enugu September 24, 2001 he took on the topic: Ndigbo and the challenge of nation building does not seem to be that of Nnamani. It is indeed ours.
November 18, 2001, Chimaroke Nnamani was again out and in Jos where he dealt with the topic: The Press, the Faith and the State.
December 14, 2001, he journeyed to Owerri and returned to Igbo issues: Ndigbo, can your generation sustain our Igboness?
On March 18, 2002 he was again on the move and this time he was in the main auditorium of the Babcock University, Ilishan Remo where dealt with the issue of the Democracy 2003; it must be the voters’ world.
April 11, 2002 Nnamani returns to Igbo issues where he laid bare matters in Refocusing Igbo Youth Energy.
Lagos, now appears to be the base of Nnamani’s intellectual crowd. In taking up the matters in National Question in Nigeria and the Democratic Experience at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos, April 23, 2002 he further swept the nation into the four dimensional implications of issues in contention in the making of the impending nation state.
Again, May 20th, Nnamani was at the Press week of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) Abuja where he took on the issue of the Wave of Arbitrary Culture in Our Nascent Democracy.
May 28, 2002, he was to return to Abuja in discussing Rediscover Nigeria … Democracy as a Vehicle for Investment Growth and Development.
The circuit was to take a break lasting till November 28 and 29 for these lectures: By the Hills and Valley of Udi and Nsukka … the People, their Heritage, their Future for the Enugu State Development Association; and Reflections on Architecture as Societal Mirror … the Enugu Perspectives for the Nigerian Institute of Architects.
Thursday, March 13, 2003, Chimaroke Nnamani has to return to the Babcock University, Ilishan, Remo to be invested with the Professor in Political Science of that institution, one of the evidences of the perpetration and impact of his attempt at critical consciousness. He entitles his remarks: Scare Mongers and the Challenges in a Defective Political Society.
Again, Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at the Nigeria Institute for International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, Nnamani took an upward swing stroke at the question of the godfather in Nigeria politics. He entitles it The Godfather phenomenon … in democratic Nigeria … silicon or real?
This was prophetic as it was barely one month after which what looked like the godfather morass erupted in Anambra State, and virtually consumed all on the way.
Tuesday, August 5, 2003,
Nnamani returned to the NIIA, this time, to deal with the question on local
government and locality development. This is entitled Confronting
the Local Government Question.
pon my belief that the substantive structure of this era of democracy will be anchored on debate and dialogue, I rejoice with all of you in this hall that we are indeed exploiting some of the best of opportunities at extending the frontiers of our national promises through broad based discourses.
It has never dawned on us that avenues indeed abound for us to take on any issue of national co-habitation, cohesion and fundamental state objectives so boldly as we have done in this season until we found ourselves free to discuss and tackle whatever comes our way.
I am not just overwhelmed that I am again being involved in finding a reasonable path to the journey of the nation-state but also that the occasion has drawn so much a stir from many of you who found time to be here.
By this, I want to reassure you that we have all together embarked on this trip of proper national reconfiguration with the sole aim of finding the best for this nation of profoundly great promises.
Perhaps, the greatest thanks must go to the conveners of this lecture: the Basic Society Initiative and TLC Communications Ltd for the resources and time to build this forum and for the main purpose of elaborating on the need for popular participation in national debates.
Indeed, there is this compelling necessity to raise questions about the proper impact of governance on the people – the real people – not those who already have developed unquenchable thirst for the good things of life.
However, whenever we have to take up the questions relating to these, we must take the bold step at defining the proper gauge to ensure that what we seek are not what may be distilled and released by the same elite but what, for the ordinary folk, who constitute the basic society, had really impeded their access to national values.
Somehow, it may not be too easy to determine what might be universally termed the basic society in Nigeria. But I take off on the pedestal on which the federal government of Nigeria now indicated interest in overhauling the local government system.
I do this bearing in mind that we have, over the years, lived with this perception that the route to the basic people or the common folk is through a kind of replication of the federal and state administrations in the rural areas.
In the first instance, it may be gainful for us to establish the basis of the discussion we have embarked upon so as to appreciate the magnitude of the challenges that lie ahead. The 1999 constitution, Section 7, read jointly with section 8, provides that there shall be:
the system of local government by democratically elected councils(which) is by this constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the government of every state shall, subject to section 8 of this constitution, ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.
Section 7(5) goes further to provide for the functions of the local government council in Section One, Schedule Four of the constitution, as follows:
- (a) the
consideration and making of recommendations to a state commission on economic
planning or any similar body on:
- the economic development of the state, particularly in so far as the areas of authority of the council and of the State are affected, and
- proposals made by the said commission or body
(b) collection of rates, radio and television licences;
(c) establishment and maintenance of cemeteries, burial grounds and homes for the destitute and the infirm;
(d) licensing of bicycles, trucks (other than mechanically propelled trucks), canoes, wheel barrows and carts;
(e) establishment, maintenance and regulation of slaughter houses, slaughter slabs, markets, motor parks and public conveniences;
(f) construction and maintenance of roads, streets, street lightings, drains, and other public highways, parks, gardens, open spaces, or such public facilities as may be prescribed from time to time by the House of Assembly of a State;
(g) naming of roads and streets and numbering of houses;
(h) provision and maintenance of public conveniences, sewage and refuse disposal;
(i) registration of all births, deaths and marriages;
(j) assessment of privately owned houses or tenements for the purpose of levying such rates as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of a state; and
(k) control and regulation of –
i) outdoor advertising and hoarding,
ii) movement and keeping of pets of all description,
iii) shops and kiosks,
iv) restaurants, bakeries and other places for sale of food to the public,
v) laundries, and
vi) licensing, regulation and control of the sale of liquor.
Under the same Fourth Schedule, the Constitution also provides for “The functions of the local government council” to also “include participation of such council in Government of a State as in respect of the following matters:
(a) the provision and maintenance of primary, adult and vocational education,
(b) the development of agriculture and natural resources, other than the exploitation of minerals,
(c) the provision and maintenance of health services; and
(d) such other services as may be conferred on a local government council by the House of Assembly of the State.(pp. 150-151)
Also, Section 8 (3) provides the modalities for the creation of new local government areas and indeed vests the power to so do in various States’ Houses of Assembly after which they will be referred, under Section 8 (6) to each of the Chambers of the National Assembly, perhaps for necessary deliberation and or ratification.
In fact, if we take a few steps backward in the review of the constitution, we will be confronted with the reality that Section 3 of the First Schedule (pp. 125-128) specifically creates a total of 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
I have taken this long road to peep further into the underlying principles, which formed the basis for the current local government system. I also deliberately pursued a full listing of the functions so as to have much to juxtapose with what I have been made to believe are the basic principles of the major sponsoring group, the Basic Society Initiative (BSI).
Yet, I think it is imperative that we review a few of the colonial trends, which formed the basis for the kind of local government system, which we finally adopted in 1976. Initially, there was this colonial pessimism, which was related in 1929 by a certain William R. Crocker, British Colonial Officer, on the thoughts about unification of Nigeria.
Overwhelmed by the seeming diversity of Nigeria and the tendency to further stay apart rather than converge, he declared: “if you walk along a straight line merely a hundred miles or so…you traverse peoples and cultures, which for all their similarities, scarcely touch on a single point down at bottom.” These, then, ran against the reality of his then Europe where he claimed that “…you find amidst all the diversities, the common stamp of Greco-Roman civilization and Christianity.”
Of course, it is not for me to contend with Crocker’s contention that Africa and in this case, the pre-colonial Nigeria, never had such homogeneity of feeling upon what States in Europe and the Asiatic groups had, such as the influence extending over centuries of common beliefs and loyalties.
Certainly, working against one centralized system of local administration in the colonial Nigeria, particularly the drive at having one single indirect rule system, Crocker struck home as a visionary and a man of courage where his colleagues in the colonial regime pursued a total suzerainty based on the scenario of conquest.
The veracity or otherwise of Crocker’s position is not really the thrust of this argument. Prior to this stand, Lord Fredrick Lugard who tried to situate the development tempo and divergence of Nigeria, before his final exit in 1919, submitted “that the policy of Northern Nigeria might be described as native policy whose aim was primarily administrative while that of Southern Nigeria was commercial and directed primarily to the development of natural resources and trade.”
My argument has nothing to do with whether these administrators were right or wrong. My concern is not even to underline their thought pattern but to establish the frame upon which some kind of class struggles ensued and so occasioned the loud calls for reform. Note here that the call for reform may have been engendered or fostered by a previous interest in questioning the old order, anyhow.
Assuming that the few educated Africans or just the agitated ones caught the drift of the colonial masters, they failed to appreciate the depth of Lugard’s argument in favour of uniform development via uniform local administration system across the country. This, indeed, by the standards he set, had to run in conformity with the colonial overlords’ principles of preserving the status quo of the Northern traditional institutions.
Perhaps, for our sentimental opposition to the perceived Northern elite viewed in the prism of modern development as representing stagnation, it did not take long to induce the kind of class struggles which became pronounced and rancorous and finally led to the military abolition of the local administration system for a frightful unification, via Decree No. 34 of 1966.
Till date, it remains a potent argument that had Lugard acceded to the reality of diversity which indeed offered him the best opportunity of taking what Nigeria of his days had to offer, he would have, most likely, achieved a form of healthy convergence for which he would stand on a firmer point of history.
Somehow, it appears that Lugard was obdurate not on account of superior argument but certainly on the mindset of his co-travellers in the colonial enterprise. This seems more so if you consider the vast efforts made by those who set the colonial agenda to distort the political, social and economic configuration of the Igbo areas and their neighbours in the old East.
It was horrifying as it was dubious for Lugard and his quasi intellectuals to seek to portray the Aros as coming of a different and superior ethnic stock so as to confirm their imagination of a super race capable of offering the kind of feudal, aristocratic leadership, as the Fulanis in the old North.
Of course, we cannot forget that we did holler at Lugard, erstwhile archetypal conservative overlord who railroaded the indirect rule system in a sweeping form across Nigeria. We did hold the view that this was a man who never saw any reason for the diversity of Nigeria and had gone ahead to ram in his single policy on all without a thought for any section other than the North.
But somehow, there was always this feeling that Lugard, for all he stood for, did acknowledge Nigeria’s plurality but had pretended not to, because it was easier for him to rule as a military officer thundering across the plain to the immediate response of subordinates.
Well, for now, we may have to leave Lugard and his think-alikes and consider the issues inherent in the practice in their days. First, it was clear that these imperialists appreciated some indigenous native administration patterns on arrival. They acknowledged the efficient emirate system, feudal, as it may have looked, in the North; the somewhat constitutional monarchy in the West and a high level of republican/consensus pattern, seemingly anarchic, in the East.
Second, it was clear that they had marvelled at the challenges of running the multiplicity of patterns as required to have these peoples run systems peculiar to them. With the benefit of hindsight, we can attest to the fact today that this laxity of colonial administration set the stage for the imperfections of unitarism and the attendant manipulation of the national system to pervert the entire values for the benefit of the Centre.
Indeed, I am not here to argue this matter about the merit or otherwise of a unitary political culture, as much as I remain mindful of the fact that we have elected to pursue, by the reality of reflections, true democratic federalism as our own form of political organization.
But what I have to point out here is that on the strength of colonial recommendation, the pressure to chisel Nigeria into a singular political tradition did not receive as much creative questioning as depicted in the liberation struggles, which were merely hinged on interest for self-government. That result, therefore, could not actualize on the optimism for the eventual transformation into a nation-state.
Strangely too, the new Nigerian elite whose duty it was to raise questions may have been blinded by their dire need to erode the powers of some primordial clans and cleavages instead of reckoning with the admonition of Sir Hugh Clifford who declared on arrival in Nigeria in 1919 that if the various ethnic communities were welded “…into one single homogenous nation…a deadly blow would thereby be struck at the very root of national self government in Nigeria which secures for each separate people the right to maintain its identity, its individuality and its nationality, its own chosen form of government and the peculiar political and social institutions which have been evolved for it by the wisdom and by the accumulated experience of generations of its forebears.”
Although researchers such as I. F. Nicholson, who studied administration in colonial Nigeria, expressed surprise at the outburst of Clifford, the popular trend indicated that the colonial officer was primarily rooting for a well-formed nation state whose strength in true diversity would have been exploited for the fuller advancement of the nation. To that effect, Clifford’s logic appeared to have tilted in favour of a recognition of such variety which would encourage people to hold on to distinctly definable identity, personality or individuality; chosen form of government, peculiar socio-political institutions and pace of economic, as well as social development, as may have been perfected in history.
Although his more global pattern tended towards a unitary political culture, Sir Arthur Richards appeared to have tilted towards appreciating the distinctive locality view in his pursuit of provincial governments alongside regional structure.
The clearest indication of this was the resolution of the Residents (administrative heads) of Provinces’ Conference, which recommended that the native institutions, which aided the operation of the Indirect Rule in the North, be developed to fit into the evolving modern political system. To that effect, development of the District and Native Councils was highly recommended and pursued with such result that a Chief-in-Council recognized the Governor or Resident as supervising authority while the Chief-and-Council operated a slightly tilted administration of peers. In recognition of wider political participation and possibilities for co(n)federation of political and economic agenda, the Federated Native Authority system evolved in some areas, re-enforcing the argument of genuine cohesion forming on familiar tradition and sensibilities.
The trend it took in the West, East and later Mid West was to reinforce the diversity of Nigeria along the tide of Districts, County and Local Councils. Although leaders at a stage got mixed up in the number of tiers they operated, what was the drive was to pursue development mainly in recognition of the varieties and peculiarities.
Somehow, this remained the rule till the arrival of the military, which, owing to its lack of patience and the creative will to hold on to some truly diverse peoples, preferred to unify Nigeria, her peoples, resources and even native institutions, in 1966 and onwards.
I am aware that some Nigerians had hollered that the unification, even though it was derided in some quarters, was meant to serve the economic interests of a section of Nigeria. But one reality has been that it just served the arbitrary formation of the military, from regime to regime. At the national level, it virtually eclipsed the nations and indeed the various tiers of government and placed all in a certain inequitable political condition which tightened the grip of what may be called the supra-national state on the fragile frame of the component units. Naturally, this had to dovetail into the local government reformation, which, in its form and content, was a kind of sweeping unification and unitarist positioning for the benefit of the central government.
We shall return to that, later in this talk. Now, having come of this political antecedent and having established the indisputable diversity of Nigeria right from inception, we may proceed to establish the trend of argument, which I have decided to associate with in the ensuing discourse.
To me, the true direction of the discourse on reformation of the local administration system may begin to earn a bearing if we establish the true compass set by the Federal Government for the entire exercise.
Precisely, His Excellency, Mr. President, declared the following as the terms of reference for the committee set for the carriage of this task:
- To examine the problem of inefficiency and high cost of governance with a view to reducing costs and wastage at the third tier (system) of government.
- To review the performance of local councils within the last four years and consider the desirability or otherwise of retaining them as the third tier of government and in that regard; and,
- To consider among (other) options, the adoption of a modified version of the pre-1976 local government system.
To me again, these are clear terms, which could not have been so boldly spelt out if the government is not strongly interested in proper and total democratization as may or may not have been engendered by the current locality-administration and development system. They were also pointers to the truth of apprehension of higher authorities with possible erosion of confidence of the people on governance and persons in authority.
Indeed, attendant upon the historical reality of class struggles, which erroneously induced the clamour for the pre-May, 1966 actions, consequences of which were the relevant elements of the unification policy of the Aguiyi Ironsi government, the attitude of government from the inception of colonialism till date has been one of bewilderment and rigmarole.
Of course, it served the general will that in the 1976 reforms, certain kernels of popular political participation were identified and exploited to some reasonable values. Yet, at the same time, the attempt at hastily carving out distinct clusters of polity (autonomous local governments within states but responsible to the federal government) did leave in their wake such political incongruity and sour taste, which only reaffirmed and consolidated the dreaded unitary system as against the craved true federal arrangement.
Gentlemen, I seek not to be misunderstood here as, perhaps, pursuing the argument that the system never set out with the proper principles for the elevation of the societies. No, it did set out with the sole aim of reaching the best if only in these well-intended reforms, the motives were stated thus:
- To make appropriate services and development activities responsive to local wishes and initiatives by devolving or deregulating them to local representative bodies,
- To facilitate the exercise of democratic self-government close to the local levels and to encourage initiative and leadership potentials,
- To mobilize human and material resources through the involvement of members of the public in their local development; and,
- To provide a two-way channel of communications between local communities and the government.
There is no contesting the fact that these were noble principles which true carriage would have placed the polity on a higher pedestal.
However, the rule appeared to have left a gap for the final definition of such reforms, as headship and administration invariably got sucked into the political whirlwind occasioned by the endless agitations for more local government areas and more powers thereto.
Somehow, the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida attempted some answers and in this case, went the whole hog in defining the local government as completely distinct and responsible to only the Centre. With executive powers to boot, the local government chairmen who had in addition, elected councilors as legislators, had the system enmeshed in interlocking political centers, which were (and still remain) in competition and contention for power with the states.
To a very large extent, the military governments, which pursued such polity, could not have acted in bad faith. Indeed, they acted in their tradition, which is purely unitary. Though we resented this, it gave vent to their tradition of total command and control for which every corner could not be remote and unconnected with the headquarters. Understandably, theirs was like the scenario of the towering army general whose outposts are never completely ceded to the middle commanders, no matter the competence and resourcefulness of such subordinate officers.
But while we admire the brilliance and sheer capabilities of top army commanders, particularly those who, in history, mustered such strength and creativity in running vast territories, even in that unitary system, we cannot ignore their subtle acceptance of the facts that such would not work in real political organization as most of the men thrown up to do the duties were either removed from the realities of the local environment or hamstrung by other inherent factors.
In our case in recent history, the military had to evolve such vast programmes as the Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), Better Life for Rural Women, Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP), National Agricultural Land Development Agency (NALDA), National Accelerated Industrial Crop Production Programme (NAICPP), National Agricultural and Co-operative Bank (NACB) and many others, to give vent and energy to the business of carrying modern economic trend and true governance into the local areas. I do not know whether these were a supposition of the supra-national psyche of the military but, in a way, it did confirm the arbitrary culture argument as these programmes clearly eroded the duties of the local administration arrangement.
Whichever way, this does not sweep away the truth that whether it negated the plurality of the local administration system or reinforced the need for the pretension of unitarism in our system, such had not overthrown the facts that the muscles of the Centre or in some cases, the state governments, had been deliberately conditioned to embark on such giant strides while the preponderance of local council operations had merely pretended, without success, to create miniature centers of effective political and economic activities.
Prior to this era, in the Northern Region, the local administration pattern, as already observed, was more administrative and could not have bothered to venture into complex economic programmes, which required vast resources. Indeed, the Emirs, whose political suzerainties were established before British conquest, had their local administration tailored to suit the interests of the leading local figures and never for the liberalization of political feelings and leadership. And since the local people who were held in this pattern were barely subsistent, the taxes exerted on them were never without strong grudges and a handful of skirmishes.
But having mastered this pattern, the officials of the native authorities, punitive in style and swift in their reaches, were able to establish fat purses for the respective Emirate Councils. To some extent, it was believed that, placed side by side with government grants, the latter paled into insignificance even as the former came of arbitrary administration of justice and punitive economic exploitation.
There should be no mistaking the fact that the colonial arrivals were equally arbitrary and punitive and so, would not have invited the opinion of the native peoples in designing the various administrations it practised. It was then not unusual that it disregarded reality and popular view when it imposed this system of native administration on Eastern Nigeria where, prior to colonial administration, republicanism and consensus in communal actions constituted the socio-political culture.
The explosion of the 1929 Aba Women Riots, consequent upon the attempt at extending the 1917-1918 Native Authority Revenue Ordinance, perhaps was like the only strong indicator that the colonial administration had missed the key points in appreciating local knowledge, history and sensibilities. It was then not unexpected that despite efforts at improving the revenue base of the native authorities in the East, including the 1948 and 1950 local government reform laws, not much was achieved as the people never took it lightly that they were arbitrarily excluded from the decision making process.
Albeit, considering what could be presented as the definitively formed colonial method attendant upon the high quality of their officials, it was only strange that they had missed out the reality of the republican and consensus culture of Ndigbo and other parts of the East. To some extent, this had been blamed on the intolerant nature of Lugard and the arrogance of the other colonial officers who initially thought that in the ensuing Igbo political and social form, they were encountering undiluted social chaos if not vulgar anarchy.
Still verging on arrogance or ignorance, of the colonial masters, was the attempt made to appoint paramount chiefs who were deftly tutored in the punitive application of government machinery but who, even till date, in the case of their families, remained enemies of the communities they oversaw.
It was not until the introduction of the County, District and Local Council System in the reformation laws of 1960 that full acceptance of divergence as well as the willingness to go by a definable local administration was pursued with vigour in the East. In fact, the explosion of demands for more Council underlined the people’s willingness to work out an administrative system, which played up their republican-consensus political culture.
In the case of Western Nigeria, the relative acceptance of a Northern kind of native administration could not have been removed from the reality of the quasi-imperial formation as represented in the traditional monarchy of the area.
However, it was not difficult to ascertain that the monarchy of the West was never absolute as there were in-built checks and balances which all qualified it as constitutional monarchy. In that order, the local administration system which emerged, could not have been punitive when there were local patterns of social and political relations, which negated such absolutism. This, however, did not remove in totality some rancour arising from the attitude of the colonial overlords who rejected any form of consultation with the traditional, social and political institutions of the time.
One immediate territorial consequence of the emerging order was the virtual disintegration of the pre-colonial territorial-integrity of the old Oyo and Benin Empires. Attendant upon the pockets of reservations against the new local administrations’ tax regime, especially in Ikirun, Abeokuta, Asaba, Warri and Sapele, a socio-political whirlwind had to sweep across in later years to oil the clamour for more centers of political and social expression.
It must be noted, here, that the rejection of the full frame of the indirect rule system in places as Asaba and Aboh divisions in the then Western Nigeria could not have been unexpected since the people were largely of the same republican and consensus culture as their Igbo kinsmen of the East.
Following modifications and realignment of forces in favour of native values in the later days of the region, interest and growth of local attachment began to grow. To that effect, when the whistle sounded in 1952, especially with the new Regional local government law, 12 divisional councils, 103 district councils and 1000 local councils were created in the West.
One clear point in this seeming explosion of councils was the endless agitation for effective coverage of the areas in question. I am sure that we have not missed the order of progression in the inverted pyramid form to reach the very basic society through the erection of what could be called one or more stages or tiers of government.
In a way, this has a striking resemblance to the later-day Eastern practice of
In all, one clear point made was that whereas the Division was far-flung, even if not as remote as the Regional Government, the District was still imperious, conflict-ridden and corrosive in prime motive, for which it was strongly held that it was not completely driven by the harmonious local sensibilities of those whose meager resources and interests were at stake.
In this regard, there was then no doubt it became imperative that a nearer course be reached for the full exploitation of the peoples’ potentials, using their local knowledge and led in the values of the visions of their forebears, even of generations far gone.
That nearer course was what got consolidated in the (then) Eastern Region as the Local (County) Council System. It was an administrative as well as political development arrangement which drew, almost hundred percent, from a convergence of homogenous local, peculiar attitude and temperament to achieve a cohesion of the divergent, but objective public programmes. These rode the crest of familiar or long cultivated team spirit and communal polling of resources for the upliftment of the basic society or community in question.
Rated then among the other regions, Eastern Nigeria of the days before this system was the most economically backward, which was blighted in terms of upgrading its human resources. This, in a way, had heightened the wave of emigration from the areas to other parts of Nigeria where they were hastily carved out as stranger communities. Of particular problem to the region was how to raise revenue to pursue its short and long-term developmental programmes. The dilemma was even made more threatening with the reality of the people showing violent opposition to the tax-drive policy of the Regional Authorities.
Indeed, what appeared handy and finally decisive was the County Council System, which the Regional government cleverly pursued with vigour and raised the consciousness as in a people who were (all) involved in the administration of the resources of their communities, in response and contribution to the bigger Regional Economic Development Programmes.
It caught on like a wild fire and the whole East exploded in a vast ball of local counties, each in stiff drive at measuring up to communally-assumed responsibilities and challenges. The programmes they tackled ranged from community scholarship to building of schools, hospitals, dispensaries, churches, bridges, roads and culverts, community and social halls, rural electrification, boreholes and community wells.
At a rating of the social and economic development index of the regions in the 1950s, it was established that the level of proper education (i.e. full post primary schooling) per head was four of Easterners to 33 of Westerners while three of the former were standing in for 17 of the latter in tertiary education.
As at the time University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) took off as the first indigenous (full) tertiary institution, its ratio of admission was 79 against the 234 of the premier University College, Ibadan.
But in a seeming revolution brought about by the County Council System, the entire trends were reversed with the East assuming phenomenal lead in the number of students in both local and international institutions. By the grace of the system, erstwhile sons of farmers, carpenters, bricklayers, even local minstrels, who hardly subsisted, were enrolled in prestigious institutions due to the communal pooling of resources to push those who revealed early sparks of academic brilliance.
Following this, the rate of growth of student population in UNN even alarmed some academics at University of Ibadan, so much that it was touted that the institution must have lowered its standards to take in more students. It was not long before it dawned on all that what happened was that virtually every of about 1,100 communities, most of which graded as County or sub-County Councils in the then Eastern Region, were fully driving at pooling resources to produce at least one university graduate from either the indigenous university or a European institution of higher learning.
Indeed, the dimension and eventual reach of the Local County Council did not stop at lifting the East to the educational level of the West, it also gave birth to the surge of basic social infrastructure such as dispensaries, more schools, rural electrification, roads, bridges and culverts, among others, thereby providing the reality of the profound development necessitating the 1964 international comprehensive economic analysis which revealed that Eastern Regional economy, the erstwhile drag, was the fastest growing, at a rate of 12 .7 per cent, in the then Third World economy. It also had the highest concentration of high calibre manpower.
I am sure that we cannot miss this point that this did not ride the temperament of behemoth-like economic programme but a perfect subdivision or multiplication of the roles in development in such a way that every person was identified and indeed got involved in the micro socio-political and economic system at play, at about the same time. For those of you in this hall who appreciated that phenomenal leap by the East in so short a space, I suggest that you look back with nostalgia and peep into the glorious era which assured the competitive edge of the people in an unchained economic creative-energy scenario.
By the foregoing, gentlemen, I may have to crave your indulgence to look back at institutional definitions of local government, vis-a-vis locality administration. My principal aim in bringing about concepts or definitions at this juncture is for us to capture the seeming universal motives in setting local government or locality administrations.
In the words of the United Nations Office of Public Administration, local government is
“a political subdivision of a nation or (in a federal system) state, which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs, including the powers to impose taxes or to exact labour for prescribed purposes. The governing body of such an entity is elected or otherwise locally selected.”
(Cambridge, 1961: 11)
According to the Guideline for A Reform of Local Government In Nigeria, (1976: 1), it is defined as the:
“Government at local level exercised through representative councils established by law to exercise specific powers within defined areas. These powers should give the Council substantial control over affairs as well as the staff and institutional and financial powers to initiate and direct the provision of services and to determine and implement projects so as to complement the activities of the state and federal government in their areas and to ensure, through devolution of functions to these Councils and through the active participation of the peoples …that local initiative and response to local needs and condition are
The then Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Brigadier General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who announced the guidelines, declared that it was the view of government that “if stability at the national level is to be guaranteed, a firm foundation for a rational government at the local level is imperative…”
Extending this argument or sentiment in favour of national stability, it was further canvassed that “it is important to decentralize political power,” because as felt in some quarters, “the existence of local governments, whether they are constitutional creations or created by states in pursuance of any state law, will enlarge the political space and create alternative choice.”
The immediate pursuit of the protagonists was that “there must be enough space to absorb more competing elite or politicians,” because in their view, “when the choices are few, excessive and suffocating competition could arise and the stability of the nation would be impaired.”
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it may have been deliberate on my part to delay these institutional definitions and positions, but actually, I am only trying to let you into the efforts at designing locality administration and development by merely creating further outposts of power for more classes of the ruling elite. Frankly, if you permit a few words of immodesty, I will declare that they merely begged the question by promoting a slightly lower version of the pomp and panoply of the federal and state governments in some subjectively determined local areas.
Ordinarily, the underlining kernels to properly appreciate the values pursued are ‘local’, ‘localities’, ‘administration and development’, which are easily ascertained as in Prof. Godwin Odenigwe’s epic declaration that governance at the local level should mean “communities and towns organized to maintain laws and order, provide some limited range of social services and public amenities and encourage the co-operation and participation of the inhabitants in joint endeavours towards the improvement of their living.” The seasoned scholar even avers further that it must go with the duty of “providing the community with organizational framework which enables such to conduct its affairs effectively and regulate the actions of their members for the general good of the general public.”
However, in being saddled with the responsibilities of, or indeed pretensions to, ‘government’ as easily described in Higher Government Gazettes, it now becomes difficult to ascertain the purposes for the efforts at railroading the pomp and panoply or paraphernalia of the state or federal government to the localities. These, we all know, will be confronted by the full weight of native un-preparedness, deadweight of inertia and bureaucratic ineptitude, if placed alongside complex enterprises of state economics and modern administration.
This goes to mean that whereas the institutions, at definition, sought the establishment of ‘governments’ at the ‘local’ levels; the proper streamlining of the ‘localities’ to fit into the designs was either muddled up or ignored for the impatience of the powers that be. At the end of the day, what you have are mere super administrative posts in “local” areas where the ‘local sensibilities’ of the natives are hardly considered in matters deserving of their contribution and local knowledge.
Gentlemen, I crave your indulgence to advance further on this by returning to the basic principles upon which our interest in, or practice of, local government was built. It is necessary at this time to do this because I have still maintained my argument that development, or if you like, economic progression, cannot be the same, for now, with what obtains in the advanced world. Whereas it may be the ultimate of interests for a local administration in the advanced world to further the rights of expression for the individual, the matter here is squarely more pecuniary.
To that effect, I want to remind you of one of the very strong arguments in favour of local government in a democratic setting. It is the projection that because it would be nearer the people, it would engender growth and development.
Another is that it would operate on a familiar terrain with the local peoples applying their local values in building for the future and blending the old patterns with new values. Yet another is that as it involves a wide spread of peoples, it would promote wider participation in democratic governance, the consequence of which would be the training of future players, particularly legislators, for roles in the more global democratic arena.
This is now where we are bound to raise questions based on our own peculiar experiences. In this regard, I am particularly interested in examining the strong positions formed on the basis of ceding functions of State or Federal governments for the ideas of a distinct (third) tier of government.
I will begin my approach to this from my interpretation of the scholarly works of Jim Sharpe, in the elaborate critique of local government. He argues that“…the value of local government as a bulwark of liberty, or at least a handmaiden of democracy, has been recognized” as standing principally to initiate the elements of the basic society into the dynamics of government, for which the effort must be made to justify the vast confidence and quantum of resources deployed.
To me, Sharpe is not setting some parameters, which are distinct from the basic principles and goals of establishing local governments as we have done in Nigeria. He is, indeed, reinforcing the compulsion of performance as the proper basis for sustenance of the argument of local government in a polity.
Viewing this from the plank of popular political socialisation and governance, otherwise called diffuse democratic participation, we shall come to appreciate this from the standpoint of experience as well as immediate socio-political context.
In this regard, we are therefore compelled to consider the prevailing local government system from the perspective of the administrative and development structures, in the years after the 1976 reforms. It is on that plank that a certain question becomes imperative: placed side by side with the objective of taking development down to the localities, can it be argued that the elaborate duplication of repetitive headquarters-bureaucracy actually presented the reality of governance at the grassroots as may have been argued for by those who anchor their position on Sharpe?
Second, does the repetitive headquarters- bureaucracy pattern present enough and realistic forces to contend with local tradition, deadweight of social inertia and tenacious conservatism of the local peoples? Third, does the multiplication of civil servants and the attendant career advancement for many more, add up to development and termination of the blight and squalor in the local areas?
Even if we admit of these as problems surmountable by time and exploitation of the inherent flexibilities of our various traditions, we may not stop at that. It is equally compelling that we ascertain the motivation or lure to create immediate urban centers – headquarter-bureaucracy – as measures of establishing local administrations and good governance. Against the backdrop of blight, squalor and disease in the rural Third World, could it be said that tangible development, growth of wealth and happiness for the people would be defined as erecting imperial edifices in hastily drawn settlements raised at local government headquarters?
Certainly, I cannot offer the entire answers to these questions but I dare say that in tackling some, I would have given you ample reasons to understand that, most probably, we had embarked on electoral white elephants in the frenzy of local government and the attendant pomp and panoply of repetitive headquarters-bureaucracy.
We may review briefly the chief patterns of the emergence and or operations of existing local governments. This normally starts with the agitation for self-determination and eventual explosion of rancour and ill-feelings within an existing local government area. Perhaps, on account of the presence of a kinsman, most likely a top military brass in the corridors of power, the new local government is created with two or more erstwhile co(n)federal clans.
The euphoria comes with the elevation of some civil servants and a celebration of the principal actors as the heroes of the time and the liberators of the areas. As they swagger around as the custodians of this new governmental tier which they never cease from declaring as a product of their political savvy, the coalition of cross-clan feelings begin to wear away with one section emerging superior in the political classification. Then, the agitation starts all over again, even as the new government has expended vast resources at raising befitting headquarters and a tied-in-the-knot bureaucracy.
Gentlemen, the issue here is not in any way a review of creation of local government areas. It is rather the impact of each creation on the people, the resources, the wrong priorities and eventually the localities. Each local government authority embarks on elaborate, befitting local government secretariat with the full compartmentalization of the ministries and departments in what I call copy-the-State act. This follows with an elaborate drive at building a quasi-urban centre around the local government secretariat, if only to impress rapid growth, opulence and modernization, to dazzle the native folks in the areas.
If at the end of the day one or two of the co(n)federal clans – again, perhaps, by the grace of a ‘worthy son’ in government – secures the same kind of self-determination, the same round of activities at erecting a vast government secretariat and the attendant anemic or even epileptic urban centers begins all over again.
Mind you, there is this scholarly claim of “the man in the street” which negates the belief that the common man would accept responsibility for any government or its actions, no matter how close to the locality. If that is the case then, is it not likely that the Nigerian scenario of elaboration and repetition of elite structures – devoid of the interest and drive of the people – actually negates the ultimate principles and motives of locality development?
In this regard, the ultimate rejection of the burden or responsibility by the ‘man in the street’, appears justified in that what ought to be the policy or action in delivering development to the localities just gets sucked into a whirlwind of repetitive building of vast government secretariats and domineering bureaucracies. With this as the case, we would be left with the pretension to communal prestige upon the prevalence of huge secretariat buildings and bureaucracies. With this constituting the white elephant syndrome, we provide excuses for the elite who remain the stalwart beneficiaries of the rapid turnover of the present character of the local government system.
My question on this is: are we not likely giving fillip to the smart manipulation of the masses and poor civil servants with promises and impressions of hidden treasure whose value and impact have hardly ever been ascertained in the long years of this practice?
Of course, consequent upon the vista of “jobs” promised in more centers of political power (as the local governments), it is unlikely that the elite would ever leave any stone unturned in the vast deception, which has perpetuated the wrong system. And the more civil servants are promised rapid career advancement consequent upon creation and perpetuation of local governments, the more popular and volatile the demand for more. The ordinary folk are made to believe that it is all theirs if only the local council secretariats are located closer to their areas.
Somehow, gentlemen, I feel obliged to let you know that I am fully conversant with the claims, as well as the expression of passion, by our countrymen since this interest at reforming was tabled by Mr. President. I am aware that some are prepared to take it personal. Some have moaned that it signalled an end to the livewire of their people while some, understandably, have thundered that the current system could not be abolished or reformed because, in their estimation, such would narrow the political terrain and stiffen the competition for power.
This, you can guess, may have informed the recent litigation against the Federal Government by some political parties and their coalition or allies, seeking an injunction restraining government from carrying out reforms or appointing caretaker committees. They are strongly rooting for the elections into the councils, right away and as stipulated in the 1999 constitution. Of course, we cannot be surprised at this development because these litigants are the beneficiaries of the existing order where elections at the local government, ironically too, are far stiffer and devoid of the anticipated gains of diffusing points for competition.
My immediate response to this scenario of discomfort is that whereas some positions may have been threatened because what they had perceived as the fishing ground for the boys was going to be terminated or divested of the filth and waste which characterized the present practice, they failed the historical facts relating to genuine locality development and administration, particularly as practised for the benefit of the masses.
Anyway, the official pre-democracy balkanization of Nigeria into 774 local governments, looked like a genuine (though not helpful) intention at creating, even if in a slightly reduced version, the vast bureaucracies of 36 states, in each of these 774 local government areas. Mind you, each of these council areas has, in turn, the appurtenances of miniature but indeed assertive political power-bases, which, to say the least, had set this prevailing tone for a rowdy administrative environment which is akin to chaos.
If this baffles you, then you must consider the economic and infrastructure division patterns, which had official functions and priorities, set in ways that undermine the real capacity for delivering to localities. This has, to a very large extent, confused the expectation framework of the common citizenry in that the entire jigsaw, not so explicitly defined, always leaves Nigerians with no clear idea of the schedules and responsibilities.
Let us take, for instance, the graded road network in Nigeria and the compartmentalization of the lists. By the Vision 2010 Report, it was revealed that there are 32, 000 kilometres of federal roads; 31, 000 kilometres of states’ roads and over 132, 000 kilometres of recognized rural or local government roads.
In other words, the federal government has about 32, 000 kiolmetres of roads to run, each state government, on the average, has 862 kilometres of roads while each of the 774 local governments will run and maintain an average of 1, 705 kilometres of roads.
In the days immediate to democratic transition in 1999, over 50 per cent of federal roads, 70 per cent of states’ roads and 97.5 per cent of rural/local government roads, were in unusable conditions.
I have heard it argued that most of the local government roads were simple native track ways, which needed only minimal resources to maintain. Some said that they were mainly earth roads that needed periodic check on surges of erosion. But whichever way, what difference does this make if we relate the matters of maintenance to capabilities to management and the inclusion of the locality’s sensibility?
What interests me at this juncture is that whereas we have had a proliferation of the local government areas, there appears to be a heightening failure of local administration, which should bring about growth, in tandem with development and social well being in the localities.
Let’s now consider the report on poverty trend in Nigeria in the last four decades of national life where the same situation of regression in the quality of life was reported to have played out, almost without alteration, in every sector of the economy.
According to a study of the poverty index in our era, the statistics shows that whereas 84 per cent of Nigerians were safely uplifted above poverty line in 1964, poverty level rose from 28.1 per cent of the population in 1980 to 46.3 per cent in 1995. In 1996, it was statistically established that about 65.5 per cent of Nigerians were below poverty line. Put the other way, over 67.1 million Nigerians were gripped firmly by the severe hands of poverty.
I guess that if you are shocked by this insight, you will now almost choke for the truth of the similar report for the year/s 1999/2000 which pointed out that Nigeria had so degenerated over the years even with the attendant proliferation of local government secretariats and bureaucracies to the effect that 87 per cent of the population or about 93 million citizens cannot make ends meet and are so consigned to pains, lack, ignorance, degradation, neglect, squalor, disease and possibly slow death, due to severe poverty.
Meanwhile, we cannot ignore the fact that we have so largely proliferated our bureaucracies and government secretariats and mansions. We also built a welter of elevated civil servants, not just at the state and local government levels, but also the adjunct federal institutions designed to service the blossoming numbers of local government areas.
The question I have always asked is this: How much relevance is the vast bureaucracy and the imperious local government headquarters building to the ordinary folk who may never have entered the edifying structures and who will never get his being enhanced or advanced from one stage upwards to another? Prior to this question, anyway, I had raised the question on the credibility or relevance of local governments created by distant state officials in Abuja or Lagos who may never have had any real touch, let alone the understanding of the true sensibilities of the people, in the first place.
If then we have had so many local government areas with the attendant headquarters’ edifices and bureaucracies, shouldn’t it worry us that poverty had widened its grip, even as such led to the growth in number and elevation in ranks of civil servants?
Should it not be a matter for serious concern that when we talk about poverty alleviation, we design seminars attended by professors, super journalists, permanent secretaries, ministers, directors, wealthy local government chairmen and other players in the heavy property class? Why is it that, attendant upon the globalised interest in helping Africa out of abject poverty, the personnel of the donor agencies build large bureaucracies, buy million-Naira jeeps and stay in five star hotels?
We should also ask, why it is that rather than pursue locality advancement and development, the local governments, as they were, have always pursued urbanization of the spots where the headquarters are sited and would have none of the immediate and long-term needs of the locality people mentioned for consideration?
And perhaps, lastly, why have the local sensibilities, locality prioritization and advancement of the inherent values of cohabitation, been sidelined for so long, even as we ought to see the entire enterprise in local government as the springboard for the elevation of the localities?
I guess these are not too distant and too knotty questions. They look more like reminders for the erstwhile set objectives when juxtaposed with the prevailing practices. We have set out on what I may call the inverted pyramid system of resource allocation. Simply put, we reverse the stand of the pyramid so as to pump more money in the already bloated areas of the state, ignoring the need to elevate the basic society.
By this, I hold my argument squarely in favour of such locality administration and development, not necessarily bureaucratic but to bring growth in tandem with development; simple but effectively diffuse, not confederation of clans but in deep appreciation of cultural variations and or contiguity where necessary and not a superimposition of an imperious state but duly strong to inspire development agenda.
I argue in favour of a really composite, diffuse system, not anything indifferent to variations of locality traditions, customs and folkways, aspirations based on prioritised goals set on capabilities. I am not for anything pretentious to the grandiose pomp and panoply of the full-fledged state, just as I am disdainful of the perpetually anemic and epileptic secretariat-and-bureaucracy system that we run today.
Taken in whole, I am inclined to a locality administration and development system, which derives its meaning, strength, and impact from the exploration of the values of political and social varieties of our societies.
Therefore, weighed down, as we were, by the need to achieve these and fully convinced of the futility of the local government system, as it is constituted at present, we in Enugu State realised the challenge and judgment of history attendant upon the declaration of Rousseau: “There is a social contract, not as a pledge of the ruled to obey the ruler (as in Hobbes’ Leviathan) but as an agreement of individual judgment of their community as a whole; that each person implicitly enters into Sovereign power in any state lies not in any ruler – individual or corporate – but in the general will of the community…upon which the obligations abide to work for and or protect the single and or corporate interest/s of the community.”
On this, we decided to evolve an admixture of a locality economic and political system, which could tap from local knowledge, sensibility, and traditional pace of the micro-societies in our environment. In doing that, we hoped, as it did turn out, that we got into the business of properly relating with the people for whom the locality administration efforts were geared.
This is the birth of our Community County Council (CCC). Somehow, I can guess that this may not be entirely strange to you considering the attention given to it on our re-entry into the practice and the modification of the Michael Okpara pattern as necessitated by time.
This is the simple practice, which we have run with a high measure of success for over three years now and at no much of cost on bureaucracy. We commenced with the mindset to enact the Enugu State Community (Development) Coordinating Council Law 2001(a law to make provisions for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and management of Enugu State Community (Co-ordinating) Council programme) through the State House of Assembly (See annexture).
We provided for the membership of the Council to be a representative each from the local villages/wards in the community, two representatives of the Christian faith, two of traditional/indigenous faith, two representatives of traditional organizations (social, rank, sect and title) and of course, two of youth organizations and the local vigilante. We also provided that the elected councilor (by Federal and State Constituency plan) of the Community and the President and Secretary of the town union be ex-officio members.
From among these, the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and other officials of the Community County Management Committee are picked (in-house) and relayed to the supervising department of government for ratification.
The County Management Committees are mandated to assess projects based on priorities and clarifications before accessing the funds through levying the people to meet their own obligation of 25 per cent of cost of such project/s they consider paramount to undertake at each time. Prior to the institution of the programme, we had arranged for the State government to shoulder the responsibilities of whatever approved project they undertake up to 50 per cent while the local community and the local government would split the remaining 50 per cent equally.
Initially, fears were generated on the appointment or nomination or election into the Management Councils but conscious of the distinctiveness of communities and their perfected crisis resolution models, we agreed on letting each Community evolve ways of erecting the Councils. Eventually, what appeared highly popular among the Communities was the broadening and strengthening of the Town Unions to admit all that were required in forming and acting a true County Management Committee.
Unease was also generated about internal sourcing of funds since most people feared that locality peoples might be taxed beyond their capabilities considering the extent of blight and squalor in the communities. But this was overcome as it got easily established that Communities only embarked on projects whose funding, on aggregate, were conveniently paid up to by the people. Such moderation of the projects as may be dictated by the capability and willingness of the natives compelled a healthy relation of the development ambition of each Community with what is necessary and what is affordable. It also encouraged joint County projects as two or more nearby or closely related Counties set to undertake projects which otherwise would have proven unnecessary in duplication and cost for one.
The government and people of Enugu State drew sound lessons in this initiative as it was re-established that the local knowledge and sensibility couldn’t be ignored in any locality development programme. We also realized that the much-needed responsibility of the man in the street could be obtained and applied with such attendant results as having every hand on deck and every fellow seeing him/herself as a partaker and a mover.
Second, we also re-established as before that responsibility and care for public property are more with Communities contributing and assuming close ownership of amenities in such local counties. And in this season of vandalisation of public amenities, we discovered that local people are more sensitive and protective of what they build than they can be disposed to such projects which were built without as much consultation or consideration of their sensibilities.
In fact, it turned out that people cast much of sacrosanct values to Community-built-projects and further erect taboos against offending attitude to same; more so when members of the community know themselves and can easily identify trouble makers or culprits in their midst.
Above all, we re-established that the success of locality development programmes has nothing to do with large bureaucracy and magnificent local government headquarters. Indeed, if anything, such vast bureaucracies and the edifices of architectural beauty at the headquarters only eroded the texture of the basic communities while they concentrated resources and requisite leadership at points too distant from the people.
Gentlemen, whereas I acknowledge this model as very efficient and indeed recommend same as the best for the States in the old Eastern Region of Nigeria, I am bold to state that there is no guarantee on my part that it will follow the same patterns, achieve the same or similar results and run without eroding some elements of culture in some other regions where traditional institutions operate in ways different from such factors which give vent to the consensus/republicanism of the Igbo/East.
The fact is that it cannot be ignored that the East is an open society with autonomous micro-community formations providing for consensus, which affirms the independence of each individual even in the milieu. Also, the people are, as individuals, supremely assertive and extremely competitive in ways that rub off on the community and organizations they run.
Though not given so much to diplomacy, they have evolved the tradition of consensus through which they have developed the highest level of moderation or management of the hard driving individualism. In a way, this contributed so much to the success of the local county council system, both in the old and the present, but which leaves room for other reasons to be ascertained for its success outside the East.
I bring in this argument of the disparity of values and traditional institutions which we must no longer ignore in dealing with the local government question because I am certain that our problems in this matter relate so much with the unreasonable desire of the colonial administration to foist on the nation-state a single locality administration system.
It was indeed strange, if not absurd, that the colonial administrators, particularly Lugard did not see or respect the variety, nay diversity, of Nigeria that he sought so desperately to foist one single system where primordially, there were clear-cut lines which would have enriched the federalism of the state and produced a healthy marriage of values.
We cannot so soon forget the desperation of Lugard whose quasi-intellectuals, in a desperate attempt to justify their indirect rule system in the East, argued that they had found a master race in the Aros whose economic (slaving) oligarchy was gaining superiority in the days before colonialism. They had therefore recommended that as the Fulani were the ruling caste of the North, the Aros should be recognized as the master race (distinct from the major Igbo stock) of the East and so given the mantle of political, economic and moral leadership.
In bringing the indirect rule to the East and indeed in foisting same all over the country, the same colonial masters negated the injunction of one of their key players, Sir Ralph Moor, who defined local administration as “a policy of supervision and control which creates the general conditions of peace and improved communications which would enable the people to harvest their resources…”
By applying uniform structure, the colonial, as well as successive indigenous governments, only eroded the principles as established by Moor since they negated the variety of the peoples and the need for them to apply their local methods to move from one stage of life to the other. It also cared less about the United Nations’ injunction that any local administration must cultivate the locality sensitivity, evolve acceptable attitude to segments of development and native leadership pattern.
By this foregoing, I could not reconcile the imperial attitude of past administrations in setting a uniform system with the claims of seeking to develop the localities in the prevailing patterns. Such attitude has only left me with the fear that we have negated the admonition of Arthur Lewis in the Variety of Societies which is that “…any idea that one can make different peoples into a nation (of functioning institutions) by suppressing the religious, tribal or regional or other affiliations to which they themselves attach the highest political significance is simply a non-starter. National loyalty cannot immediately supplant tribal loyalty by creating a system in which all the tribes (ethnic nationalities) feel that there is room for self expression.”
Whereas it is possible to blame the failure of the colonial regime in locality administration on its attitude as an imperial power, such excuse cannot be tabled by successive post-independence governments, which though had good knowledge of our local varieties, opted for such imposition of a contraption whose operational mode was largely imperious and indeed alien.
In my judgment, our previous administrations tried to reduce Nigeria to a single value State without due appreciation of tendencies of nation-state. It was unfortunate that we had ignored the famed injunction that “…no society can overleap its natural phases of evolution nor shuffle them out of the world by a stroke of the pen.”
It is on this note that I submit, and strongly too, that our uniformity in administration of locality growth and development be limited to the existing 774 local government governments with the proviso that States or geo-political zones can, and indeed will, evolve some extension of the values of variety with the attendant deeper penetration and impact on the real locality areas and peoples.
Put differently, the real journey of achieving locality development through proper administration of men and material begins in our accepting the variety of the nation-state, and in seeking to apply cost effective and simple tools to reaching our goals. What is practised in Jigawa State may not necessarily be what obtains in Enugu.
If for inexplicable reasons some local values in Ogun State find expression in Edo or Bayelsa, the reality of historical accidents would not be made to supplant the possibilities of variety arising from emerging tendencies of current political configuration. In this, we will be talking of due sensitivity to the feelings of Sokoto as a State which must, of necessity, retain some vestiges of the perfectly emirate pattern as handed down from the days of the great empire. We are clearly facing the reality of our nation-state in acceding to the freedom of Ibadan to resolve matters of local needs, most of which may have flowed from cultivated and extended conducts from days of the prestigious Oyo Empire.
If then we accede to the fundamental injunction, delaying no further in accepting, as held in ages gone by, that “…a system (including political) is any set of mutually interdependent elements which when viewed together as an organized whole can be given a boundary separating the inter-related elements from their environments,” applying the same attitude as in letting each state of the federation evolve its own locality administration system based on what is simple and easily attainable to the people, we go home whistling, as in Enugu State,
To God Be the Glory.
1. Hepworth, N. P: The finance of local government, George Allen and Union, London, 1972.
2. Wrath, Ronald: Local Administration and West Africa. George Allen Union, London 1978.
3. Ola F, Robert: Local Administration in Nigeria, Kegan Paul Int’l PLC, 1984.
4. Oyediran, Oyedele and Gboyega, Alex: Local government and administration (Oyediran); Nigeria Government and Politics Under Military Rule, 1966 – 1979; The Macmillan Press Ltd, London, 1979.
5. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Section 7, et al.
6. Bello-Imam, I.B, Local Government Finance in Nigeria, NISER, Ibadan, 1990.
7. Afigbo, Eberechukwu Adiele: The Idea of Igbo History; Abia State University Press, Uturu; Nigeria, 2000.
8. Okigbo, Pius: Towards a reconstruction of the political economy of Igbo Civilisation; Ahiajoku Lecture, Ministry of Information, Owerri, 1986.
9. Afigbo, Eberechukwu Adiele: Ropes of Sand: A Study in Igbo History, Enugu; Nwamife Press Limited, 1979.
10. The Scholar Magazine: July 2003 edition.
11. Orewa, G.O. & Adewumi, J.B: Local Government In Nigeria: The Changing Scene; Ethiope Publishing Corporation, Benin City, 1983
12. Okigbo, P.N: Towards a reconstruction of the political economy of Igbo Civilization; Owerri: Ministry of Information and Culture, 1986.
13. Ajayi, Ade F: The national question in historical perspective; Guardian Lecture, Fifth Edition, Lagos: 1992.
14. Adedeji, Ayo: People-centred democracy in Nigeria; HEB, Ibadan, 2000.
15. Samuel, Kayode: The faces of poverty, Proceedings and policy Recommendations of the 9th Obafemi Awolowo Foundation Dialogue (2001).
16. UNIDO: Fighting Marginalisation and Social
Inequality through Sustainable Industrial Development, UNIDO 2000 paper.
ENUGU STATE OF NIGERIA
2001, No. 7
THE ENUGU STATE COMMUNITY
(DEVELOPMENT) CO-ORDINATING COUNCIL LAW, 2001.
A Law to make provisions for the Establishment, Structure, Composition, Finance and Management of Enugu State Community (Development)
ENUGU STATE OF NIGERIA
2001, No. 7
A law to make provisions for the establishment, structure, composition, finance, operations and management of the Enugu State Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council Programme.
BE IT ENACTED by the House of Assembly of Enugu State of Nigeria as follows:
1. This Law may be
cited as the Enugu State Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council Law,
2001 and it shall be deemed to have come into force on the 1st day
of January, 2001.
2. In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires, the following
words and expressions shall have the meanings assigned to them hereunder:-
“Committee” means the State Co-ordinating Committee
“Community” means a group of people living in one place, locality or district and duly rcognized as an autonomous community by the State Government.
“Community Development Council (CDC)” means the Project Management Committee at the community level as established by Section 3 of this Law.
“Co-ordinator” means the Chief Executive of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council.
means the Community Development Council.
“(Development) Co-ordinating Council” means the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council.
“Governor” means the Governor of Enugu State.
“House of Assembly” means the Enugu State House of Assembly.
“Member” includes the Co-ordinator of the Council, Chairman and members of the Community Development Council (CDC), the (Development) Co-ordinating Council and the State Co-ordinating Committee, as the case may be.
“Operational Guidelines” means a reference handbook to guide the implementation of the Project, issued by the (Development) Co-ordinating Council and approved by the Governor.
“Project” means a piece of work or activity that is organized to improve the condition of the poor.
“Social Funds” means a pool of resources from which a project can be financed.
“Stakeholder” means a person or organization that has shares or interest in any Project under this Law.
“State” means Enugu State
ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATIONS OF THE COMMUNITY
of the CDC
3. (1) There shall be established for each Community
in the State, a body to be known as Community Development Council which shall
be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall have
powers to sue and be sued in its corporate name. The Community
Development Council of each
community shall comprise the following:
(a) President of the Town Union;
(b) Secretary-General of the Town Union;
(c) Principal(s) and Headmaster(s) of public schools in the community who are resident therein;
(d) Two representatives of Women Organisations in the community;
(e) One representative of Youth organizations in the Community;
(f) Two representatives of religious organizations in the community;
(g) Head of the vigilante group of the Community as may be approved by the Town Union;
(h) The Councilor(s) representing the Community at the Local Government Council.
(i) A representative of the Igwe-in-Council;
(j) A representative of each of the Villages or Quarters which make-up the community.
The membership of persons who are appointed under (d-f) above are to be approved by the group or organizations they represent.
(2) The members of
the Council under subsections (1) (a)-(c) of this section are ex-officio
members while every other member shall hold office at the pleasure of the group
or organization he represents.
Officers of the
4. (1) The Council
shall have the following officers namely Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary,
Assistant Secretary, Financial Secretary and Treasurer; who shall be elected by
the members of the Council from among themselves.
Tenure of Office
(2) The tenure of
office of officers of the Council shall be two years;
the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, every officer of the council
shall vacate his office:
(a) if he ceases to be a member of the Council, otherwise than by reason of the expiration of the tenure of the officers;
(b) when the Council first sits after any expiration of the tenure of the officers;
(c) if he is removed
from office by a resolution of the Council by the votes of not less than
two-thirds majority of the members of the council.
5. (1) The Chairman
shall be the Chief Executive of the Council and shall in that capacity:-
(a) Direct the Secretary to summon all meetings of the Council;
(b) Preside at all meetings of the Council;
(c) Be a signatory to the Council Account;
(d) Have a casting vote whenever there is a tie;
(2) The Vice-Chairman shall preside over meetings in the absence of the Chairman and carry out such other functions as may be directed by the Chairman.
(3) The Secretary of the Council shall:-
(a) conduct all correspondence of the council and keep records of such correspondences.
(b) record and keep or cause to be recorded and kept in a book provided for that purpose, the proceedings of the meetings of the council.
(c) perform such
other duties of administrative or other character as the council may assign to
(4) The Assistant-Secretary shall assist the secretary in the discharge of his functions and deputise for him in his absence.
(5) The Financial Secretary shall:-
(a) Maintain all financial records of the Council.
(b) Keep custody of all financial documents and produce all
financial reports of the Council.
(6) The Treasurer shall:-
(a) keep custody of all monies of the Council;
(b) ensure that every money collected is accounted for to the Council;
(c) ensure that all monies received by him on behalf of the Council are deposited in the Council’s bank account within 24 hours of such receipt or as soon as is practicable;
(d) issue receipts
for all monies received as donation, levy or materials received in kind;
Staff of the
For the effectual carrying out of its function under this law, the Council may,
with the approval of the (Development) Co-ordinating Council, employ such other
staff, and assign to them such general or specific duties as it may consider
7. The quorum of the Council shall be one-half of all the members of the Council.
Functions of the 8. The functions of the Council shall include:
(a) to identify, and co-ordinate such projects as are intended or proposed for execution in the community having regard to the felt needs and priorities of the community, subject to the provisions of this Law;
(b) to encourage each interest group in the community to initiate and execute viable projects which shall be of benefit to all residents of the community;
(c) to make appeals for donation or contributions in money or in kind, from time to time as the occasion demands, from persons or bodies within or outside the community to support the projects;
(d) to establish and maintain a project bank account records and account of the collection and its other activities;
(e) to generally identify the priority requirements of the community in terms of basic infrastructure and advise the (Development) Co-ordinating Council accordingly;
(f) to prepare budget and annual work plans and oversee all procurements and financial matters of the Council;
(g) to establish an office and employ, subject to the approval of the (Development) Co-ordinating Council, such other staff as are required for the efficient discharge of the functions of the Council;
(h) to implement in collaboration with the (Development) Co-ordinating Council the projects that are initiated by the Council and approved by the (Development) Co-ordinating Council.
(i) to be responsible for the execution of all approved projects under this Law;
(j) to evolve a plan
for the sustainable maintenance of all projects executed under this Law.
The State Local Government Service Commission and any Local Government may
release on secondment to any Council such person in the Local Government
Service of the State for such terms and conditions as the State Local
Government Service Commission may approve.
ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS
OF THE COMMUNITY (DEVELOPMENT) CO-ORDINATING COUNCIL (CDCC)
10. (1) (a) There is hereby established for the State an agency for poverty eradication, specifically designed to improve the socio-economic conditions of the rural populace through the provision of basic infrastructure, to be known as the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council.
(b) The Community
(Development) Co-ordinating Council which shall be autonomous will serve as the
administrative organ and the co-ordinating resource base for small-scale or
micro-project funding in rural communities and shall be a body corporate with
perpetual succession and a common seal, and may sue and be sued in its
11. The Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council shall have the following operational characteristics:
(a) it shall adopt a demand driven approach in selecting projects to be approved for execution from among those proposed and already identified by the beneficiary councils;
it shall support and facilitate the
efforts of local communities, and ensure the provision of
expertise in project implementation and management for communities that lack the skill or know-how to act alone;
it shall have an independent procurement
and disbursement procedure and a separate transparent management and financial
12. The aims and objectives of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council include the following:-
(a) to improve the socio-economic conditions of the rural communities through targeted, cost-effective, demand driven and promptly delivered development programmes;
(b) to stimulate the capacity of the rural communities by increasing their participation in decision making and mobilizing their talents for community development projects while ensuring that appropriate mechanisms are in place to encourage sustained community participation even after project completion;
(c) to create community based development projects which will be directly beneficial to the rural populace through investments in socio-economic infrastructure;
(d) to empower the poor to help themselves on a sustainable basis through the strengthening of appropriate local institutions and the provision of micro-finance to help stimulate appropriate economic activities in various communities;
(e) to provide opportunities for the training of
community based business operators;
13. For the purposes
of achieving its aims and objectives and carrying out its functions under this
law, the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council shall establish the
(c) Rural and Small Business Support;
(d) Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation;
(e) Management information services; and
Such other departments as may be
approved by the Committee.
Functions of the
14. The Functions of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council shall include the following:-
(a) to formulate policies and articulate strategies for the effective implementation of programmes geared towards poverty eradication in the State;
(b) to appraise Development Need Identification Forms submitted by communities against the eligibility criteria spelt out in the operational guidelines to determine those projects to support or reject;
(c) to disburse funds provided to it by donors, State and Local Governments in support of Poverty Eradication to the beneficiary communities.
(d) to carry out such public enlightenment and mobilization programmes which are geared towards effective participation of communities in poverty eradication projects;
(e) to render advisory services and support to local communities, government, individuals and organizations in project implementation and management where necessary;
to carry out research studies and such
other capacity building programmes aimed at improving the performance and
impact of poverty eradication projects;
(g) to prepare and submit to State Economic Planning Commission a consolidated annual budget and work plans of the (Development) Co-ordinating Council and submit quarterly reports on financial expenditure;
(h) to supervise, monitor and evaluate the implementation of poverty eradication programmes in the State;
(i) to ensure that regular progress reports are submitted to the appropriate authorities.
(j) to ensure an annual auditing of the accounts of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council under this law;
(k) to liaise with the State Ministries, Departments, Local Governments, Statutory Bodies, Research Agencies, Organisations and Communities to ensure effective implementation of projects under this Law;
(l) to initiate appropriate policy action on the impact and measures aimed at combating poverty in the State;
to perform any other functions as may be
assigned to the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council by the Governor.
THE ESTABLISHMENT AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE STATE
of State Co-
15. There shall be a State Co-ordinating Committee which shall be the policy making body of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council and shall consist of the following:-
(a) A chairman who shall be appointed by the Governor from the private sector;
(c) Two representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations as may be approved by the Governor;
(d) Two representatives of Religious Organisations as may be approved by the Governor;
(e) One representative each of the Ministries of Health, Finance, Works, Local Government Chieftaincy Matters and Rural Development;
(f) Local Government Chairmen to be appointed by the Governor from the Local Government Councils in each of the senatorial zones in the State to serve in rotation for one year;
(g) representatives of women organizations (one per senatorial zone) as may be approved by the Governor;
not more than three other members who in
the opinion of the Governor are of unquestionable integrity and one of whom
shall be appointed from the private sector;
Functions of the
16. The Functions of the State Co-ordinating Committee shall include the following:
(a) to provide overall policy direction in the management of the Community Development Co-ordinating Council;
(b) to provide guidance in the interpretation of government sectoral policies;
(c) to approve annual work plans/budgets of the Community Development Co-ordinating Council;
(d) to ensure appropriate monitoring of project implementation under this Law;
to ensure that relevant reports are
submitted to the State Economic Planning Commission,
Government, National Planning Commission and Donor Agencies as at and when due;
17. (1) The chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Committee but if he is absent from the meeting, the vice chairman shall preside.
(2) The meetings of the Committee shall be held at such times in such place or places as the chairman may direct, so however that such meetings shall be held at least six times in any year.
(3) Where upon a special occasion the Committee desires to obtain the advice of any person on any particular matter; the Committee may co-opt such a person to be a member for such meetings as may be required and such a person whilst co-opted shall have all the rights and privileges of a member save the right to vote on any issue.
(4) At any meeting of the Committee, members constituting a half of its total membership shall form a quorum.
(5) Any decision of the Committee shall require the concurrence of a majority
of the members present and voting at the meeting in which the decision is
taken. But in the event of any equal division of the votes the chairman shall
have a second or casting vote.
(6) Subject to the
provisions of this Law the Committee may make Standing Orders for the purposes
of regulating its proceedings and that of any sub-committee appointed by it.
18. Members of the Committee shall be paid such remuneration and allowances, as may be approved by the Governor.
19. (1) Subject
to the provisions of this Law, members of the Committee, excluding the
ex-officio members shall hold office for a term of 3 years in the first
instance, and such appointment may be subject to renewal for another term of
three years only.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section, a member of the Committee shall cease to hold office if:-
(a) he becomes of unsound mind;
(b) he becomes bankrupt;
(c) he is convicted of a felony or any offence involving dishonesty;
(d) he is guilty of serious misconduct in relation to his duties;
(e) he resigns his appointment by a letter signed by him and addressed to the Governor.
(3) A member of the Committee originally appointed by the Governor may be removed from office by the Governor if he is satisfied that it is not in the public interest or that of the programme that the member continues in office.
(4) Where a vacancy
occurs in the membership of the Committee, the Governor shall appoint and fill
The Committee shall not later than 3 months immediately proceeding the
beginning of each year submit to the Governor a report on the activities and
the administration of the programme during the
preceding year and shall include in such reports audited accounts of the
programme and the auditor’s report thereon.
APPOINTMENT AND DUTIES OF THE STATE CO-ORDINATOR
21. (1) There shall be a State Co-ordinator of the Community Development Co-ordinating Council under this law who shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be the Chief Executive of the Development Co-ordinating Council.
(2) The Co-ordinator shall hold office for a term of four  years in the first instance and such appointment may be subject to renewal for another term of 4 years only.
The Co-ordinator shall be entitled to
such remuneration and other allowances as may be prescribed by Law or by
resolution of the House of Assembly of the State.
Duties of the
22. The Co-ordiantor shall perform the following duties:
i) carry out the day to day running of the council;
ii) authorize expenditure in accordance with the approved work plan and annual budget of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council;
iii) represent the Council in all dealings with third parties or external bodies;
liaise with donor agencies and others
capable of providing complementary technical and administrative skills and
financial resources to the Councils to support the programme;
v) co-ordinate all the councils’ activities including work plan and annual budget and ensure the maintenance of accurate accounting records;
vi) delegate authority to staff of the Council to the extent necessary for the efficient performance of their functions;
vii) be the Chief Accounting Officer of the Council;
viii) manage the staff of the Council, and recommend to the Committee, subject to the approval of the Governor, the recruitment and discipline of the staff of the Council;
ix) represent the Council at national and International fora;
carry out such other duties as may be
assigned to him by the Committee for the effective functioning of the Council.
23. The power to exercise disciplinary control over the State Co-ordinator shall be vested in the Committee in consultation with the Government and Donor Agencies.
24. The terms and conditions of service of the staff of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council shall be as prescribed by Law.
25. The Community
Development Officers of Local Government Councils shall act as Liaison Officers
between the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council and Councils for purposes
of project monitoring.
26. (1) Subject
to the provisions of this Law, the Councils shall be self-accounting. The funds
for the implementation of projects
raised by contributions from the State Government, Local Governments, Donor Agencies and the Communities.
(2) Subject to the approval of the Committee, counterpart funding between the State, Local Governments and Communities, for each specific project in the communities, shall be in the ratio of
State Government – 50%
Local Government – 25%
27. Each beneficiary community shall have a project account into which
shall be paid that part of the social funds established for the community
projects such as:
(i) the proceeds of collection made from the community;
(ii) any grant or subsides made by the Government specifically for any project;
(iii) such money as may be donated or contributed for the purpose of a project by other oganizations, persons or body for that community;
(iv) such other
monies as may accrue to the community from any other source.
28. The source of Funds for the
Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council shall consist of annual budgetary
allocations made to the Council by the Government of the State and grants from
donor agencies or any other Government in or outside Nigeria;
Auditing of the
29. (1) The Council shall establish and maintain separate accounts from which shall be defrayed all expenditure, incurred by the Council other than such expenditure incurred on projects under this law.
(2) There shall be paid and credited to the Account mentioned in sub-section  of this section such payments made to the Council by the Government, for the running of expenses of the Council from time to time.
30. (1) All funds received by the Council shall be applied in accordance with the conditions attached to their release and shall follow the provisions contained in the operational guidelines.
(2) The Council shall maintain proper and appropriate system of accounts for the purpose of ensuring proper accountability.
(3) The Council shall prepare in respect of each financial year, necessary statements of accounts in such forms as may be appropriate and approved by the Governor on the advice of the donor;
31. (1) The
accounts of the Council for each year shall be audited by the State
(2) As soon as the accounts have been audited as provided for by sub-section  of this section, the Co-ordinator shall forward to the Governor, the State House of Assembly and to any relevant donor/stakeholders, a copy of the Income and Expenditure Account and the Balance Sheet together with the report of the auditors thereon in line with the funding sources.
Powers of the
32. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Law, the Governor may give to the Committee such directives of a general nature with regard to the exercise by the Committee of its function and the objectives of the programme under this Law and it shall be the duty of the Committee to comply with such directives.
(2) The Governor may make such regulations as he deems necessary or expedient for giving full effect to the provisions of this Law, provided it is not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this law.
33. The Co-ordinator shall at the end of each year make a Report of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council’s achievements and activities available to the Governor or the State House of Assembly and to other stakeholders as may be appropriate.
34. For the purpose of enhancing its services under this Law, the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council may:
(i) maintain and sustain programmes of technical assistance to bodies concerned with the implementation of poverty eradication schemes in the State;
(ii) establish and promote training programmes for its staff and members of the Councils in order to build their capacities;
collate and make available through publications and other means, basic
scientific data and other information on poverty eradication.
35. For the purpose of raising revenue, a Council may, by resolution make and levy a general rate or a special rate for purposes of raising revenue for special projects.
36. (1) Notice of a rate shall be given by the Council within ten days after the passing of the resolution making it, in such manner as the Council may resolve.
(2) The rate shall be paid at the office of the Council concerned or at such other place, at such time and in such manner as the Council may from time to time specify.
37. (1) A Council may reduce or remit the payment of a rate on account of the poverty of a person liable for its payment.
(2) Subject to the approval of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council, a Council may for any other reason, reduce or remit the payment of a rate by a person or class of persons liable for its payment.
38. Any person who obstructs any
officer or staff of the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council or the
Council or any person authorized by them or any person engaged in carrying out
the provisions of this Law shall be guilty of an offence, and on conviction
shall be liable to a fine of Five Thousand Naira or to imprisonment of six
months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
refusal to pay
39. (1) A person who –
(a) without lawful
justification or excuse, refuses or neglects to pay a rate payable by him under
this law on or before the date on which it is payable, is guilty of an offence
and is liable.
(b) the Council is by this law empowered to use their conventional communal means to ensure compliance. At the expiration of 90 days, if the use of the conventional means fails, the offender is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period of six months or a fine of five thousand naira in addition to the rate.
(2) A person who –
(a) Without lawful justification or excuse, incites a person to refuse to pay a rate payable by him under this law, or
(b) Incites or
assists a person to misrepresent in any way his ratable capacity, is guilty of
an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for six months or a fine of
a Five Thousand Naira.
Notice of Suit to
Be given to the
Council etc. by
Mode of Service
in the Council.
40. Notwithstanding, any provisions in any other law, the magistrate’s court shall have jurisdiction to try any person who commits any offence under this law.
41. (1) No suit shall be commenced against a Council or Development Co-ordinating Council until one month at least after written notice of intention to commence the same has been served upon it by the intending plaintiff or his agent.
(2) Such notice shall state the cause of action, the name and place of abode of the intending plaintiff and the relief which he claims.
The notice referred to in section 41 and any summons, notice or other document
required or authorized to be served on a Council or the
Community Development Co-ordinating Council shall be served by delivering the same to, or by sending it by registered post addressed to the Chairman of the Council, as the case may be at the principal office of the Council or Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council.
Provided that the
court may, with regard to any particular suit or document, order service on the
Council to be effected otherwise and in that event, service shall be effected
in accordance with the terms of that order.
Name of Council
etc. need not be
43. In any proceedings instituted by or against a Council or the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council it shall not be necessary to prove the corporate name of the Council or the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council or the constitution and limits of its area.
44. (1) Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal may be entered into or executed on behalf of a Council or the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council by any person generally or specifically authorized by such Council or the Community (Development) Co-ordinating Council for that purpose.
Any document purporting to be a document
duly executed or issued under the seal of a Council or the Community
(Development) Co-ordinating Council or on behalf of such Council shall, unless
the contrary is proved, be deemed to be a document so executed or issued, as
the case may be.
This printed impression has been carefully compared by me with the Bill which has passed the House of Assembly of Enugu State of Nigeria, and is found by me to be a true and correctly printed copy of the said Bill.
ABEL CHUKWU HERBERT E. UDEH
Speaker of the House of Assembly Clerk of the House of Assembly
Assented to this………………………….……. Day of …………………… 2001.
CHIMORAKE NNAMANI, M.D.
Governor of Enugu State