Analysis of the Politics of Local Government Budgeting in Nigeria (1995-2011)
AbstractThe poor performances of most local government councils in Nigeria had squarely centered around the politics of local government budgeting in the country. A cursory look at the project profile of all the local government councils in Nigeria pathetically reveals lots of abandoned, ill-executed and white elephant projects littered in the various local government areas (LGAs). The financial profile of most local government councils are poor, because of planned mismanagement arising from the unsuspected “financial padding,” embedded in the politics of local government budgeting in Nigeria. The findings from the analysis of this politics of local government budgeting in Nigeria (1995-2011) reveals that the often much cries from the local government administrators in the country that this level of government is seriously under-funded and therefore, not capable of discharging its constitutional duties effectively and efficiently, are nothing but a façade. The analysis of our findings shows that local government councils are adequately funded from the statutory monthly allocations from the Federation Account and had adequate internal revenue generation sources provided for them by the Constitution. However, the finances of this level of government are frittered away and mismanaged through the nature of the politics which accompany its annual budget estimates, which most often are not objectively and rationally construed and executed. Consequently, it is recommended as a panacea to this disruptive and dysfunctional politics of the budgetary process in the local government councils in Nigeria; that the budget office of the State Government which has the immediate responsibility to oversee the affairs of the local government councils Nigeria, should use their budget experts and technocrats to ensure comprehensive review of estimates which local government councils should be directed to submit to the Office of the Accountant General of the State from henceforth. This is the only viable visible way for now, through which sanity and prudence could be brought to bear on the politics of local government budgeting in Nigeria as our analysis from 1995-2011, revealed.
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