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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Strains and stresses of local governance in Nigeria: an assessment of the presidential model
Author:Alabi, Mojeed Olujinmi A.
Periodical:African Administrative Studies (ISSN 0007-9588)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:local government reform
local government
separation of powers
presidential systems
Abstract:In 1991 presidentialism was first introduced to the local government level in Nigeria under the phased, never ending transition to civil rule programme of the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida regime. The introduction of the presidential system to local government was unprecedented in its uniqueness and sudden in its emergence. Enhancement of the system of checks and balances was declared as the rationale for the new local government system. The first major challenge was how to adapt the new reforms to the existing instruments of governance at the local level in the absence of any comprehensive reform package or proposals for reform of the existing laws. It took some time before the needed legal, administrative and institutional framework could be put in place. A major implementation challenge at the onset of the reform programme was the struggle for power between the old career Secretaries and the new, politically appointed ones. In addition, there was no clear provision for the position of Head of Service at the local government level and this issue remains unresolved to date. Another perennial problem of 'boardroom politics' attendant to the Babangida reforms of local government administration is the professionalization of the service and the departmentalization of its operations. The haphazard nature of the reforms in terms of conception and implementation also meant that there was no clear-cut demarcation of roles and responsibilities and there were no adequate capacity building trainings for the operators of the system. This created tension and friction between and among different segments of the system. Almost two decades later, many problems of adaptation and implementation remain, bringing into question the logic behind a reform that has so far reinforced rather than resolved the many challenges of governance and administration at a level of government where performance and stability remain indispensable to nation building and development. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]