The title of this research work is, A social accounting as a method of the impact of development activities’’ with particular referent to Nsukka local Government Area in Enugu State. It has been identified that accounting and financial reporting in the public sector particularly at the local government level was not given adequate attention.
In the course of coining out this study, the following objectives among other were set which included The identification of major cause of maladies in the financial system of the local government ;to examine the accounting system / department to find out if it is manned by competent and qualified personnel; to examine whether the sources of income to the local governments is enough examine the various instruments of management and control of local government financial ; to examine the various problem of the local government financial and accounts and to examine the prospects of improving the available sources of the local governments finances.
To achieve the set objectives, some hypotheses were form water which comprised; an increase in local government share of federation Account form 20-25%would help the local government in achieving at least 75%of their statutory responsibilities, the employment of low caliber staff has a significant negative relationship with the low efficiency and productivity of the local governments; the Accounting system of local governments is not effective in operation; and that another source of tar revenue is not essential for Nigerian local governments.
Two broad research method were adopted in the study which were personal intendeds and fully designed and well structured questionnaires- for the purpose of analyzing the hypotheses, chi—square (x2) technique was adopted
As a result of conscientious and of course painstaking study done, a lot of findings were made which included inter-alias; There was an ample proof that the greater number of local government’s employees are unqualified other taxes to be collect by the local government can improve it fin an has no significant negative relationship with the low efficiency and productivity of the local government; and increase from 20-25% in the federal government statutory allocation of federation Account to local government would not be enough to deftly a reasonable proportion of huge kick backs, contract inflations, large scale salary frond, auditing and internal control problems were discovered as some of the major accounting and financial problems of the local governments.
As a result, the following recommendatims were preferred; efforts to be intoaasified in the collection of reverie of local taxation; emphasis to be placed in the recruitment of qualified experienced and well trained personnel fro the assessment collection and general admimstration of local taxes and rates, design a sound system of budgetary control; installation of a system of internal control; projects to be evaluated and implemented; proper feasibility study to be carried out; and internal funding to be improved by its engagement in commercial ventures.
In Nigeria, there are three tiers in public administration: the central (federal) government, state governments and local governments. This project is devoted to the examination of local governments accounts, and the development of financial management with their departments. It is therefore pertinent at this point to mention that the local government is the third tier of government in Nigeria
Local governments in Nigeria derive their existence form the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria (promulgation). Decree No 45 of 1989 has brought about a new awekening public sector virile, dynamic, result and development oriented. At present, with aeration of more 177 local government expenditure, the total number of local government in Nigeria has therefore increased to 1776. One would then guess what effects will it have even before that, like since 1979, there has been a significant rise in local government expenditure in line with greater emphasis on grass root participation. Fore in stance, 1992 when compete political, admmistrative and financial independence were granted to the local government form state control, its responsibility was enlarged. With effect form 1992, local government has been directly responsible for primary heath care; this is in addition to its statutory functions.
Johnson (1992) said that, though virtually all developed countries have a system of local government, some system involve considerable local antinomy while others involve lee on a spectrum, the Nigeria system problem involves less rather than more antinomy. Then the question and answer are important as they reflect the type of financial and accounting framework required.
Sharpe (11980) noted that the participatory value, if not the liberty, value, still remains as a valid one for modern local government .Not perhaps in the full glory of its early pedometers but as an important element in a modern democracy nonetheless. But as a co-ordinate of service in the field; as a reconciler of community options; as a consumer peruse group as an agent to responding to rising demand; and finally as a country weight to incipient syndicalism, local government seems to have come into its own
The following point were listed in local government favor by the lay field committer (1976)
(a) It providers democracy.
(b) It acts as a counter weight to the uniformity inherent in government decision. It spreads political power.
(C) It embraces accountability because it brings those responsible for decision close to their electros.
(d) It is efficient because services can be adjusted in local needs and preferences, and because response can be more democratized.
(e) Central government would be over loaded by more functions.
(f) It provides a velricle for formulating new policies and pioneering ideas.
As a result of increase in the responsibilities and the fantastic expenditure associated with them, it is vital that the local government expend their sources of revenues beyond the present level. They would endeavour to tap all the potential resources so as to see their revenue based fureti fied any improvement to this effect will be welcome as it would give the local government an added impetus in discharging its statutory function and socio-economic advancement to the local inhabitants
From the in caption of local governments, they have been relying substantially on grants from state and central government and also statutory allocation form the internal generated funds of the state.
As a matter of facts, the internal generated revenue by the local government was very abysmal. Now that it has been granted antimony, it is statutorily required to rely more on internally generated funds for the performance of its functions. This being the case, government grants and statutory allocation are only supplement any sources of revenue to local government, Babangida (1992) for local government to be self sustaining financially without reducing the level and quality of its services to the people, it is essential that it exploits all potential internal ones. This as well suggests which would supplement existing ones. That the existing ones adequately exploited and property managed.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Finance and Accounting in local government is probably more complex than in any other part of the public sector in Nigeria, the inability of local governments to raise adequate funds and keep accurate accounts to sponsor its expenditure and achieve grass root developments has been discovered as one of the local governments. The purpose of this study therefore, is to assess the problems of finance and accounting in local governments as to determine their prospect.
Since this research work is in ‘’the problem and prospects if contemporary local government finance and accounting in Nigeria,’’ the writer obtained facts chiefly through interviews and questionnaires. Some hypotheses have been formulated to produce better results.
Ho; That can increase in federal government statutory allocation of federation form 20%-25%would not help local government in achieving at least 75%of their statutory responsibites.
Ho; that the employment of low caliber staff has no significant negative relationship with the low efficiency and productivity of local government.
Hi; that the employment of low caliber staff has significant negative relationship with low effective
Hi; that the accounting system of local government effective in operation
Ho; That another source of tax revenue essential for Nigeria local government.
Hi; That another source of tax revenue is not essential for Nigeria local governments.
OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
Local government like any other organization encounter financial and of course accounting problems. These problem have in no small mean contributed to their poor performance. It is therefore imperative to mention that one of the major reason for under taking this work is the belief that for any meaning full improvement to take place in government accounting and financial control, the strands forming part of these systems must first be put together in during so, the adequacies in the areas of each system would be pointed out and criticized or mention as problem areas for future development.
In carry out the study efforts for future development should be geared to:
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY:
Our local governments have in this recent times been riddled with financial and accounting problems, these undoubtedly have stultified the unflinching efforts of most local government to instill and of course restore sanity in the system hence the need for a steady on the problems and prospects of contemporary local government finance and accounting in Nigeria.
The study leaves no stone unturned in examining the problems confronting the existing revenue sources of the local government and appraises latent revenue resources that could be used to fortify the revenue base of the local governments.
This study, therefore, points out significantly that improved local government finance and accounting system is the corner- stoned to the much desired economic growth and development. It potentially serves as a guide to policy making in Nigeria. The study also forms a source of reference in other related topics and to researches in similar topics.
LIMITATIONS OF STUDY:
As has been earlier mentioned, finance and accounting in local governments is fraught with complexities. It is then not possible to provide a fully comprehensive coverage of all facts of the subject in this kind of study
Local government finance and accounting has developed in a distinctive fashion and as such has evolved to terminology that may be unfamiliar even to those with experiences of finance and accounting in either the public or private sector.
This study restricts itself to the evaluation of the various revenue resources and expenditure patterns of local governments, examination of the problems associated with then and the prospects for enhancing them. Since it is not possible for a research project of this kind to develop into the entire local governments in Nigeria individual, this research work is confirms to information gathered from Nsukka local government.
This student researcher of this work is of desired intuition to carryout an elaborate and comprehensive study of the problems and prospects of the contemporary local government in Nigeria, but has to obey impenetrable limitations encountered during the research. At local government under study necessary statistical data could not be obtained in a particular location and bureaucratic tendencies seemed to be a rule rather than an exemption.
More so, majority of local government staff are illiterate people and could not give written information needed from enlightened follows. Yet same respondents are relevant to comply with piece of information needed from them.
In the final analysis, this research was also limited to the data gathered from the finance and accounting department of the local government. As such, it should be intensified to not that treasury department was the major source of information used in analysis of the study.
DEFINITION OF TERMS:
Local government is the third tier of government. According to shihu (1976)’’it is that level of government which is as close as possible to the people at the grass roots and vested with statutory porkers to perform certain function and both inherent and ascribed, confining its activities and authority within a particular district or neighborhood and subject to the control of the central government.
Finance refers to the raising of funds, contorting and using them in the running of an organization, be it private, corporation or government (ume 1980)
Accounting is defined by Douglas (11976) as a discipline that is concerned with the recording, analysis and fore casting of in ame and wealth of business and other entities.
The National committee on Government Accounting (USA) defined a fund as an independent fiscal and accounting entity with self balancing set of accounts recording cash and or other resource together with all related abilities, obligations, reserves and equities which are segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or altering certain objectives in accordions with special regations, restrictions or limitations.
Revenue refers to all those moirés, each and other wise received by way of statutory allocation, grants, subvention form lighter levels of government, taxes, rates, licenses fees relations, loans and charge which enable the government to meet its day today expenses and its capital expenditure programmers.
Expenditure refers to all those activities/ services performed /rendered by the government with available resource (Egonwa( 1985)
This consists of expenditure whose benefit of which is not consumed in one accounting period, but spread over several periods. it includes assets acquired for the purpose of earning income or increasing the eaming capital of the business, for example, land and buildings, plant and machinery, meriataiming of roads and other projects of capital nature.
A budget is a plan terms, covering in qualitative and usually in monetary terms, covering a specified period of time usually one year. To be more precise it is a financial plan of government drawn out yearly for strict compliance in the execution of government business.
As the name implies, it is the part of the estimate in which is expected revenue from over all source of the government of the following fiscal year.
An estimate is a proposed budget which is yet to be approved. It is a statement of planned revenue and expenditure of the government for coming year. This, like budget normally expressed in monetary terms.
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ESTIMATE
This specifies the expected capital expenditure project of the government for the coming fiscal year.
RECURRENT EXPENDITURE ESTIMATE
This is an aspect of the estimate that stipulates in detail shape, expected recurrent expenditure of the government if the following fiscal year.
This is a record, which shows at a glance, in a concise manner all revenue receipts head by all, and sub head that accrues to the local government in a given financial year.
This is a summary of all expenditure in aired by local government allegorized according to vote heads during a particular fiscal year.
These are function that the local government is legally binding to carry out. An edge outside it may amount to an ultra vile and will therefore be rendered null and void and of no effect.
This is the aspect of reverie that local government can generate with its area of jurisdiction.
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