1.1 THE BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Accountability and transparency has been critical issue in financial management of local government. It has been hampering the performances of the council and has been and is still a yet problem to be solved. It could be traced to have started during the early era of management, when people are in co-operative efforts to achieve aims which they could not achieve individually.
What is today known as local government in Nigeria has been metamorphosed from the pre-colonial transitional system of government which was highly localized according to the peculiarities of the areas. The local council or native authority presents the basic unit through which any nation administers her people of the grass-roots level. The theory of local government therefore, is that there must be an administrative agency through which the central government governs the people in their respective homes.
All over the world, the structure; the form and the functions of the local government are determined by the political beliefs of the people who control the central government. The local unit usually operated under a council which may consist of persons elected through democratic process by the local inhabitants or through persons appointed by the government to run the affairs of the local inhabitants.
Starting from the early 1950s, there have been lots of re-examination of the institution of local government in Nigeria. There have been a large amount of military decrees, legislature and judicial activities and finally, reforms from committee‟s recommendations. Meanwhile, the most remarkable of all these in the 1979 local government reforms made the Nigerian local government states. Local government is the government at the grassroots that is nearest to the local populace. The implication of its constitutionally guaranteed governance structure and its closeness to the people necessitate the need for accountability and transparency in financial management, and their norms in governance, more evident at this level.
But contrarily, local governments in Nigeria are often seen as nurturing grounds for barefaced corruption and near absence of accountability and transparency in conduct of public service. Local government council however, instead of discharging their functions as development centers to the people at the grass root, acquired notoriety for corruption, fiscal indiscipline and overall irresponsibility. The lack of integrity, accountability and transparency at the level of governance definitely constitutes a heavy toll on the well-being of the people of local government (Agbo 2012:20).stealing, embezzlement and misappropriation of fund has become a major hobby in Nigerian local government.
Circumvention of financial and non financial issue in the Nigerian local government has been on the increase, geometrically. this issue and many others brought the need of this research to identify the responsiveness of local government administration to accountability and transparency in their activities and the changes if any accountability and transparency in responsibility has brought to the local government administration since its invention as a mode of operation in Nigerian government.
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