ABU Journal, Department Of Public Administration
Volume No: 3|
DEMOCRACY AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: A STUDY OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN ZARIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, FACULTY OF ADMINISTRATION,AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA, NIGERIA
Nigeria has returned to democratic governance for over a decade now and leaderships are placed at various levels of governance in the country through the democratic means; which presumably means presence of mechanisms through which the populace control the government and direct it to a desired direction for the promotion and protection of common interests through the delivery of services to the community; local government is equally an active member within this cycle with series of constitutional responsibilities; both mandatory and concurrent; an example of support in the development of agriculture. In this respect Decentralisation Model of Service Delivery is adopted as the theoretical framework for the study. The data for this study is qualitative collected using questionnaires and observation as well as secondary data. Empirical Findings establish among other things that: Decisions are usually taken without the community’s inputs and as such services even where provided are mostly skeletal and ineffective. Majority of the respondents also hold the opinion that even where services are provided; they are usually not in line with the actual needs of the farmers. In terms of the spread of the services, the responses also indicate such services do leave a lot of the sectors out. Given these we recommend among other things that; farmers Cooperative Societies should be formed for easy access to agricultural inputs and implements for the farmers for higher productivity.
Local government in Nigeria is a constitutionally recognized tier of government and is the closest government to the people saddled with large number of responsibilities; exclusively and concurrently. Within the concurrent list local government has a great stake in the development of agriculture in the localities. As observed in this study, the local government under survey is not thriving well in the provision of services such as agriculture related. Consequently, agricultural productivity fails to thrive as it should be due poor support from the authorities being the fact that majority of the local farmers are either subsistent or middle scale who require a lot of support and this a drawback to food security in the area, peradventure should such happen in most of the local governments, the aggregate result will pose a serious challenge the entire nation’s food sovereignty.
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