Local Government and Fiscal Autonomy for Local Government In Nigeria

Eme Okechukwu I, Izueke Edwin and Ngozi Ewuim

Local autonomy is a term that is frequently employed in both academic and popular discussions of local government, but it is rarely defined conceptually in a careful way or operationalised and subject to empirical research. In this paper we present a working definition of â????local government autonomyâ?? based on dimensions fundamental to the concept, identify variables to operationalize those dimensions, utilize factor analysis to combine those variables into underlying component factors. We also use the recent Presidential Bill sent to the National Assembly to support the need to abrogate the State-Joint Account. The paper also highlights, analyses and examines the factors that are responsible for lack of independence and fiscal autonomy by local government. The authors further assessed the extent of decentralization and inter-governmental relations in Nigeria impact on the Local Government . In conclusion, the authors pointed out that lack of independence of the local governments is as a result of lack of fiscal autonomy which in turn explains the duplicity of decentralization and inter-governmental relations in Nigeria.