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1.0       General Introduction

1.1       Introduction

Local governments are potentially effective instrument for rural transformation and delivery of social services i.e. health care delivery.

            This is because of local governments proximity to the people and the relative ease with which they can communicate with the local jurisdiction. The constitution guarantees the existence of system of democratically elected local councils and each State must enact legislation to establish same and provide for their structure.1

            The project topic health care delivery in the local government is worth research considering the position of local government in any democratic society. This position seems to be particularly true of the democratic situation in Nigeria especially since it has been argued that the worst democratic system of government is better than the most benevolent military system of government.2

            Democracy is thus a form of governments in which the highest premium is placed on the participation of the individual in government. Local government system within the three tiers of government brings governance to the citizen at the grass roots. This is mutadis in agreement with the doctrine of federalism, which is enshrined in the Nigeria constitution.

1See section of the Nigeria constitution 1999, Ebere D, The Federal Republic of Nigeria (International Association or centres for federal studies) pp. 1-2

2Oshilaya Owolabi S. et etal, Democracy and the Rule of law in Nigeria. The role of the Judiciary (F.H.L, Press 2008).

to the effect that, there exists three tier of government, the federal, states and local governments.3

            Thus, in this project I shall consider local government as an organ of third tier of government within the Nigeria federal structure outside the central government that are concern with administrative function in the grass root. This is to bring out clearly the essential features of local governments as competent institution in the discharge functions constitutionally assigned in their own right.

            Chapter one of the project is devoted to the general introductions to the project topic “Local Government and Health Care delivery in Nigeria”.

            Chapter two of the project examines the definitions of local government as well as the concept of health care within local government  system is examined with reference to its constitutionally assigned functions part of which is the provision of primary health care to the people at the grass root.

Chapter three of the project examines the third tier of governance in Nigeria. The structure and function of local government will be examined in this chapter.

3The federal, the States, the executive section 5(1) and section 8(2) and section 7 for local government. The Nigeria constitution 1999 (the constitution shall simply refer to as the constitution). See Akanole J.O, Introduction to the constitution of Nigeria 1999 (MIJ publishers).

1.2       Background to the study

Health care delivery is a very essential function which the Local Government is expected to give the people at the grass root and which delivery ought to be adequate, efficient and consistent. The Local Government is very suitable for this function considering its proximity in its closeness to the people. The project work hope to contribute to the existing literature as the topic by exploring the developments in the most recent times of the government desire to tackle the menace of variety of sickness prevalent in our society.

            The study of health care delivery in the Local Government therefore is based on the constitutional involvement of basic necessities to the populace particularly with regard to health.

1.3       Aims and objectives

            This project work intends to dwell into the assessment of Local Government as a legal entity in the democratic government of Nigeria, this is with the view to determine the extent and limit to which it is duty bound to provides proper health care delivery to the citizen within its constitutional limitation.

Thus the specific aims of the project include:

1.         To examine Local Government as an aims of government in Nigeria commencing with:

            (i) Highlighting some scholarly proffer definitions of Local              Government.

4Provision of immunization of children against polio, manegitris, cough e.t.c.

(ii) The historical evolution of Local Government system as a legal          entity in Nigeria.

(2)              To highlight the constitutionally vested duties, responsibilities, and obligations of Local Government administration.

(3)              To highlight the structural arrangement of Local Government including its revenue generation and means. This is important considering the enormous fund required to executive health care delivery to the populace.

(4)              To examine and highlight Local Government powers and duties in the provision of primary health care delivery in Nigeria, and the legal basis.

(5)              To highlight by way of conclusion, the summary of all discourse provide some suggestions to further improve the Local Government’s ability in providing health care delivery to local people.

1.4       The scope of study

Proper Local Government administration in the Nigeria political society is very important in the achievement of good governance, sustenance of democracy and equal distribution of democratic dividend to Nigerians.

          It is instructive to emphasis the fact without scintilla of doubt Local Government is closer to the people at the grass root and their participation in democratic governance cannot be taken for granted. Thus, the project work is limited in scope to the examination at the health care delivery as one of the many responsibilities constitutionally vested on Local Government in Nigeria. The project will critically examine the several duties of Local Government from historical origin, legal basis, and most importantly the provision of health care to the people at the grass root.

1.5       Research methodology

            The approach intended to be adopted in this project is to take into consideration primary and secondary sources. Reliance shall be placed on Textbooks, articles in journals and internet and law reports.

1.6       Literature review

            It is instructive to note hat a lot of literatures abounds on the Local Government in Nigeria evolution, functions, and structure, the health care delivery within Local Government inclusive several of these write up shall be consulted in the case of writings the project.

5Adenike A.A, Local Government tax mobilization and utilization in Nigeria: problems and prospects. www. Local Government – Tax mobilization/Adenike accessed on 18/02/2011

Though no mention is made about, the health care function of Local Government. She concluded that for Local Governments to act as agents of development at the grass roots, their share of total public expenditure should be substantially increased.

            Kunle Awotokun6, examines Local Government in Nigeria and its reforms since 1976 as a bedrock socio economic and political development. This paper tried to expose the contradictions and how the 1999 constitution undermined peoples aspirations as well as the efficacy of grass roots governance.

            Ola R.FS7 examines the historical evolution, functions and administration of Local Government in Nigeria. It gives an assessment of Local Government functions within the three tiers of governance  in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

            Nwabueze B.O.8 Federalism in Nigeria under the Presidential Constitution look at the Nigeria Federal Structure including the Local Government within the constitution of Nigeria.

            Alex Gboyega9, protecting Local Governments from Arbitrary State and federal interference. What prospects from the 1990? Is also very good piece of literature that examines the various developmental stages and reforms of Local Government in Nigeria. It examines the various interference in the autonomous existence of Local Government particularly during the military area.

6Kunle Awotokan, Local Government Administration under 1999 constitution in Nigeria (2005) Journal social science 10(2), pp. 129-134.

7Tola R. F. Local Administration in Nigeria (Kegan Paul, International, London, 1984).

8Nwabese B.O. Federalism in Nigeria under the presidential constitution (Sweet & Maxwell, London 1983).

9Alex Gboyega, protecting Local Government from Arbitrary States and Federal inference: what prospects for the 1990s (1991) to journal of  federalism 21, ppp45-59.

Magnatus A.A10 did an extensive explanation on Local Government system in Nigeria with particular focus on its origin and structure.

1.7       Conclusion

Local Government and health care delivery receives considerable attention from both the Federal and State Government in order for Local Government to discharge their functions effectively. Considering the importance of health in our society, the examination of the delivery to the grass root by the Local Government is thus very important. This shall be thorough examined in the preceding chapters.

10Ignatus Akaayor Agu and Dakas CJ Dakas Federal Republic of Nigeria constitutional origins, structure and changes in Federal countries: John Kincard & G. Alen Tarred, (Montreat and Kingston: Meaul-Queen University Press, 2005) 241-248.

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