The term local government was first used during the colonial era when its power and authority were vested in traditional rulers whose modus operandi was not always democratic. Local government has always been characterized with challenges, which has and is still a recurring decimal in the political history of Nigeria.

Local Government is the earliest form of governance before the existence of both state and Federal Government although it might have had diverse names from the outset, but it have been government at the local level exercises through representative councils backed by law. The administration of the Local Council further reveals the paramount challenges of governance at the local level embezzlement, bribery and corruption and lackadaisical attitude to work. Local Government is the closest to the people.

Local Government has come a very long way in Nigeria's life, they have been able to administer the localities effectively to an extent, but they can do better if they are better funded. Hence the federal and state government should allow the local government rule in their own domain so as to be able to improve the quality of life and services rendered to the people.









1.1      Background of the Study

1.2      Purpose of the Study

1.3      Limitation of the Study

1.4      Statement of the Problem

1.5      Scope of the Study

1.6      Significance of the Study

1.7      Research Question

1.8      Definition of Terms




2.1      Development of Local Government Administration in Nigeria

2.2      Local Government

2.3      Functions of Local Government Councils

2.4      Problems of Local Government Councils

2.5      History of Agege

2.6      Historical Development of Agege References



3.1      Evolution and Development of Local Government Administration in Nigeria

3.2      Pre-Colonial Administration in Nigeria

3.3      Native Authority in Northern, Western and Eastern Nigeria

3.4      Transformation in Local Government Administration in Nigeria




4.1      Historical Development of Agege Local Government  

4.2      Roles and Functions of Agege Local Government

4.3      The Local Government Executive Arm

 4.4     Legislative Arm

4.5      Management of Local Government Council  





5.1      Summary

5.2      Conclusion

5.3      Recommendations







The Nigerian State is by constitution a federal state comprising of Federal, State and Local Government. This entity called Nigeria evolved over time especially from 1956, when it was Three Regions North, East and West just before independence, by 1963, it became Four Regions North, East, West and Mid-Western Regions by 1967, twelve states, it galloped to nineteen states by 1976.

At this time, the Federal Capital Territory had been moved to Abuja, again in 1987, three more states were created making twenty-one states, when in 1991 Nine more states were finally created it brought the total numbers of Nigeria states to Thirty Six with Federal Capital Territory.

Local Government is the breaking down of a country .into small units or localities for the purpose of administration on which the inhabitants of the localities concerned play direct and full part through their elected representatives who exercise power under the national government.

It is important to note here that the name Local Government had not always been called that, it had different names at different times and it went through an evolution before it reached its present name.

Local Government council has been in existence in Nigeria as the third tier of government. Undoubtedly it is the closest to the people and it has the express ability to affect the lives of the community directly.

According to the 1963 Republican constitution, Local government councils were created to handle matters of local concerns· for example, market, motor parks, feeder roads and participation in the national affairs of their country.

Local government councils were established through an act called instrument to deal with specific matters. They were created like corporate bodies because they have legal existence to sue and be sued.

Some powers are vested on the local government such as making bye laws, powers to punish offenders and imposition of fines and levies in specific areas.

Reasons for creation of councils include;

1.                Bringing government closer to the people

2.                Provision of essential services

3.                Equal and rapid development

4.                Community development

5.                Act as agent of both federal and state government e. t.c.

6.                Collection of Radio and Television License

7.                Establishment of cemetery and home for the destitute and maintenance of same

8.                Management of Primary School Education.

9.                Provision of Transport Services within their locality.

10.           Maintenance of Laws and order and all facilities of Federal and State Governments.

11.           Creation of recreational centers.

However the Local Government has been characterized with problems ranging from

1.                Shortage of funds

2.                Inadequate trained personnel

3.                Bribery and Corruption

4.                Embezzlement of Public Funds

5.                Political Interference

6.                God-Fatherism and Nepotism

7.                Favoritism

8.                Political Victimization

9.                Community turbulence by thugs and miscreants 10. Low incentives among others.

These numbers of abnormally were factors that marred the existence of the local councils.

Fortunately, the Local Council was later revamped by the 1976 reform in order to make right the wrongs, and set a United pace for the councils in Nigeria, the very first reform was birthed in 1976. This was the beginning of a new era and days of glory ahead for. Local Government Administration in Nigeria

The 1976 reform was to:

1.                Provide a two way channel of communication between local communities and the central government.

2.      Mobilization of human resources through the involvement of the public in their local development drive.

3.                Making of appropriate services and development with response to local wishes.

4.                Initiate delegation of local representatives' bodies

5.                Facilitate and exercise democratic self-governance at the local level.

6.                Bringing government closer to the people of the community

7.                Also to encourage and develop leadership potentials and initiative among others.

By the 1976 reform, the local government was to be headed by a democratically elected chairman by the people of the community involved.

A vice chairman selected alongside the chairman, a secretary to the council to be selected by the ruling party by appointment.

The reform brought further uniformity in operation of the council by creating seven departments namely:

1.      Personnel

2.                 Finance and Supplies

3.                 Budget and Statistics

4.                 Primary Health Care

5.                 Works and Housing

6.                 Agriculture, Rural and Social Development

7.                 Education

Each of these departments was headed by a head called Head of Department (HOD).

Four more units were created by statues of law, these are;

i. Information

ii. Legal

iii. Audit

iv. Waste and disposal or sanitation

These were inculcated to sanitize the system, and also compliment them. Since local government councils are created by law, as an entity and corporate body, they are expected to generate revenue.

This is done through imposition of fines, taxes, rates and license from motor parks, markets, abattoirs, tenement rate, trade permit, vehicle license, registrations, trade corporate, commercial undertaking, hawking permit, storage fee, food and regulated permit, street naming, traffic towing vehicles and court fines etc.

There are also (3) three external sources of revenue as stipulated by the 1976 reform that also form a major source of income for local governments. Ten percent (10%) was to be given by the federal to the local council but this has since increased to (23%) twenty three percent today.

The state is also bound by law to remit (10%) ten percent of her IGR to all Local Councils within her jurisdiction. Even after the 1976 reform, others also came up to correct further lapses of the 1976 reforms, the 1981 and 1988 had divergent opinions on different issues on local government but they all had uniformity on allocation of revenues to the local government councils.

Allocation from excess crude oil came into existence years after Nigeria as major export shifted from agricultural produce to crude oil. However, most local government councils have not been able to access the crude oil allocation and are often short changed by the states before getting to the local councils and sometimes the federal governments are not able to meet their expected performance due to inadequate fund.

LOANS: Local government are backed by law to obtain loan to execute certain capital intensive projects within their terrain, but the loan is subject to what can be repaid by the local government in question.

BONDS: Local governments are also eligible to buy bonds in order to generate more revenue for their local councils.

All together, the inadequacies of fund have always been a major source of problem as councils have not been able to function and deliver maximally as expected.


1.                The purpose of this work is to sensitize the public on the roles of local government in Nigeria.

2.                To understudy the prospects and problems of local government administration in Nigeria with reference to Agege Local Government of Lagos State.



Different factors contributed to the limitation of this work. Financial constraint was a major part, Uncooperative attitude of the local government officials which made accessing information very difficult and sometimes inaccessible.

Investigation and data collection was also greatly hampered due to this fact. Above all, in the course of this research, it was discovered that most local government offices lack good documentation of activities in different department of the council, and this seems to be a general trend in most government offices in Nigeria, Local Government inclusive and Agege Local Government not excluded.



1.                To establish whether or not there is a need for the creation of Local Government Councils.

2.                Has Local Government councils been able to influence life socially, politically and economically.

3.                Why the creation of Agege Local Government Council



It encompasses target local government councils in Lagos state and Nigeria at large. Focus is however on Agege Local Government Council of Lagos State, being one of the earliest created local governments with a fairly large population and vibrant socio­economic, political and religious activities.



1.                The findings will make people participate actively In Local Government administration in Nigeria.

2.                To make Local Government accountable to the people of their communities and the Central Government.



This project aims at finding out if:

1.                There is need for creation of Local Government Councils and how close they are to the people at the grassroots?

2.                They have provided enough infrastructure and maintenance of such

3.                 They have been able to fully promote the ideas of the Federal Government and entrench the same at the local level.



LOCAL GOVERNMENT: is a form of public administration which in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state. Local, Government has been defined as the earliest form of governance in that it dates back to the era of village chiefs, clan heads, religious, traditional leadership .:

ELECTION: An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office.

POLITICS: as a term is generally applied to the art or Science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the corporate, academic, and religious segments of society. It consists of "social relations involving authority or power" and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy

BYE-LAW: (sometimes also spelled bylaw, by law or byelaw) can refer to a law of local or limited application passed under the authority of a higher law specifying what things may be regulated by the by-law. It can also refer to the internal rules of a company or organization.

DEMOCRACY: is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (direct or indirect) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the 'free and equal practice of political self-determination. It originates from the Greek

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central (federal) government. In' a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government are typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of the latte

STATE GOVERNMENT: A state government (provincial government in Canada) is the government of a sub-national entity in a federal form of government, which shares political power with the federal or national government. A state government may have some level of political autonomy, or be subject to the direct control of the federal government.









Akindele S.T. (1992): "Local Government Institution In Nigeria: A Conceptual and Historical Overview in Ekoko: A.E. etal. Proceedings of the national seminar on the political economy of local government reforms and transition to third republic. Ekpoma. Faculty of Arts and social science, edo state university. (pp. 22 - 47).

Bamisayer, O.A. (1985): Research Guide for Student In Political Science: An Handout.

Cambridge advanced learner's dictionary 3rd edition. Cambridge University Press (2003) Third Edition (2008).

Implementation guidelines on the application of civil service reforms in the local government state. (1988)

Ola, R.R. (1984): Local Administration in Nigeria: London; Kegan Paul International, p. 10.


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