Crisis Management In Nigeria Local Government (a Case Study Of Enugu North Lga)

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          The Nigeria society is a rapid transition in addition to the inevitable and usually gradual transformation processes that affect all social systems, the institutions economics, political, legal etc. of the Nigeria society are being debatably and hurriedly reformed to avoid the pit falls of the past.   Momentous decisions are being made now programmes established and new strategies adopted all in an effort to achieve a new social order.

          The above quotation from a paper on crisis management presented by Mark Amikpo has been chosen as a good starting point for this study.

        One of the on going strategies to do this is the reform being introduced in to the local government ystem by the office of the chief of general staff to propare the local government as an effective third tier of government.   Usually such rapid reforms tend to be prove to one form of organizational crisis or another crisis here refers to a unusal situtation the outcome of which is uncertain or capable of givernmeting system it grises out of the intherent disposition of the system to disturb the political and administration processes by its decision or operations. It after arises from situational uncertainties and inadequacies.   These could be power tussle inadequate funds or time to execute all envisaged project, psychological disorientation the populace and its rejection of the proposal reforms.   There full implication of established programmes or a deliberate changing to policies established primarily to protect institution class relations.




1.1            Background of the Study

1.2            Statement of the Problem

1.3            Research Question.

1.4            Objective of the Study

1.5            Significances of the Study

1.6            Scope and Limitations of the Study

1.7            Definition of Terms.

1.8            Reference.



2.1            The Origin of the Subject Areas.

2.2            Schools of Thought Within the Subject Areas.

2.3            The School of thought relevant to the Problem of Study.

2.4            Different of methods of studying the Problem.

2.5            Reference.


3.1            Summaries

3.2            Conclusion

3.3            Recommendation

3.4            Reference





1.1            BACKGROUND

Local Government in Nigeria has been characterized by instability and disruptions emanating from one form of crisis or the other.   These crisis that were often promoted by the activities of central government usually led to complete dissolution and take over the functions of the local government by the state government.

In other words, local government in this country has always subjected to the whims and caprices of the state government.   They were never firmly established to make any contribution to the construction of a stable and deeply rooted polity as the “Panchayata ray, institution seem to have done in India”.

The Various Local Government reforms and particularly the (1976) reform were thus Interalia aimed at stabilizing sand rationalizing government at the local level.   Unfortunately, however the chosen implementation strategies seem to have resulted in unanticipated policy out comes.  

As this matter of fact, by the end of 1983 it was clear to all that the aims of the 1976 reforms to create autonomous and viable Local Government system in the country had not and couldn’t be realized.   It is our belief that this was mainly due to the inability of the local government system to effectively handle the forms of crises that affected it during this period.

It is against this background that the topic “Crisis management in Local Government system in Nigeria was chosen.



          Every crisis has four main stages and allowing each crisis to pass through the four stage has the been the bane of effective Local Government administration in Nigeria.   The four stages of crisis includes:

i)                   prodromal stage (early warning stage)

ii)                Acute stage

iii)              Chronic stage

iv)              Resolution stage

Crisis management aims to avoid the acute and chronic stage of crisis.   A crisis is said to be effectively managed if it moves from the prodromal to resolution stages.   We are aware that this has not been the case in the Local Government.

If we look at the second republic, 1979 to 1983, and the last civilian local government administration 1988 to 1989, there were various crises which include;

i)                   Financial crisis

ii)                Power crisis

iii)              Man power crisis

iv)              Political crisis

v)                Crisis of confidence etc.

The entire above crisis were unfortunately allowed to go through the four stages and had their unpleasant effects on Local Government administration in the country.

Enugu North Local Government, our case study, is a very good example; of the effect of allowing a crisis go through the four stages.

The Local Government particularly during the1988 to 1989 Local Government administration was affiliated by crisis.   This case went through the full cycle and the effect was intervention by both the Federal and the State government.

There were also case of polarization of the council in many Local Government, which in some cases ended with chairman removing their supervisory councilors.   The peculiar circumstance of the creation and existence of Local Government coupled with the unpredictability of its political and administration environment in Nigeria largely accounts for the appeal of this topic.

“Crisis management in Nigeria Local Government administration to the author.  Unfortunately, it is clear from the prevailing literature that only very little work if any has been done by scholars and practitioners.

In view of the lapses identified, an inquiry into crisis management in Nigeria Local Government has become most imperative.   It is hoped that this inquiry will stimulate new dimension and direction of crisis management.

Above all, it overall objectives could be the search for an effective and efficient Local Government ministration in Nigeria while the specific will focus on evolving new strategies for building administrative base for Local Government in the country.


          The basis research question are:

i)                   What are factors that influence management’s attitude to crisis?

ii)                How do workers perceive crisis?

iii)              What are the roles of the Federal and State Government in Nigeria the Local Government crisis?

The study will attempt to provide appropriate answers to these question which are regarded as key variables in the Local Government administration in Nigeria, such answers, it is hoped would assist in providing insight into the kind of measures to be adopted in Local Government administration in Nigeria.



          The objectives of this study include:

i)                   To examine the existing method of handling crisis in Local Government administration in the countrya nd ascertain how far Local Government are performing within the bounds of available manpower.

ii)                To examine the structure of Local Government relevance to Nigerian Local Government with particular reference to power relationship.

iii)              To examine the inter-government relationship existing and by Nigeria’s management in Nigeria Local Governments.

iv)              To attempt the existing and potential manpower for the local governments.

v)                To explore worker’s attitude to Local Government administration with a view of explaining the extents for Nigeria Local Government in the light of the findings and logically recommend ways for effective crisis management in Local Government through the country.



          Local Government are established for political administrative and service provision purpose, which are further discussed below.

POLITICAL:        The establishment of Local Government is often linked with the desire to promote democracy.   The first consideration in this regard must be into participation which if offers.   Democracy in a simple sense is a system of self-rule institute to provide:            the authority or council of the Local Government, which is popularly selected.

          Participation at this level is not merely an end in itself.   It also serves to provide political training for local leaders and inculcate in the local populace democratic tenants to protect liberty; which is endangered through excessive centralization of power.


ADMINISTRATION:       Modern states are geographically expensive and are also called upon to perform a large variety of functions and services.   The size and complexity of modern governments compile one forms decentralization or the other if the central government is not to collapse out of excessive over leading, or if many important functions and services are not suffer neglect.   Local government is one of the most preferred forms decentralization because it allows for genuine decongestion of the central government as decision making powers and control of necessary resources are transferred to localities where they are expeditiously exercised to deal with local problems.

          Secondly, local government is likely to promote greater efficiency in the provision of service merely by breaking the bulk of government workload, local government reduced it to manageable proportions, but above all it can harass local knowledge resources and expertise behind the administration of local affairs.   Many local factors like demography customs and tradition, socio-economic conditions and the local power structure constrain the usefulness of national solutions local problem.

SERVICES:         Local Government are impaired to provide certain services in their areas of jurisdiction.   As a matter of fact, without the service provision role, there might be no point at all to the existence of local government.

          The government in Nigeria was guided by three main criteria under the 1979 Local Government reforms. The functions developed to Local Government are those:

a)                 Which require detailed knowledge for efficient performance.

b)                In which success depends on community responsiveness and participation.

c)                 Which are of personal native requiring provision close to where the individual affected line, and in which significant use of discretion or under standing of individual is needed.   The big question now is, to what extent had the local government achieve these purposes for its establishment, it was clear that before the 1976 reforms, Local Government were established and abolished with reckless abandon, their functions and abolished needlessly eroded and their reduced to achieve political purpose.    By the time the first republic was terminated the Local Government had not fulfilled the purpose for which they were established.   Matters were not better after the 1976 reforms.   The reasons are traceable to the crisis and instability that had characterized the Local Government.

In view of the above, the signification of this study, which is aimed at developing an effective crisis management tool and this creating a relatively stable environment become clear to make reasonable progress towards actively the purposes for their creation, Local Governments require relatively stable environment tool which is what this study is all about.



          The study touches on various forms of crisis that had characterized the Local Government Administration in the country.    Then using Enugu North Local Government as a case study on attempt is made to identify possible crisis that could effect the Local Government, the study attempt to develop a crisis management tool for use in Local Government and in fact in any other organization.

          It is germane to mention here that in the cause of the preliminary library research carried out by this research, it was discovered that very few up-to date materials/literature on the Local Government Administration in the country could be found.   This was more so in finding documents, which deal with crisis management as it affected public organization.

          Finally, financial and time constraints prevented the researcher from traveling to all the states in the country for first hand in formation.

          Most of the findings are based on the experience from Enugu state, which for the purpose of the study has been taken as a proper representation of Local Government in the country. 



          In the course of this study, certain key concepts are metalong the line which may be given different interpretation.   For the purpose of this study therefore, the following working /operational definitions are given to such concepts thus:

i)                   CRISIS:     This is an unusually situation the out come of which is uncertain or capable of generating conflicts.

ii)                LOCAL GOVERNMENT:This is government at local exercise through representative council established by law to exercise specific power within defined areas.

iii)              CRISIS MANAGEMENT:Any measure that plan in advance for a crisis for tuning point any measure that removes the risk and uncertainly from a given situation, and thereby allows one to be more in control of one’s is named a form of crisis management.

iv)              RURAL DEVELOPMENT:         This is the process of providing in habitants of the rural areas with basis infrastructure and amenities which would enhance their standard of living; it means the same thing as developing rural areas.

v)                CENTRAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENT:     These mean’s the same thing as federal and state government respectively.

vi)              GOVERNMENT:        This can be defined as an academic field of study or political science.   As a political science it looks into the functions and relationship of the organs concerned or state.

vii)           PRODROMAL:        This simply mean’s initial take off stage of the crisis.   When it is not noted by the management, prodromal is the early time were the crisis has been emanate. 














Boyeya, A. G. (1987), Political Values and Local

Government in Nigeria, Lagos, Malthous Press.  

Egonwa, J. A (1958), Principle and Practice ofLocal

Government in Nigeria, Benin City, SMO AKA and Brothers Press.


Federal Republic of Nigeria (1976) Guildhines, for

Local Government Reform, Kaduna, Government Printer.


Nwaobodo, P.U. (2003), Citizenship Education, An

Over view, Vol. 2, Enugu, J. J.C Publishers.



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Crisis Management In Nigeria Local Government