approved the additional 37 localgovernments, while Lagos State insiststhat it is still within the law, since it is notasking for new funds for the additionalLocal Governments. In order top haveaccess to its funds (albeit partly) the LagosState has now reverted to its initial 20 localgovernments.
Legal framework for decentralisation
The 1999 constitution incorporated certainimportant achievements of decentralization. Section 7 provides inter alia that the Government of every stateshall ensure the existence of localgovernment councils under a law whichprovides the establishment, structure,composition, finance and function of suchcouncils. Although the Constitution clearlyguarantees that local governments shouldbe democratically elected, it places themunder the control of the state government.This arises from the constitutionality-recognised power of the state governmentto make laws with respect to localgovernment councils.The power of a state government inrespect of local government councils onthe other hand also is limited in three waysnamely:the Constitution directly creates the localgovernmentthe Constitution specifies their establishment and mandatorily confer certain functions on themno laws for the creation of any more localgovernment can be effected withoutcomplying with the strict constitutionalprovisions.The combined forces of these factorsmake local autonomy elastic but itselasticity depends on the government of the day. It is also clear that an over reliance-The Native Authority Ordinance, 1916,-The Native Authority Ordinance, 1933,-The Local Government Law, 1950,- The Local Government Law, 1952,-The Native Authority Law, 1954,-Guidelines for Local Government Reform,1976,-The Revenue Allocation Act, 1981,-The Local Government (BasicConstitutional and Transitional Provisions Act, 1989-The Local Government (BasicConstitutional and Transitional Provisions(Amendment No. 23) Decree, 1991,-The Local Government (Basic andTransitional Provisions) Decree, 1998-The Federal Constitution, 1999-Electoral Act 2001-Electoral Act 2002-Monitoring of Revenue Allocation to LocalGovernments Act 2005
The Administrative Organisation
Government in Nigeria is divided into threetiers—the federal government, thegovernments of each of the country’sthirty-six states, and local governmentcouncils that govern Nigeria’s 774 LocalGovernment Areas. The NigerianConstitution provides for all three levels of government should be autonomous and tobe run by popularly electedadministrations, and lists in detail theexclusive and concurrent powers of each.The local government system adoptedvaries from state to state.It should be appreciated that theadministration of Local government councilinvolves the making of various decisionson a regular basis; such decisions couldbe classified in various ways, legislative,administrative, judicial, quasi-judicial.The notion of inter-community relations or partnership in order to improve the localcommunities seems strange to them rather what obtain is disputes of boundaries insome states and inter-communal clashes.On the other hand there are co-operationswith their foreign partners to promote thedevelopment of the local government.
Table 1: Administrative and territorial organizationStates No. of LGs. States No. of LGs States No. of LGs. States No. of LGs.
Abia 17 Kano 44 Gombe 11 Oyo 32Abuja FCT 6 Katsina 34 Imo 27 Plateau 17Adamawa 20 Kebbi 22 Jigawa 27 Rivers 22