The local government is the third tier of the administrative structure in Nigeria. There are 774 local government areas (LGAs) in the country. The functions of Local Governments, as spelt out in the Constitution, are as follows:
a. Consideration and making of recommendations to the State commission on economic planning or any similar body on economic development of the State, particularly in so far as the area of authority of the Council and of the State are affected;
b. Collection of rates, and radio and television licenses;
c. Establishment and maintenance of cemeteries, burial grounds and homes for the destitute or infirm;
d. Licensing of bicycles, trucks (other than mechanically propelled trucks), canoes, wheel barrows and carts;
e. Establishment, maintenance and regulation of markets, motor parks and public conveniences;
f. Construction and maintenance of roads, streets, drains and other public highways, parks, open spaces, or such pub- lic facilities as may be prescribed from time to time by the House of Assembly of a State;
g. Naming of roads 'and streets and numbering of houses;
h. Provision and maintenance Of public conveniences and refuse disposal;
i. Registration of births, deaths and marriages;
j. Assessment of privately-owned houses or tenements for the purpose of levying such rates as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of a Stale; and,
k. Control and regulation of:
i. out-door advertising and hoarding,
ii. movement and keeping of pets of ail descriptions,
iii. shops and kiosks, .
iv. restaurants and other places for sale of food to the public, and
The local government councils also workhand- in-hand with State governments on issues such as:
a. the provision and maintenance of primary education;
b. the development of agriculture and natural resources, other than the exploitation of minerals, and
c the provision and maintenance of health services.
Each local government area is administered by a Local Government Council. The Council com- prises & Chairman who is the Chief Executive of the LGA, and other elected members who are referred to as Councillors.
The Chairman is normally elected, but can, under special circumstances, also be appointed. He/she supervises the activities of the local government and presides over all meetings of the Council.
All members are enjoined by law to meet, as far as practicable, the aspirations of the people who elect them. Committees, focusing on specific issues, play very important roles in the day-to-day business of the Counols. They assist the Councils in decision-making and are usually required to report their discussions to the Councils.
A Local Government Council is the pivot of socio-economic planning and development in its area of authority. Being also the tier of government closest to the people, it is considered a most impor- tant facilitator of economic and social development at the grassroots.