STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND THE AUTONOMY QUESTION
CONTEXTUALIZING THE MAIN ISSUES
The core issue that dominates discuss on state-local government relations in Nigeria is that of autonomy. Over the years the non- or poor performance of the local government in terms of promoting grassroots development has been blamed on this vexed issue of lack of autonomy. The main objective of this paper is to identify the factors that impinge on the autonomy of the local government in Nigeria. The paper applies an explanatory research design, while secondary means of data collection and descriptive method of analysis were adopted. Premised on Wright’s models of intergovernmental relations, the findings indicate that the core factors affecting local government autonomy are the 1999 Constitution, the issue of finance, the state governments and recruitment of local government actors. The end result of this lack of autonomy is that it defeats the essence of local government and adversely affects the development of the grassroot. It also has turned the local government into a drain pipe. Consequently, the paper recommends an amendment of the 1999 Constitution which is the main reason behind the autonomy issue in order to either make the local government an effective third tier of government or scrap them altogether, thereby allowing the states to decide on the type of local administrations they want to operate.