Local government may be defined as a government established through an Act at the local level to deal with specific matters as it affects them. It can also be defined as the sub-organ of the central government established to provide for the needs of the people at local level. Under the 1963 republican constitution, local government authorities were created mainly to deal with matters of local concern, e.g. markets, feeder, roads, motor parks, etc. The essence of local government creation is to involve local participation in the affairs of the country.

The evolution of local government system in Nigeria could be traceable to the Great Britain municipalities’ form of local government. This system which was introduced in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, etc had similar responsibilities with that obtainable in Britain.

This is a multiple system of local government that operated before the 1976 local government reforms. After the Second World War, local government councils gradually replaced indirect rule system of the native authority and law making became relatively easy even when most of the native authorities were set up.

Functions of Local Government

  1. Local government maintains law and order in its locality.
  2. It collects rates and levies.
  3. It provides and supervises primary education.
  4. It provides and maintains health centres.
  5. It provides urban transportation.
  6. It provides and maintains customary courts.

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