Structure and functions of local government in Nigeria

Structure and functions of local government in Nigeria

The localization of the government is considered a unique phenomenon in Nigeria; despite the formation of the state government, local authorities have not lost their importance in the country. In this article, we will tell you about the structure and functions of the local governments.

Structure of local government in Nigeria

Localization is necessary to ensure that government officials do not lose touch with people, and such management styles are extremely effective in democratic systems.

In accordance with the constitution of 1999, local government in Nigeria is carried out on one level; power is divided in accordance with a single order.

Structure of local government in Nigeria

Executive Arm

It consists of the Chairman, Supervisors, Secretary, Executive Committee, and Vice Chairman.


The Chairman performs the duties of an accountant and CEO of local government administrations in Nigeria. Even though he is an accounting officer, he only has to authorize payments, he does not have to sign vouchers and cheques..

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Local government

His responsibilities:

  • He monitors compliance with the rules described in the financial regulations governing cash receipts.
  • He supervises accountability and is liable for his actions not only during office hours, but also after his shifts.
  • Periodically he conducts inspections and monitors compliance with financial laws.
  • Each month the Chairman makes reports on cash receipts and expenses. The local government council receives, studies and discusses information received from him annually.
  • He directs the costs and revenues of local governments to higher authorities. Several decisions are made based on the information he provides to these authorities.
  • The Chairman manages the local government and dictates the duties of its members.
  • He chairs meetings of the executive committee at least once a week.
  • He communicates with representatives of local governments, appeals to the council at least once a year, comes forward with a report on his achievements and informs them of urgent tasks that need consideration.
  • The Chairman provides annual reports assessing the effectiveness of local government leaders.
  • At the beginning of the year, the annual budget of the local authorities is compiled by the Chairman, after which it is reviewed and approved.
  • The Chairman must consult with other representatives of the Executive Arm while carrying out his official duties.

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Structure and functions of local government in Nigeria

Vice Chairman

In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman performs his duties and takes overall responsibility for administrative activities.

Executive Committee

This committee comprises of the Сhairman’s deputy, supervisory advisers and secretary. He directs the meetings of the committee, which are held at least once a week. The different departments in the local government provide the Chairman with their memoranda, which can be discussed by the committee and the heads of departments if the need be.


This person is appointed by the Chairman. The Secretary is present at meetings of the executive council and maintains protocols, coordinates the work of departments and supports communication on behalf of the Chairman. He maintains relations with officials and performs other duties assigned to him periodically.


These persons are appointed by local authorities. Each of them is responsible for a certain department and helps fulfil the goals of its political leaders. They also participate in affairs of Executive Committee and provide directives to heads of the departments on general political issues.

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Supervisors assist the Chairman in executing projects of local authorities and acting from their departments. The Chairman periodically appoints additional functions and responsibilities to them.

Heads of departments of local government all have equal status, and are involved in affairs of the executive power. The director of administration is the head of personnel management, while the role of director for finance is performed by a local treasurer.

Local government in Nigeria

Legislative Arm

This institution consists of a Leader, his deputy and councilors. All advisers undergo election procedure and then the Leader and deputies are chosen amongst them. Representatives of the legislature fulfill the following duties:

  • Correct and approve the annual budget of local authorities. A veto of Chairman is taken into consideration, which can be canceled by 2/3 of the members of government council.
  • Control implementation of projects and programs envisaged in the annual budget.
  • Study of reports on monthly expenses and incomes supplied by the local government.
  • Consult and work with the heads of local governments.

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Laws adopted by local authorities are called bye-laws. After approval of the council, the Chairman must approve the decree for it to become effective.


Functions of local government in Nigeria

  • The functions and tasks of the local government are prescribed in the Nigerian constitution of 1999. Representatives of this organization collect taxes, work with telebroadcasting and radio, transport licenses, cemeteries and provides houses for the people in need.
  • The local government should ensure order in the markets, provide citizens with amenities, service roads, streets, drains, public places and build new facilities when necessary.
  • It is responsible for waste removal, evaluation of residential properties for further tax collection and birth, death and marriage registrations.
  • It monitors the activities of small organizations like restaurants, shops, bakeries, kiosks, and other places where food and beverages are sold.
  • In addition, functions of local authorities includes ensuring the proper functioning of the educational system, the agricultural sector and natural sphere except for mining operations. Attention is also given to medical care and other duties that can be prescribed by a higher government.

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functions of local government

In order to achieve positive results in Nigeria, it is extremely important to deal with the problem of corruption; it is also necessary to take into account the interests and needs of the general population. The proper management of money will lead to a prosperous life of people in various regions of Nigeria.

The state authorities have to work hard to make the local government more efficient; such structures need more freedom and independence, as well as monetary support. Insufficient financing is the main reason for the decline in the quality of the services they provide.

The local government also need to be accurate and transparent in terms of accountability. It is also necessary to develop a new ethical orientation of local citizens regarding local government to achieve a greater level of trust.


Now you know about the local government, its representatives and their various functions; we hope this information is useful to you.

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