The corona Virus Pandemic has brought certain facts to the fore, one of which is the nature of Nigerian society and governance. The pandemic has brought the necessity of either partial or total lock to national discourse.  

Both partial and total lockdown have also brought certain development in the face of their attendant  economic and social adjustments, which most Nigerians are finding difficult. There are consequential adjustments which is more pronounced in the area of the economy as the source of livelihood of most Nigerians that  involves moving from one part of the country to another has been destabilized.

Aside the above, both partial and total lockdown have also exposed the unplanned nature of our communities. For instance, in some states including Kwara State, where government has ordered that there should be total lockdown with little inter and intra state movement except for those who are on essential services.
Residents of the state were therefore ordered to patronize their neighbourhood market. 

Neighbourhood markets can be described as those markets located within a walking distance to the community. The question then arises as to the existence of these markets and their locations. Whose responsibility is it to create those markets. The answer to these questions are not far fetched as it is the responsibility of every local government to construct neighbourhood markets within every locality in their area of jurisdiction. Neighbourhood markets are needed to reduce traffic and congestion that might arise if every buyer and seller patronizes and congregates in a central market.

 In short, neighborhood markets are built by the local government administration to sustain local economy at its subsistence level, and also generate revenue for local government administration.

Do functional local government administration has role to play in governance

Local government has been recognized as the third tier level of administration in Nigeria. It is the closest system of government to the people especially in the rural area. It is a level of government that is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of performing specific functions. These functions underlined the commitment of the government to the development and  welfare of the citizens at the grassroots whose means of livelihood are basically subsistence. The functions of local government in the development of a nation cannot be wished away, as those functions have ways of lessen the burden of the task to be performed by the state government. The functions include but not limited to:

a. Maintenance of law and order through the enactment of bye laws.

b. Provision of motor packs and markets for the inhabitants of the  localities.

c. Collection of rates, fees and rents for the development of their areas.

d. Construction of feeder roads and drainages.

e. Provision of recreational facilities

f. Provision of health facilities.

g. Registration of births and deaths and marriages etc.

Looking at the above functions of a local government administration critically, one has this feeling that there is indeed a need for a functional local government administration to create the needed environment for local economy to thrive, and reduce the tension that is usually associated with a centralized system, where all functions of statehood are performed by the central government.

It is important to stress the need for citizens with vibrant ideas to come up and vie for positions of responsibility at the local  government level as the local government election draws nearer. Citizens need to look towards creating a new administrative template in every local government.

This write up is thus a clarion call to citizens with the needed administrative acumen to come forward and rewrite the history of local government administration in Nigeria, as the local government elections draw closer.

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