This research work is meant to critically appraise the concept of financial control approaches in Nigeria local government system focusing on Enugu State local Government.
The researcher used both primary and secondary methods of data collected through.
a. Questionnaire administration
b. Oral interview and
c. Personal observation
Secondary data were collected through
a. Periodical and journals
b. Textbooks and lecture notebook
1.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria local government system is as old as Nigeria creation. Even before the arrivals of the British to Nigeria and introduction of modern system of local government, the traditional system of local government exists. However, with traditional system of governance, which was administered by local people, the issue of financial control more often than not generates problem between the operator and the governed and a times between the operators themselves.
During the colonial rule the British divided Nigeria into regions, districts and division. The districts were then like what we call today local government areas. While the central government controls the entire country, it gave the subordinate unit some degree of independence in the control of its affairs and provision of certain amenities in the local areas.
Prior to the lunching of the 1976 local government reforms, all regional (states) government without acceptors created, modified and manipulated local government system and institutions as considered expenditure. The practice was not suitable and these brought about for a uniform local government system. It is on these grounds that a new local government system popularly called “1976 local government reforms” metamorphosed.
Ugwu, (1991: 11) states that is therefore the quest for effectiveness, good functioning and reliability of our local government system that brought about this decentralization of the power of the federal government by the 1976 local government reforms.
According to paragraph seven of the 1976 local government reforms, the term tier if design as a set of local government with their own identity powers and source of revenue established under state legislation and with the function for which they have been responsible to the state.
The guide line equal articulated the following objectives of the new local government reforms.
1) To enable the people to service and activities in their communities through their representative bodies
2) To mobilize human and material resources through the involvement and participation of the people in the programme for the development of their communities.
3) To create favourable condition for democratic development initiative and qualities among the people.
4) To enhance the sense of belonging and security through the effective communities and between the local government communication and the three levels of government in Nigeria.
5) To provide a two way channel of communication between local communities and government (both state and federal(
6) To bring government nearer to the people and guarantee reasonably, adequate functions, financed resources and staff for local government.
It is important to state that despite the various reforms that were equally other structural led to the creation of local government in Nigeria from 229 in 1977 to 301 in 1987.
In 1989 we had 589 and presently we have 774 local government areas in Nigeria. Enugu south local government areas which we used as a case study was created in 1991 by the general Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida led administration it is therefore, necessary to state despite all the guidelines structural and management and managerial reforms, all the financial control approaches in the local government system have not achieved maximum result and is in this basic that there is the need for the study.
1.2STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to Odenigwe (1977: 19) local government is defined as a system of local administration under which local communities and towns are organized to maintain law and order, provide limited range of social services, public amenities and encouragement co-operation and participation of the inhabitants in joint and endeavours towards the improvements of their condition of living. From the above definition which is widely accepted, one would at a glance observe that the Nigeria local government systems are based with varieties of problem.
The provision of social services, public amenities could only be achieved when there is availability of fund and good management of fund.
It is therefore not of place to state that the problems of financial control in the local government system in Nigeria is attributed to poor planning, insufficient funding, structural design, mismanagement, misappropriation of funds, corruption and lack of qualified personnel on the local government operators.
The researcher therefore identified the expediently necessary to appraise the financial control approaches ion Nigeria local government system with a case study of Igbo Etiti local government area of Enugu State.