THE IMPACT OF INTER-GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS IN RIVERS STATE (A CASE STUDY OF BORI- LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL, RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The concept of intergovernmental relation is associated with states having a Federal Administration system where the relationships between the Federal, Central or National governmental and major sub-national unit (province region, or state) formally spelt out in constitution. Intergovernmental relations have been seen as a system of transactions among structured levels of government in a state. It is also seen as registration in which the parties are negotiating advantageous positions for power, money and problem-solving responsibility (Olugbemi, 1980). The goals of intergovernmental relations are said to be to promote peace and harmony among the three tiers of government, which are the Federal, State and Local government. To accelerate the achievement of self reliant economy. In so doing intergovernmental relations will help to minimize inter jurisdictional conflicts among the various levels of government. Also to boost greater natural economic integration through the activities of the three levels of government. Again to enhance the emergence of cooperative rather than competitive federation there is also need to enhance effective and efficiency utilization of available human and material resources among the three levels of government. To help solved the problem of rural and urban poverty. To achieve a situation where there is special need for integrating programmers on a nationwide scale. To look into the situation where states, local government or unit of the federal set up have responsibilities with no resources base to perform them (John Nwafor Unpublished work).
The achievement of the objectives of inter-governmental relations is dependent on some social factors within the Nigerian social system. Some social factors include the political setting and the state of the economy in the nation. Looking at the political setting, the inter governmental relations are basically based on the three tier of government that is the federal, State and Local government. But come to look at that, the Federal and State Government is said to have more autonomy than the local government due to the fact that they are the last tier of government (John Nwafor: Unpublished work). That is why local government is not given its full autonomy to do things on its own. The other tiers of the government still tell them what to do, how to make their own policies, how to elect/appoint those to rule them like the Chancellor or Chairman and so on. Local government is still dependent on the other tiers of government making them too subordinate and loyal for my liking (Nwokedi, Ralph: 2002). To this, there should be greater independence of the state and local governments in the Federal government for their survival and performance of fundamental responsibilities. There should also be several reforms should let to the recognition of the local government as the third tier of government with relative autonomy and jurisdictional powers as provided for in the constitutions. Inter-governmental relations
Another problem is the state of the nation’s economy. The nation’s economy really influenced the nature and scope of intergovernmental relations in the local government in Nigeria. The wealth of any nation is a key factor in determining its patter of material relation. Between 1960 and 1970, the basis of fiscal relations between the Federal, State and Local government were richer and more powerful than the local government. But these problems will come to an end if the local government has greater control of the tax revenue. The local government should control 50% of the tax revenue allocation of its area without the Federal or State government interference. They should also receive grants and aids from outside and within the country, making them powerful and independent of their own. Their federation allocation account should be granted to them annually or monthly as the case may be. They should be allowed to run their affairs especially when it comes to monetary matters (F. Okoli and Onah O, 2002) in so doing, channel of communication should be at its high level between the Federal, State and local government in order to produce an effective result. This is because without one another there would not be effectiveness due to the fact that an intergovernmental relation is relationship between the three tiers of government. Inter-governmental relations