The State Joint Local Government Account System: Challenge on Rural Development in Nigeria

Bright J. Agbani, Robinson O. Ugwoke


The creation of the State Joint Local Government Account System (SJLGAS) by section 162 of the 1999 Federal Constitution of Nigeria was meant to facilitate rural development of the local Communities through effective supervision of the distribution and efficient management of revenue accruing to the local government councils from the federation account. The research study through historical approach and survey method discovered that, rather than being a vehicle that should drive rural development, the State Joint Local Government Account system has served as a means of making unnecessary deductions from revenue accruing to the local government councils from federation Account to the coffers of state governments in Nigeria. It was in the light of huge cry by local government administrators in Nigeria that this research was carried out. The sample size consist of four hundred and eighty (480) employees(Treasurers and Heads of Personnel Management) of Local Government Councils drawn from 240 local government councils inside 24 out of 36 States in Nigeria. The Study utilizes both primary and secondary data. Tables and percentages were used for the analysis. The Chi-Square test was used to analyse the hypotheses. The research finding shows that excessive and unwanted deductions of fund from the Local Government Statutory allocations from Federation Account by State Governments in Nigeria through the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC), improper management of finance and endemic corruption in the local government administration in Nigeria, have made rural sustainable development a mirage. The study therefore concluded that the present method adopted in the JAAC system in Nigeria encourages deduction of funds by State Government. Hence the Local Government do not have as much resources as they are given from Federation Account for rural development. The research therefore recommended the granting of financial autonomy to the local government councils through the amendment of conflicting clauses or provisions in the Constitution that created the Joint Account System and the empowerment of the anti-graft agencies in Nigeria to supervise the administrators of Local government councils and financial managers on monthly basis.  This will bring about responsibility accounting and thus rural development will be enhanced.

Keywords: State/Local Government Joint Account Allocation (JAAC) system, challenges of Local Government Councils, Concept of Rural Developments.

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