The study interrogated local government councils as drivers of rural development in Nigeria. The broad objective was to contrive sustainable alternative to the mainstream approach of relying on statutory allocations to drive rural development. Data for the study were gathered through content analysis of secondary sources; it was descriptive and relied on Development Partnership Approach as framework of analysis. It contended that the contradictory provisions of the 1999 constitution with regards to local government in the country has made it apron-strings of the federal and state government respectively, and further reduced it to an appendage of the state. This has entrenched a culture of absolute dependence on resources allocated by the federal government to local governments through states which constitutes cog over the years in the wheel of rural transformation and development. Recent experiences in the country, especially, in the wake of current economic challenges depict that anticipated allocated resources that filter to local governments through states have been reduced to only meet staff emoluments and offices overhead costs in best cases scenarios in order to keep the councils a float, least to think about performing other statutory functions that will transform the rural areas. It concluded that the quality of rural life and existing infrastructure will continue to deteriorate if this ugly trend is not checked. Therefore, it recommended functional collaboration i.e. development partnership that will enable well-meaning private individuals, philanthropists, Faith-Based Organizations, youth organizations, town unions, corporate organizations, local and international Non-Governmental Organizations, etc, to perform functions and render services done previously by local government councils, as alternative path to genuine rural development.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN