AN APPRAISAL OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCES AND ACCOUNTING SYSTEM

CHAPTER ONE

1.1     OVERVIEW

“The third level of government is the local government. State governments have considerable powers over their local government council, but the functions of local government councils are now separately recognized by the constitution. Oshinsami.The issue of fund availability, utilization and accountability is of vital important to both public and private organizations. An organization must be funded to be able to carry out its objectives can be achieved with minimum cost, with the local government, now having democratically elected government and the increasing debate on its autonomy. It was become necessary to look into the finances of the local government with a view to ascertaining their preparedness for the task ahead of them.

Today, most states of the federation have enacted their own local government laws to regulate and control and the operation of their own local authorities, Such law make provision for the conduct of business in the local government council a good accounting system of local management of government operation and resources as part of their responsibilities, local government account – for their income and expenditure in order to:

  1. Demonstrate compliance will established laws and other controls
  2. Give evidence of accountability in terms of judicial stewardship.
  3. Summarize and report the financial operation of each function.
  4. To match explicitly the defined income and expenditure

The local government is the nearest level of government to the grassroots and only adequate funding and effective utilization of funds will make her impact felt in the local authorities and communities, It is in view of this relevance  that the study of finance accounting systems at local government level is being considered quite appropriate and timely in view of the dwindling revenue coupled with their increased responsibilities.

1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

In general, local governments in Nigeria are financially weak, There are three main  reason  for this as adduced by omapariola (1990;1).

  1. The inequitable system of revenue sharing among the three tiers of government in the country.
  2. The guideline of local government reforms of 1976 as confirmed by the presidential constitution of 1979 and 1989, which assigned wide and varied functions to the local government but failed to provide them with adequate financial resources to discharge their responsibilities
  3. Inefficient internal revenue generation and collection methods.

Public finance literature reveals two major sources of local government finances literature reveals two major sources of local government finances viz; the internal and external sources

1.3     OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY 

The purpose of this study is to critically appraise the various sources of finances available to Aniocha south local government council and ascertain the efficacy of its revenue yielding machinery.To provide insight into the current accounting system carried on at the local government level this way we shall examine the appropriateness of the present system of local government accounting. It is also the aim of this study to review the much debated revenue allocation formula as used in the country. The present finance regulations   as   product of a commission set up by the federal government to formulate such regulation for the whole local   government systems in the country. To this end the study will examine the effect of these regulations on the local   government. By also attempting to undertake a comparison of the effect so far on the desired hopes aspirations of the government that making the local government autonomous will make it function effectively as a third tier of government .

This study shall also examine the utilization of local government finances after a careful examination of the various sources of the council’s finances and determination of proportion of internally generated revenue to total revenue of the council and trend of the statutory allocation over a period of years  with a view to determining whether these allocations on the increase or on the decrease.

1.4    RESEARCH QUESTION

Consequently this attempts to provide question to this study; Determining how well the accounting system in operation in the local government caters for and meet the need of the internal administration of the council?How can the local government council ascertain and evaluate allocation? And what are the method of data collections and who are those qualified personnel.

1.5     HYPOTHESIS 

For the purpose of this current study the following hypothesis has been formulated. Also this hypothesis is going to be stated in the null and the alternative form that isNull hypothesis (Ho) Alternative hypothesis (Hi)

Hypothesis I

Null hypothesis (Ho);  Method of collection is not responsible for the poor revenue generation of the council.Alternative hypothesis (H1): Method of collection is response able for the pure revenue generation of the council.

Hypothesis II

Null hypothesis (Ho); The  present finance of their council is adequate to meet her financial and budgeting requirement.Alternative Hypothesis (Hi):  The present finance of the council is adequate to meet or financial and budgetary requirement

Hypothesis III

Null hypothesis (Ho); Lack of qualified personnel is not responsible for the poor system of book-keeping in the local government treasury.

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