|Objective • Executive Summary
The Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project is the result of Nigeria obtaining assistance from the International Development Association (IDA) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) to assist
- beneficiary communities in participating states to have planned, co-financed and implementable environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive multi-sectoral micro-projects; and in
- strengthening the institutional framework at the Federal, State and particularly local government level to support environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development.
LEEMP is being implemented in nine participating states – Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu, Katsina, Imo, Niger, and Oyo.
Successive governments have reorganized Nigeria’s local government system several times with a view to making it more effective in service delivery and project implementation. The reform of 1976 that introduced a common system of local government nationally tried to empower local governments by defining their primary functions, guaranteeing them statutory transfers from the federation account and state revenues and, subsequently, instituting training programmes to enhance their performance.
Under successive military and civilian administrations since that the time the pendulum of reform has swung between enhanced autonomy of local governments and strict control by state governments. The tension between these wings has led to reversal of much of the gains of reforms. Military regimes in the post 1983 and 1999 period exhibited little interest to empower local governments. Thus, the high expectations formed about the positive role that local governments could play in national development began to wane.
The return to civil democratic rule in May 1999 provided fresh opportunity to restore confidence in democratic governance at all levels of government. With respect to local governance, the opportunities included the constitutional guarantee of a democratic system of local government that signalled new restraint on the propensity of state governments to unilaterally and arbitrary control, suspend or dismiss elected local government councils, the improvement of the revenue situation by passing a law to make it criminal offence for state governments to make un-approved deductions from the statutory allocations to local governments from the Federation Account, while fiscal transfers to local governments are published monthly to encourage transparency and accountability, among other initiatives, all of which raised the prospect of improved capability to deliver services and execute projects more effectively at the local level.
This prospect has been reinforced by the World Bank and other donor agencies like the USAID, DFID and EU re-engaging with Nigeria with a view to assisting the country to acquire the diagnostic tools, technical skills and financial resources to revamp governance at the three levels of government.
However, studies have shown that local governments, since 1999, have not been able to perform satisfactorily because of inadequate finances, political and administrative constraints imposed by their state governments as well as their own failings such as poor leadership and lack of technical competence. Therefore, efforts continue to be made to improve the capacity of local governments in service delivery and project execution while also encouraging them to be responsive to their rural communities especially.
Identification and Prioritisation of Critical Fadama Ecosystems (2005)
Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project (LEEMP) (2005)
Score Card Assessment (2005)