In the
National guidelines for local government reform published in August 1976 by the
General Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration aimed at unifying
the hitherto multiple system of local government in Nigeria
as a true and strong third tier of government.

The major reforms centered on the following

  • The introduction of a uniform local
    government system in Nigeria in
    terms of structure, functions, financing, operational modalities etc.
  • The reform stated the condition for creating
    new local government. Such an area must have a
    population ranging between 100,000 and 800,
  • For the first time, all local governments were made the third tier government after the federal and
    state governments
  • The guidelines made all local governments
    in Nigeria a single-tier instead of the multiple system. 
  • Unlike, before, chairman and supervisory councilors became full time and workers of
    local government.  
  • The federal government cancelled
    all the debts of local government to enable them take
    off effectively.  
  • For efficiency and
    coordination of government activities, special grants were given to
    local governments to enable them built their
  • The guidelines directed all
    state governments to set up local government service boards to ensure
    quality personnel in the local government
  • To remove local governments from partisan politics, local government councillors were to be
    elected on mindividual, merits instead of on
    party tickets.  
  • The reform harmonized the conditions of
    service of local government markers with the personnel
    of both the federal and state governments