What major reforms were made in the local government system in Nigeria in 1976?

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

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