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Local Government in Nigeria and The Constitutionality Question! ***By Tunde Ogunmola – Naijanewsdirect

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them", says Albert Einstein. According to Professor Nchuchuwe, while borrowing a leaf from the definition of Democracy by Abraham Lincoln, he said, Local Government is the government of the people by the people and for the people at the grassroots. Local Government enjoys an autonomous status which entitles it to take certain legislative, administrative and financial decisions though under the conditions and within the limits of law.   Aside the foregoing clear definition of local government, it is also a well-known fact that the nearest government to the people is the local government. It is classified as the third tier of government in Nigeria and saddled with constitutional duties of performing certain functions. It’s pertinent to make it explicitly clear that local government councils are viewed as multi-purpose in that they have responsibilities for all functions that a typical local government performs within their area of jurisdiction.   Generally speaking, local government councils are saddled with two groups of functions. The first functions which are regarded as their main functions are enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, while the second groups of functions are duly described as civic and agency functions. These sets of functions include- minor maintenance of federal and state roads, civic mobilization, provision and maintenance of healthcare services among others.   In the Fourth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, the functions of local government councils are deemed to be either exclusive to it or are to be carried out in conjunction with the state governments within which they domicile.   Functions of local government as explicitly enumerated by the Nigerian Constitution include: 1- Collection of rates, radio and television licenses 2- Establishment and maintenance of cemeteries, burial grounds and homes for the destitute. 3- Establishment, maintenance and regulation of slaughter houses, slaughter slabs, markets, motor