1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The following objectives to this research work stand to be achieved;
1) To ascertain whether accountability and transparency has put to check the circumvention of due process in financial and non-financial activities of the local government council in Nigeria.
2) To ascertain whether the inhabitants of local government council have benefited from the proceed of accountability and transparency through the improvement of social amenities.
3) To ascertain whether the accountability and transparency have affected the official and non-official financial behavioral attitudes of council staff in Nigeria.
2.1 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter seeks to show and explains the total overview of what a local government is and to highlight the structure and function of a local government. It also shows and x-rays the local government financial profile. This also shows in practice government stand in accountability and transparency is all about being answerable to those who have invested their trust, faith and resources to you.
According to Adegite (2010) defined “accountability as the obligation to demonstrate that work which has been conducted in accordance with agreed rules and standards and the officer reports fairly and accurately on performance results vis-à-vis mandated role or plans. It means doing things transparently in line with due process and the provision of feedback.
Johnson (2004) says that public accountability is an essential component for the functioning of our political system, as accountability means that those who are charged with drafting and carrying out policy should be obliged to give an explanation of their actions to their electorate. Premchand (1999) observed that the capacity to achieve full accountability has been and continues to be inadequate, partly because of the design of accountability itself and partly because of the widening range of objectives and associated expectations attached to accountability the further argues that if accountability is to be achieved in full including its constructive aspects, then it must be designed with care. The objective of accountability should go beyond the naming and sharing of officials, or the pursuit of sleaze, to a search for durable improvements in economic management, to reduce the incidence of institutional recidivism. The future of accountability consists in covering the macro aspects of economic and financial sustainability, as well as the micro aspects of service delivery. It should envisage a three-tier structure of accountability: that of official (both political and regular civil employees), that of intra- governmental relationships and that between government and their respective legislatures.
According to Cokes (2010), the various approaches to accountability based on the language of account can be grouped into:
- Process based accountability: this approach measures compliance with preset standard and formally defined outcomes. This includes fiscal and managerial accountability with reliance on the use of accounting methodologies.
- Performance based accountability: this approach measures performance against broad objectives; this measure may be qualitative and the criteria against which performance is measured less precisely defined Adegite (2010) also noted that there are three pillars of accountability, which the UNDP tagged ATI ( Accountability Transparency and Integrity).
Accountability which is segmented into:
- Financial accountability: The obligation of any one handing resources, public office or any other positions of trust to report on the intended and actual use of the resources or of the designated office.
- Administrative accountability: This type of accountability involves a sound system of internal control, which complements and ensures proper checks and balances supplied by constitutional government and an engaged citizenry. These include ethical codes, criminal penalties and administrative reviews.
- Political accountability: This type of accountability fundamentally begins with free, fair and transparent elections. Through periodic elections and control structure, elected and appointed officials are held accountable for their actions while holding public office.
- Social accountability: This is a demand driven approach that relies on civic engagement and involve ordinary citizens and groups exacting greater accountability for public actions and outcomes.
3.1. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This topic the effect of transparency in financial management and accountability of local government councils in Nigeria is actually a vast area of study. At least we do recognize the uniqueness of the local government council.
Though they are much local government council in Abia state, the research recast restricted her choice to bende local government council.
This chapter discusses how data were source by the researcher, research design, and population of the study, sample design and technique, sources of data collection, instrument for data collection validity and reliability of the instrument and method of data analysis.
1.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
The design of the study is the description of various processes to be undertake for the successful completion of the work. The research is a descriptive survey research. The design will be used in making decision on the data sourced research instrument sampling, plan and content method. This is to enable the researcher obtain response and draw conclusion on the research problem
1.3 POPULATION OF THE STUDY.
The staff in the administrative department accounting department and others department of Bende local government councils under investigation formed the population of the study since it would be impossible for the researcher to study and investigate all the staff and officials responsible for the information sort for.
About 108 staffs were involved in the various places since the research cannot reach to all the people concerned.
A stratified random sampling technique is used. Population of one hundard staff of the various department were studied.The population was selected as follows: Distribution population table of Bende local government.
4.1 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
This chapter focuses on the presentation and analysis of data as provided by the questionnaires distributed and collected from respondents. Also hypothesis was formulated and their validity test against the information gathered from the respondents using z-test and percentage.
The researcher distributed eighty-five(85) questionnaires to the respondents . The formulated hypothesis will also be tested with the aid of necessary tables and statistical figures. In the course of this study, 85 questionnaires was distributed to Administrative management and internal auditing in Olamaboro local government councils, in the proportion of 55 questionnaires to Administrative management, which represents 55 percent of the population size and . 35 questionnaires to internal auditing which also represents 35 percent of the population size.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The following findings were made from the hypotheses tested.
- Local government council has adopted accountability and transparency as a good check with the helpnof due process in financial and non-financial activities which is capable of producing desired result
- The inhabitants within the local government council have benefited from the proceed of accountability and transparency in improvement of social amenities.
- The process of accountability and transparency has affected the official and non official financial behavourial attitudes of council staff in Nigeria.
Despite the likelihood that the introduction of EFCC, ICPC and due process in the system of government for proper accountability and transparency in financial management of Nigerian local government council. The management of the local council needs to meet up with a lot of measures in place for proper accountability and transparency. These include the following:
- The officials of the local government council should Endeavour to adhere properly to the procedure established by them for such control of council fund.
- The staff of the council should be adequately motivated to detach their mind from any corrupt practices.
- The council officials (especially the chairman) should be audited by the external auditor yearly before they vacate from their office for proper accountability and transparency.
- The council should make sure that the revenue collection of it should be contracted out; proper returns should be made by the agent.
- Training and re-training programmes and seminars should be organized periodically for the members and staff of the council to increase their moral and ensure efficiency and effectiveness in doing their work.
- The research work was painstakingly conducted to educate people in the importance of proper accountability and transparency is all about. There is need for proper supervision of the council staff and officials to ensure that, they are efficiently and effectively monitored and managed in line with the constitution adopted for the local government council in the country.
- This research has gone further to discourage any council that have a weak internal control system rather the councils should employ more dedicated and capable hands to argument the existing ones.
After more careful evaluation of transparency in financial management and accountability in Nigerian local government council and having seen the adverse effect of improper accountability in the government system, to remain silent over these will endanger the rapid development of property in the local government council in the country.
In the light of this, the following recommendations were made based on my finding during this research work.
- First and foremost, the recommendation is to advice readers to conduct further research on this topic because the findings so far are based on the data collected and analyzed. Therefore, this research should not be regarded as sacred.
- The accounting working system of the council should be computerized, since most of the systems are done manually.
- There should be adequate sensitization through workshops, seminars and lectures on the need for transparency and accountability in the government system.
- The researcher equally recommends that the staff employed to man sensitive position like the cashier, accountant, secretary to mention but a few, should be qualified with no qualification less than B.SC or HND in the relevant professions.
- The government should build an in-house ICPC, EFCC and due process office in all the local government councils. This will go a long way to deter any fraudulent practices which can lead to improper accountability and transparency in the system.
- The state government in conjunction with the federal government should make sure that the accounts of the local government are audited periodically and monitored by them.
This will go a long way in reducing corruption in the society.
Finally, the salaries and other fringe benefits of the staff of the council should be paid as and when due in order to reduce any fraudulent act practices and bridge the gap for an effective and efficiency transparency and accountability in the government system.
- The conclusion drawn from this study should not be considered to be final. There is need for further research, other local government council; Nigeria in this field investigates more on proper accountability and transparency in the government system.
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