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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Governance of Nigeria's Villages and Cities through Indigenous Institutions
Authors:Olowum Bamidele (Dele)
Erero, John E.
Periodical:African Rural and Urban Studies
Geographic term:Nigeria
social structure
popular participation
local government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Urbanization and Migration
Abstract:The formal structures of government in Nigeria have increasingly become a fiction in governance. Poor service has led to the development of alternative institutional structures for providing essential services. These alternatives are either private or community-based in nature. The latter are usually based on traditional structures. This study examines the patterns and procedures for administering selected villages and cities in Nigeria, using a comparative approach. It also identifies and characterizes the indigenous institutions involved in the governing of the urban and rural settlements in question and the roles they play, and highlights and profers solutions to the key problems of these institutions. Three types of indigenous institutions are identified: political and administrative institutions, sociocultural organizations, and development and economic institutions. A major strength of indigenous institutions is their legitimacy, which is recognized not only by community members, but also by government institutions and functionaries. A major weakness of indigenous political institutions is that they are restrictive in the sense that political leadership is acquired through ascription and political office is often held for life. Another major weakness of indigenous institutions is the exclusion of women from policy and decisionmaking. Bibliogr.