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Local Government in Nigeria [Everything you should know about them]

Local Government in Nigeria

What is a local government?

A local government is one of the three tiers/ level of government that exist in any Federal Republic. Local government are the closest form of government to society. It is much easier to contact or connect with the Local government than it is to the State governments or even the Federal government.

The local government areas in Nigeria are domains of the states created to ensure that the benefits from the government get closer to the people, also to propagate effective administration of resources in the lower level of government.

How many local government areas do we have in Nigeria?

Nigeria is the largest country in Africa, with a population of 180 million people. Also, Nigeria is a federal republic that has 36 states and further divided into 774 local government areas. Each Local government area is supervised by a local government chairman who is the Chief Executive of the local government area and Councilors for each ward.

The Local Government Chairman and Councilors for the wards make up the Local Government Council. The total number of Local Government Areas in Nigeria is 774 LGA.

How to get Local government certificate of origin in Nigeria?

A Local government certificate, also known as State of origin certificate is a document that certifies that a person is from a particular Local government area in Nigeria. This membership to a specific Local government area is if your parents or most especially your father originates from that particular Local government area. 

Obtaining a local government certificate would require specific requirements to be met before the local government secretariat can issue the certificate. The requirements include:

  1. Father’s Origin
  2. Full and correct Name
  3. Two recent passport
  4. A stipulated fee
  5. Local government dialect

With the listed requirements above, obtaining a local government certificate shouldn’t be a problem.

Issues with Local government autonomy in Nigeria

Since the advent of the system of local government in Nigeria, there had been calls for the independence of the local government as one of the three tier of governance in the federal republic of Nigeria. It is worthy to know that over the years the federal government of Nigeria has played a role in seeing that autonomy is given to the local government. In the 1979 local government reforms, it was highlighted that the states have ceaselessly creep on that which have been the exclusive rights of the local governments. 

To strengthen the independence and ideology of the local government, The Federal government of Nigeria ensured that the standard nature of local government was mandated by integrating it into the 1979 constitution. In the constitution, it was declared that “the system of democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed”. Also, the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida from 1986 made bold steps to increase the independence of the local government councils. By January 1988, proper amount of autonomy came to local government with the removal of the local government state ministries nationwide thus taking off the political control and public inactions done by the state ministries.

Lack of independence of the local government areas is a pivotal problem that requires rapt attention. It’s important that local governments is genuinely autonomous in relation to the state and federal governments. The state governments capitalize the obscurities made in the 1979 constitution. They subsequently reviewed laws to suit their selfish desires. Proper attention wasn’t given to certain parts of the 1976 local government reforms that they were discontented with and misinterpreted those that were considered convenient. For example, between 1979 and 1983, only sole administrators and caretaker committees were appointed in local governments across Nigeria. No form of election was recorded to have held into the local government councils nationwide. 

Local government reforms in Nigeria

The 1976 Local Government Reform was a move made by the military government as part of its proposed plans to return power to civilians, as a forerunner to active political stability in the country, it was created to ensure government programmes gets to the grassroots and to structure the local government system in Nigeria. The reform led to the creation of 301 local governments areas across the country of different populations between 150,000- 800,000 people.

Before the 1976 reform, the local government system in Nigeria was relatively less autonomous with the colonial era where we had Native Authorities serving as a route for the implementation of policies directed from Lagos. Towards independence, one of the notable changes was the election of councils to form a system. Still, immediately after independence, the power of the councils was reduced drastically.

However, various reforms have been implemented after the 1976 reforms. They include; the 1984 Dasuki report, the 1988 civil service reforms, the 1989 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, the 2003 reviews of local government council in Nigeria amongst others.

The structure/ administration of local government in Nigeria

The creation of Local government was to ensure that the people of the society are always in contact with those in a higher position in government.

The organizational structure of local government in Nigeria consists of the executive and legislative arms of the local government. The Executive structure consists of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Supervisory councillors, and Heads of Departments. The Heads of Departments are career officers and are answerable to Supervisory Councilors. 

The Legislative arm (Council), on the other hand, is made up of the Leader, Deputy Leader and Councilors.

The Chairman is considered as the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Local Government. He serves as one of the signatories to the account of the local government area. Also, the Chairman’s office serves as the central point through which information is sent to the local government area and where information is received, processed, stored, analyzed and dispensed. It is through this information sent that regulations by local government administration are carried out.

The functions of local government in Nigeria

The functions of local government in Nigeria as highlighted by the Nigerian constitution of 1999 includes:

  1. The local government is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that there is the order in the market places, ensure citizens have access to proper amenities, streets drains, service roads and erect new facilities when possible.
  2. Its mandate to be in charge of waste removal, evaluation of residential facilities for further tax collection and birth, death and marriage registrations.
  3. It helps in overseeing the proper functioning of the various educational systems, the agricultural sector and others except for the mining sector.
  4. The local government is responsible for collecting taxes, working with the broadcasting and radio, transport licenses and cemeteries. Also, providing housing for people in need.
  5. It controls the activities of small and medium enterprises such as shops, kiosks, restaurants, bakeries etc.

The history of local government in Nigeria

Nigeria has implemented different systems of local government since the amalgamation of the northern and southern parts of the country in 1914. The beginning of local government administration in Nigeria can be traced back to the pre-colonial period. There was the existence of emirate systems of Borno and Sokoto caliphates: Egba, Ibadan, Ekiti and the Oyo empires. Obas, Emirs and Chiefs were in charge of the affairs of each of their kingdoms.

However, in each kingdom, there were smaller districts, villages and wards that were subject to the Obas, Emirs ad Chiefs in their respective kingdoms. These lower or subordinate levels of government could be regarded or considered as local government.

Then was the influx of the indirect rule system by the British colonialist. This system of indirect rule system later changed into the direct rule when the traditional rulers became ordinary local agents of the colonial officers. The Emirs in the North, the Obas in the West and Warrant chiefs in the East became the only native authorities in each domain.

Consequently, there was a reform in the 1930s which regularized the position of the Emirs as the Sole Native Authorities and consolidated emirate hegemony in the Northern heartlands. Similar developments occurred in the West and to some extent in the East.

The Native administration system continued to thrive in the Northern part of Nigeria until the rise of the modern local system between 1952 and 1965, and the era of Caretaker Committees and Sole Administrator Systems.

However, since 1970, the number of local government rose from 299 in 1970 to 301 in 1979, to 781 in 1981, when authority to create local government was given to the state government. After the overthrow of the civilian government in 1984, the numbers were again reduced to 301, and later they increased to 449 in 1987; 589 in 1991 and 774 in 1996.

The organogram of local government in Nigeria

Organogram, which is also referred to organizational chart, is a pictorial illustration that reveals the structure of an organization and the relationships that exist between the various cadres of people, their jobs and relationship. The local government in Nigeria is a structured organization that has different ranks amongst its employees. 

Below is an image that shows the organogram of local government in Nigeria

The largest local government in Nigeria

Alimosho Local Government Area in Lagos is regarded as the largest Local Government Area in terms of population. It has an estimated 1,288,714 people living in it.

Number of local government in each state in Nigeria

Abia State – 17 LGAs

Adamawa State – 21 LGAs

Akwa Ibom State – 31 LGAs

Anambra State – 21 LGAs

Bauchi State – 20 LGAs

Bayelsa State – 8 LGAs

Benue State – 22 LGAs

Borno State – 27 LGAs

Cross River State – 18 LGAs

Delta State – 25 LGAs

Ebonyi State – 13 LGAs

Enugu State – 17 LGAs

Edo State – 18 LGAs

Ekiti State – 16 LGAs

Gombe State – 11 LGAs

Imo State – 27 LGAs

Jigawa State – 27 LGAs

Kaduna State – 23 LGAs

Kano State – 44 LGAs

Katsina State – 34 LGAs

Kebbi State – 21 LGAs

Kogi State – 21 LGAs

Kwara State – 16 LGAs

Lagos State – 20 LGAs

Nasarawa State – 13 LGAs

Niger State – 25 LGAs

Ogun State – 20 LGAs

Ondo State – 18 LGAs

Osun State – 30 LGAs

Oyo State – 33 LGAs

Plateau State – 17 LGAs

Rivers State – 23 LGAs

Sokoto State- 23 LGAs

Taraba State – 16 LGAs

Yobe State – 17 LGAs

Zamfara State – 14 LGAs

Which state has the highest local government in Nigeria?

Every state in Nigeria has several amounts of local government areas.

Kano state is the state with the highest amount of local government, and it has a total number of forty-four Local Government Areas (LGA)

The richest local government in Nigeria

Obio Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers state is the richest LGA in Nigeria. Majority of the wealth of Nigeria comes from this particular region.

Obio Akpor, which is divided into seven different sub-regions, has a total mass area of 250 square kilometres and a population of 880,000 people. Oil and natural gas are the primary resources of the LGA.

Local Governments in Nigerian states (List the local governments in ONLY these states)


Below is the complete list of local government areas in Lagos state

Agege, Alimosho Ifelodun, Alimosho, Amuwo-Odofin, Apapa, Badagry, Epe, Eti-Osa, Ibeju-Lekki, Ifako/Ijaye, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Kosofe, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Mushin, Ojo, Oshodi-Isolo, Shomulu and Surulere


Below is the complete list of local government areas in Ogun state

Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Ado-Odo/Otta, Agbado South, Agbado North, Ewekoro, Idarapo, Ifo, Ijebu East, Ijebu North, Ikenne, Ilugun Alaro, Imeko Afon, Ipokia, Obafemi/Owode, Odeda, Odogbolu, Ogun Waterside, Sagamu.


Afijio, Akinyele, Attba, Atigbo, Egbeda, Ibadan North East, Ibadan Central, Ibadan South East, Ibadan West South, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North, Ido, Ifedapo, Ifeloju, Irepo, Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa Olorunshogo, Kajola, Lagelu, Ogbomosho North, Ogbomosho South, Ogo Oluwa, Oluyole, Ona Ara, Ore Lope, Orire, Oyo East, Oyo West, Saki East, Saki West, Surulere.


Akoko-Edo, Egor, Esan North East, Esan South East, Esan Central, Esan West, Etsako Central, Etsako East, Etsako West, Igueben, Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo, Orhionwon, Ovia North East, Ovia South West, Owan East. Owan West, Owan South, Uhunwonde.


Abaji, Abuja Municipal, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali


Aboh-Mbaise, Ahiazu-Mbaise, Ehime-Mbaino, Ezinhitte Mbaise, Ideato North, Ideato South, Ihitte/Uboma, Ikeduru, Isiala Mbano, Isu, Mbaitoli, Ngor Okpala, Njaba, Nwangele, Nkwerre, Obowo, Oguta, Ohaji/Egbema, Okigwe, Onuimo, Orlu, Orsu, Oru West, Oru East, Owerri Municipal, Owerri North, Owerri West, Nwangele.


Aniocha South, Anioha, Bomadi, Burutu, Ethiope West, Ethiope East, Ika South, Ika North East, Isoko South, Isoko North, Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Okpe, Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Patani, Sapele, Udu,  Ughelli South, Ughelli North, Ukwuani, Uviwie, Warri Central, Warri North, Warri South


Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ayeda-ade, Ayedire, Bolawaduro, Boripe, Ede, Ede North, Egbedore, Ejigbo, Ife North, Ife Central, Ife South, Ife East, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Ilesha West, Ilesha East, Ila-Orangun, Irepodun, Irewole, Isokan, Iwo, Obokun, Odo-Otin, Ola Oluwa, Olorunda, Oriade, Orolu, Osogbo


Aba North, Aba South, Arochukwu, Bende, Isiala-Ngwa South, Ikwuano, Isiala-Ngwa North, Isuikwuato, Ukwa West, Obi Ngwa, Ohafia, Osisioma Ngwa, Ugwuanagbo, Ukwa West, Ukwa East, Umuahia North, Umuahia South, Umu Nneochi.


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John Aina has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. John is happiest when he is on a bike and is also interested in Solar technology.
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    Local Government in Nigeria [Everything you should know about them]

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