NATHANIEL A. UDOH
Department of Political Science
and Public Administration
University of Uyo
Akwa Ibom State
Local Government is not sovereign like independent nation-state. It is a subordinate government which derives its existence and power from laws enacted by a superior government. In Nigeria, the nature and structure of transactions or inter-actions between the three tiers of government determine the degree of autonomy. This paper seriously investigates whether the Local Government as presently constituted in Nigeria generally, and in Akwa Ibom State specifically, is autonomous in the sense of being independent to order their own affairs without excessive external control, interference or support. The paper looks at its legal, constitutional, financial and personnel foundations as well as its structural and operational relationship with other tiers of government. The result of this investigation proves inconclusive but with the balance tilting in favour of local government autonomy being more of a myth than reality. The paper, therefore, suggests a new focus in which the emphasis should be on the desirability or otherwise of substantial autonomy for Local Governments in Nigeria.