Service Delivery Reform in Nigeria: The Rise and Fall of the Conditional Grant Scheme to Local Government Areas (CGS to LGAs)

ESID Working Paper 114. Manchester: Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre

34 Pages Posted: 17 May 2019

See all articles by Bala Yusuf Yunusa

Bala Yusuf Yunusa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David Hulme

University of Manchester - Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM)

Date Written: April 18, 2019

Abstract

This paper analyses Nigeria’s Conditional Grant Scheme to Local Government Areas (CGS to LGAs). It tracks the design and implementation of CGS to LGAs at multiple levels, with a conceptual focus on the dynamics of state capacity and elite commitment. The paper finds that, while considerable progress was made initially with reforms, the increase in patronage politics following the change in national political leadership in 2011 meant that reforms were not sustained. At the local level, the scheme partly achieved its objectives, as in Guri LGA, where an informal development coalition seized the opportunity to increase spending and improve LGA capacity to deliver basic education and health services. The reforms were less effective in other LGAs, such as Mashi, where pre-existing factors, especially elite capture and frequent turnover of civil servants, undermined reforms. Even in difficult governance contexts, service delivery programmes can be designed and implemented in a manner that is both technically adequate and politically smart to achieve better development outcomes. However, sustaining such gains requires the continued commitment of political and bureaucratic elites along the implementation chain.

Keywords: Nigeria, service delivery, elite commitment, state capacity, political economy, CGS to LGAs

Suggested Citation

Yunusa, Bala Yusuf and Hulme, David, Service Delivery Reform in Nigeria: The Rise and Fall of the Conditional Grant Scheme to Local Government Areas (CGS to LGAs) (April 18, 2019). ESID Working Paper 114. Manchester: Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3374244 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3374244

Bala Yusuf Yunusa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David Hulme (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) ( email )

Manchester M13 9GH
United Kingdom

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