OGUN STATEPost Comment OGUN STATE Nigeria
Historical Development: Ogun State, which was created in February 1976 with Abeokuta as the state capital, comprises the
old Abeokuta and ljebu provinces. It was one of the nineteen states created out of the former twelve state structure of 1967.
The state shares an international boundary with the Republic of Benin to the West and interstate boundaries with Oyo State in the north, Lagos State in the south and Ondo State in the east.
Administrative Structure: Ogun State had seven Local Government Areas (LGAs) at its creation, out of which three additional ones were created to bring the number of local government areas in the state to ten. These are Abeokuta, Egbado North, EgbadoSouth, lfo/Ota, ljebuEast, ljebu North, ljebuOde, ljebuRemo, ObafemiOwode and Odeda local government areas (LGAs).
In the further creations of Local Government Areas in 1981, 1989 and 1991, the former Abeokuta LGA became AbeokutaNorth and AbeokutaSouth LGAs, lfo/Ota became lfo and AdoOdo/Ota LGAs, ljebu Remo became Sagamu and Ikenne LGAs, ljebuOde became ljebuOde and Odogbolu LGAs and ljebuEast became ljebuEast and Ogun Waterside LGAs, making the total number of LGAs in the state to become fifteen (Odugbemi, 1993).
Obanta's Cenotaph, Ijebu Ode
The last local government creation exercise of March 1997 added five more LGAs to the fifteen in existence then, bringing the total number to twenty LGAs in the state. These are Ewekoro (from lfo LGA) with its headquarters at ltori, ljebu NorthEast with Atan as its headquarters, lmekoAfon having its headquarters at lmeko, lpokia with its headquarters at lpokia and Remo North having Isara as its headquarters .
The creation of more LGAs in the state has three important elements for growth and even development of the state. First, it has brought the government nearer to the generality of the people who would be able to take part in, and give their inputs to, the government decisions which affect them.
Their participation in the governance of their locality would generate pertinent questions on those governments activities that are likely to have negative effects on the development process. Second, it could generate competition among the LGAs which would foster efficiency in resource allocation, utilisation and the overall development of the LGAs.
Rock-soaked Ogun River scene, Ewekoro
Third, the new local government head quarters have become local central places and growth centres from which centrifugal forces could spread development impulse to the outlying, lagging areas. There are, however, two weaknesses in the proliferation of LGAs, the awareness of which should guide future LGAs creation.
First, there was no continuity in the administrative units for which data could easily be aggregated or disaggregated. This creates difficulties for data collection and analysis over time. Second, some of the LGAs were not economically viable. The expected spread of growth to the backward areas may not occur.