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AN INVESTIGATE INTO THE FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MISMANAGEMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDS IN CAMEROON

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AN INVESTIGATE INTO THE FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MISMANAGEMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDS IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

The establishment of local government in any location worldwide highlights the need to support growth at the community level. The creation of such zones is designed to fulfil crucial social, political, and economic functions for the comprehensive development of the nation(Mbinglo, 2018). The recognition of this crucial fact, along with the aim of enhancing proximity between the government and the populace, particularly those residing in rural areas, has motivated the Government of Cameroon to implement several substantial reform initiatives in local government administration  (Njab & Nkeng, 2017). The local government reforms implemented that brought about significant alterations in the structure, functions, and financing of local government. These reforms have served as valuable benchmarks for following administrations when implementing reform initiatives in Cameroon. 

 Local government funding are crucial for supporting specific public services, including healthcare, education, infrastructure development, and other community programmes. The money are often obtained via transfers made by the national government, local taxes, and other sources of income (Ndikumana & Ncube, 2020). Efficient allocation of these monies is vital for fostering local development and guaranteeing the welfare of inhabitants. Nevertheless, the issue of financial mismanagement of local government in Cameroon is an ongoing and chronic difficulty. This is supported by studies highlighting instances of irregularities, corruption, and insufficient control systems (Mbinglo, 2018). Research has shown that inadequate governance institutions, a lack of transparency, and insufficient accountability are factors that lead to the mismanagment of finances by local governments (Njab & Nkeng, 2017). These activities not only result in the ineffective utilization of public resources but also erode public confidence in local government organisations. Corruption has been seen as a major determinant of financial mismanagement at the local government level. Acts such as bribery, embezzlement, and favouritism have the potential to redirect monies that were originally designated for public services (Tchatchoua-Djomo & Wamba, 2019). Furthermore, the issue is worsened by political meddling and insufficient programmes aimed at enhancing the skills and abilities of local government personnel. Although attempts have been made to enhance governance and financial management practices in Cameroon, there is still a dearth of thorough studies explicitly addressing local government funding (Ekong, 2020). Therefore, the researcher sought to  investigate the factors responsible for the mismanagement of local government funds in Cameroon

Statement of the problem

The funding of local governments is perhaps more intricate than in any other area of the public domain. One of the main challenges hindering the local governments in Nigeria from effectively funding their expenses and promoting grassroots development is their failure to generate sufficient revenue and maintain proper financial records (Nwankwo, 2015). Due to mismanagement, the statutory allocations from the Federation Account are insufficient to meet the financial responsibilities of local government authorities, including personnel pay, social services, and debt servicing.  Nevertheless, there is an increasing apprehension over the mishandling of these funds, which might lead to ineffective provision of services and impede endeavours for sustainable development (Tchatchoua-Djomo & Wamba, 2019). Reports have shown the presence of corruption, a lack of transparency, and inadequate accountability procedures within local government institutions (Njab & Nkeng, 2017). These problems lead to the erosion of public confidence in local administrations and provide substantial obstacles to the country's overall governance and development goals. Because it is crucial to tackle the mismanagement of finances by local government, there is a scarcity of empirical study on the causes accountable for these problems in Cameroon.   Hence, the study investigate the factors responsible for the mismanagement of local government funds in Cameroon.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate the factors responsible for the mismanagement of local government funds in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

Assess the factors responsible for the mismanagement of local government funds in Cameroon.

Investigate the impact of mismanagement of fund on the development of local government areas in Cameroon.

Identify preventative measures to deterr the mis-management of local government funds in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the following

What are the factors responsible for the mismanagement of local government funds in Cameroon?

What is the impact of mismanagement of fund on the development of local government areas in Cameroon?

What are preventative measures to deterr the mis-management of local government funds in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will serve as a foundation for policy and legislative reforms that address the root causes of financial mismanagement. Thereby enabling policymakers to use these insights to develop targeted interventions aimed at reducing corruption and promoting sound financial management practices.

This research will add to the existing body of knowledge on public finance management. The study's findings can also serve as a reference point for future research and discussions on similar topics within Cameroon and other countries facing similar challenges.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on the factors responsible for the mismanagement of local government funds in Cameroon. Empirically, the study will assess the factors responsible for the mismanagement of local government funds in Cameroon, investigate the impact of mismanagement of fund on the development of local government areas in Cameroon and identify preventative measures to deterr the mis-management of local government funds in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Mismanagement: In the context of this study, mismanagement refers to the inefficient, ineffective, or unethical handling of local government funds. This includes actions such as embezzlement, fraud, corruption, waste, or negligence that lead to the misuse or misallocation of public resources.

Local Government Funds: These are financial resources allocated to local government bodies in Cameroon for the purpose of providing public services and supporting local development projects. These funds may come from a variety of sources, including national government transfers, local taxes, fees, and grants.

Governance: Governance in this study refers to the systems, structures, and processes through which local governments in Cameroon are managed and controlled. This includes leadership, decision-making, policy implementation, and accountability mechanisms.

Corruption: Corruption is defined as the abuse of public office for private gain. In the context of this study, it may include practices such as bribery, nepotism, kickbacks, and other forms of unethical behavior that result in the misuse of local government funds.

Accountability: Accountability refers to the obligation of local government officials to report, explain, and justify their actions, decisions, and use of resources to the citizens and higher authorities. This concept also encompasses mechanisms for holding officials responsible for their actions.

Transparency: Transparency in this study is the openness and accessibility of local government processes, decisions, and financial records to the public. It involves providing clear and timely information to citizens and stakeholders about the use of government funds.


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