The primary functions of local government include the following:
1. Maintenance of law and order
Local governments maintain law and order through the bylaws which they enact to ensure orderly conduct, avoid breaches of the peace and safeguard lives and property within their jurisdiction. These bylaws are operational within a local government area, and are enforced by security agencies.
2. Provision of motor parks and markets
Local governments provide and maintain motor parks and markets for the inhabitants of their localities.
3. Collection of rates, fees and rents
Local governments collect rates, fees, and rents for the development of their areas. These include tenement rates, fees on market stalls and motor parks, bicycle and motor-cycle, licensing, radio and television fees.
4. Construction of feeder roads and drainages
Local governments construct and maintain feeder roads, drainages, culverts, urban streets, etc. (The extent of their involvement in road construction is determined by the central government.)
5. Provision of recreational facilities
Local governments provide recreational facilities such as swimming pools, amusement parks, football pitches, open spaces and other recreational grounds where the people can relax or engage in sporting activities.
6. Provision of health facilities
The local governments provide and maintain health facilities such as health centres, maternity homes, dispensaries, as well as refuse dumps for waste disposal. They also provide health education, public health inspection services, and maintain public conveniences like cemeteries, toilets, abattoirs, etc.
7. Registration of births, deaths and marriages
It is the duty of the local governments to register births, deaths and marriages and issue appropriate certificates for these.
8. Provision of educational facilities
The local government provides and maintains schools, libraries and adult education facilities. They fund primary schools by paying teachers’ salaries and maintaining school buildings.
9. Enlightenment campaign
The local governments educate the citizens on the policies and programmes of the local, state and federal governments and relay to the central government the needs of their people.
10. Establishment of customary courts
The local governments provide customary courts to handle disputes in their areas.
11. Naming and maintenance of streets
Local governments maintain and name streets, and number houses on the streets within their areas of jurisdiction.
12. Establishment of agricultural and commercial ventures
Local governments provide agricultural extension services to local farmers. They also maintain small-scale agricultural holdings, to serve as reference centres to the peasant farmers who are used to the traditional method of farming.
13. Provision of social amenities
Local governments provide social amenities such as water, rural electrification and television viewing centres.