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  Ladipo Adamolekun is a Nigerian public administration scholar, former dean of the Faculty of Administration at Obafemi Awolowo University and was a lead public sector management specialist at the World Bank.


He was born in Iju, a town close to Akure and Idanre in Ondo State to the family of Joshua Adamolekun, a farmer and Madam Juliana Bama.
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Educated at Oyemekun Grammar School and Christ’s School Ado Ekiti.He was born on the 20th of July, 1942. He earned a first-class degree in French at the University of Ibadan, a master’s degree in Public Administration at Ife and a doctoral degree in politics at Oxford University. He joined the faculty of Administration at the Obafemi Awolowo University of Ife, in 1968, and from 1979 to 1982, he was dean of the faculty. During his tenure at Ife, he focused on the institutions of administration in Africa especially the transplanted French traditional norms of Administration in francophone countries and civil and political management in NIgeria.


In 1976, he published the book, “Sekou Toure’s Guinea”, one of the few English language books on Guinea at the time. His book lauded some of Sekou Toure’s efforts in nation-building, the diminution of ethnic rivalry and improvement in equality. Though he was also critical of some of his shortcomings, some critics lamented his failure to enunciate some of the problems besieging the country, including the elimination of Toure’s enemies, involvement in neighbouring countries and Sekou Toure’s failure to improve the standard of living in the country. However, the book was credited as an important step in publishing factual reports on one of the least known countries in the world during the time.
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In some of his later studies, he focused on local government reforms and the futility of centralized planning in Nigeria. Local government reforms or decentralization is one of the most prominent views held by western analysts and African scholars as a necessary instrument to build a solid democratic foundation. Also, since 1922, with the conduct of legislative elections in colonial Nigeria that included native citizens, nationalists who are believed to be more successful than nation builders, advocated democratic norms and decentralization against the autocratic systems of colonialism. From then until 1960, there was a concerted effort to build decentralization into the administrative system, this came to an end with the coming of independence in 1960.

The De-concentration View

Adamolekun views on local government and decentralization in the post-independence period is one of de-concentration of power in the local government of many African societies. De-concentration is a scenario when only responsibility or authority is transferred, but no resources or local accountability. This is in Contrast to devolution, when there is transfer, by law and other formal actions, of responsibility, resources, and accountability, the system of devolution is believed to be necessary for good governance in local administration.
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The scenario also led to the flight of top officials who won elections at the local level but seeing the feeble authority in local governance, subsequently left to join the state or federal executive level. He also considers fundamentally weak, top-level political and administrative management, which contributed to the failure of government planning. He asserted a lack of imbalance with a connection that both political and administrative leaders share a certain level of weakness. In contrast to popular belief of political weakness and administrative effectiveness. He also sees continuity in the midst of constant regime changes in contrast to the perceived belief that regime changes can bring improvement in administrative structures or the civil service. Reference Featured Image Source: Premium Times Opinion
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This article was first published on 26th June 2022 and updated on June 29th, 2022 at 5:06 pm


Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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